Great curb appeal can net home sellers up to 10% higher sales prices

Before and after photos of curb appeal

Hard to believe these photos are of the same house. Yes, the portico over the front door adds dimension to the flat surface of the house, but even without the portico, the paved walkway, plants and mulched garden beds make buyers believe that the AFTER photo shows a house that will be in much better condition indoors as well. Which house would you offer more for?

If you’re thinking about selling your home, don’t overlook your front yard. Buyers form their first impression of your house as they drive up to it, so failure to make a great first impression can cost you a LOT of money. Statistics show that homes with great curb appeal sell for up to 10 percent more than comparable homes without it.

Did you know that you have only about 10 seconds to make a first impression on potential home buyers, and that first impression will last all through the first walk through of your property. Whether your potential buyers love or hate gardening is irrelevant. Everyone wants to impress anyone who visits them and often invite guests to see their new house, so they want their homes to look as good as possible, both inside and out, from the day they move in.

It’s great that you’ve got a killer house indoors, but if potential buyers won’t even get out of their car to look indoors, you have lost a potential sale.

Tips on sprucing up the front yard to maximize your sales price

  1. Rent a pressure washer to clean up walkways, the home exterior, driveways, etc.    
  2. Wash all your windows.
  3. If you have a lawn, make sure it is trimmed and edged.
  4. Add some gardening beds if they don’t already exist, and at least put in some foundation plants to add interest and dimension to the front of your home.
  5. Weed the flower beds and apply a fresh layer of mulch to make your plants stand out.
  6. Prune trees and shrubs.
  7. Plant some color in the beds if possible. Annuals are very inexpensive and add instant warmth to the exterior. But flowers are not absolutely necessary, (especially if you list your house during the late fall and winter months). There are many evergreen shrubs and grasses in multiple shades of green that can stand out beautifully against fresh mulch.
  8. Fill some planters with fresh lush plantings, especially near the front door, to welcome visitors into your home.
  9. Get a new welcome mat.
  10. Paint your front door.
  11. Replace torn screens, especially if you live in an area where open windows invite flies and other unwanted bugs indoors. 
  12. Dig up dead or sick looking plants and if necessary fill that space with containers with fresh plants. These are almost always available at nurseries, even during the winter months.
  13. Store excessive yard décor type items. Not everyone likes pink flamingos or gnomes in their yards.
  14. If you have a water feature, be sure to clean it up.
  15. Repair leaking faucets. If your faucet is leaking outdoors, buyers will wonder what other deferred maintenance might be indoors.
  16. If you are planning to dig up any plants or trees to take to your new home, you might consider doing this before you start showing your house.
  17. Touch up any areas on the exterior paint that might make the house look like the entire exterior requires a paint job.
  18. Chain link fences are very out of favor and are most often nothing more than an eyesore. Buyers see this as a big job and expense to remove, so if possible remove or have it removed prior to listing your house. Leaving it there will more often than not result in low offers. 

A well kept front lawn is better than no landscaping or weeds in front of your home. But the front of your house is both the first and last impression of your home as buyers drive away. Remember, no matter how beautiful the interior of your home is, you should always strive to make your home as inviting and warm as possible, and good curb appeal will result in higher offers. Your wallet will thank you for the efforts you make before you list your property. 

More information about increasing the value of your home:

Factors that can increase the value of your home

Tips for sellers in a hot housing market – staging your home results in higher offers

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