Six Quick Ways to Increase Your Curb Appeal

First impressions mean a lot, especially in the world of real estate. Many buyers associate the exterior appearance of a home with the condition of its interior, and often the home’s integrity as a whole. Some buyers won’t even bother touring a home if the exterior isn’t perfect. Taking steps to increase your curb appeal can help widen your buyer-market and ensure you get the best possible price when selling your home. Here are six ideas to enhance your home’s curb appeal when time is of the essence:

Solar Lantern is on the green lawn next to a paved garden path

1. Install Lights Along Footpaths

Lining footpaths with lights improves safety, emphasizes landscaping, and gives your home a pleasant, welcoming look. You never know what time of day potential buyers are going to drive by, and well-designed lights look great night or day. Solar lights are the easiest way to go. They come in a variety of designs and can be installed in a few minutes. You simply stick them in the ground! No batteries, no wires, no hassle.

Old-styled mailbox with ornament

2. Replace the Mailbox

If your fading plain-Jane mailbox is making the wrong first impression it may be time to replace it. A handsome new mailbox adds a dash of class to any front yard or stoop. Install it atop a sturdy new post or stone column for even more oomph. Be sure to choose a mailbox and base that match the current style of your home, and steer clear of anything too kitschy or cute. For added appeal, plant flowers around the base.

Coates Drive home, Seacliff, Aptos, Santa Cruz County, California (2016)

3. Give Your Windows a Professional Cleaning

Instead of smearing dirt around with a wadded up paper towel, invest the time or money needed to get your windows truly sparkling. If a professional crew is outside of your budget, you can get near-perfect results with a little bit of elbow grease and some basic tools. A window squeegee and quality microfibre cloths are a must, plus a cleaning solution of your choice. You can get fine results with a bucket of warm water and small squirt of streak-free dish soap; the fewer suds the better. First, wash the panes with the cleaning solution and a sponge or rag to lift the dirt. Next, remove the cleaning solution with the squeegee, pulling in long sweeping motions. Finally, wipe clean with the microcloth.

Curb appeal don'ts overgrown house

4. Cut Back Trees, Bushes and Other Growth

It doesn’t matter how gorgeous your home is if no one can see it. You might love living amongst the trees and ivy, but buyers want to be able to see what they are buying. Plus, a clean and tidy yard reflects well on how the house was cared for and maintained. Remove any growth that’s touching the house, as it can cause or hide damage. Trim back trees to let more sunlight in and shape bushes to look polished but natural. Your front-yard should compliment the look of your home, not dominate it.

Crown Drive home, Ben Lomond, Santa Cruz County, California (2016)

5. Upgrade Hardware

Are your porch lights, door knocker, or house numbers looking a little drab? Polish them up, or replace them entirely to give the front of your home a subtle but significant enhancement. Although small, exterior hardware accents and helps define the overall look of your home. Old or outdated hardware indicates to prospective buyers that the details of home maintenance have been ignored, while gleaming well-maintained hardware asserts the opposite.


6. Camouflage an Eyesore

Electrical boxes, trash cans, garden hoses, and other essentials can create bothersome eyesores if left visible. Hide them away to give your home a cleaner, more attractive look. Use privacy screens or a storage shed to hide trash cans. You can install matching screens in front of electrical boxes, propane tanks, or other equipment. Alternatively, electrical boxes can be camouflaged by painting them the same color as the wall they are installed on. Garden hoses can be kept in attractive reel containers, or detach them and store them in the shed or garage.

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