First impressions matter. Many buyers will drive by your home before they take the next step. You will not get a second chance at first impression.
Download this checklist to make the outside of your home looks as inviting as what’s inside.
Here are nine simple ways to easily boost your home’s curb appeal.
Open up the street view
You want buyers to be able to see your home from the curb. If you have trees blocking the view of your home, you might want to prune some of the lower branches.
Removing the dead parts of plants goes a long way to making the view from the street better.
Walk out to the street and take a look as if it was your first time looking at your home. Take note of anything that looks wrong and make a plan to fix it.
Remove trash and personal items
Our personal items mean a lot to us and it is often difficult to pack them up. But buyers are more attracted to yards that feel clear and spacious. If your yard is cluttered, it’s time to pick things up.
Nice patio furniture and eclectic potted plants are fine. But anything that is highly personal needs to be removed.
When buyers see personal items such as a weight set, boating gear, or your latest project, they have a hard time picturing this as their yard (their home). They may not bother to make an appointment to view the inside.
You don’t have to throw your things away, but you need to get them out of sight.
If you have a lot of trash, consider hiring a hauler to take it away. Vallejo Recology will also do two bulk pickups per year.
Dust the outside of your house
Most yards could use a good brush down.
Dead leaves caught inside of shrubs or on fences look horrible. Cobwebs are a big turn off. The older they get, the dustier and more unappealing they look.
An exterior cobweb duster with extension pole can be easily purchased at a hardware store. The extension pole will help you reach 20 or 30 feet up. You can clean the cobwebs, leaves, and dirt off your windows, molding, trim, and gutters.
Dust your yard as well. Pay special attention to fences, trees and shrubs. Once you start dusting your yard, you will be amazed by how much better things look.
Give your yard a spray down
You know how fresh and clean everything feels after a rain. There is a reason. Before the rain everything was dirty.
Here in Vallejo it can easily be 6 months between good rains. If it has been a while since the last rain, then you should give your yard a good spray down. Washing all the plants and surfaces will help your curb appeal tremendously.
We want your yard to look its best.
Most yard plants are malnourished. If you have a few weeks before listing your home, you should fertilize. For faster results, use a fertilizer you can spray from your garden hose.
Plants will start to look better in a few short weeks.
Add some flowers
A pop of color can go a long way to boost curb appeal. The flowers could be planted in pots or in the ground. Make sure to choose flowers which will stay in bloom for months.
Impatiens come in many colors, and are very tolerant of shaded areas. They bloom most of the spring and summer. Many will stay in bloom until winter.
These versatile flowers are easy to plant and can also be bought in flats, which makes them more economical.
Repair visible defects
Buyers will judge your home by what they see from the street. A missing board doesn’t mean that your home has been neglected, but to a potential buyer standing on the curb, it can feel that way.
It is amazing that one broken board in your picket fence could lower your curb appeal, but it can.
Look around and pay attention to details. Make sure everything outside your home looks cared for.
Don’t forget the sidewalk
It is common to see homes for sale with trash and weeds on the sidewalk in front of the house. We recommend spraying weeds with vinegar. Once they’re dead, cut them out of the sidewalk with a carpet knife.
Just because your curb looks great that doesn’t mean buyers are not going to look at the whole block. You may need to do a street sweep or kill more weeds for other homes as well.
Your neighbors will think you’re crazy, but they’ll love you for it and you’ll raise the perceived value of everybody’s home—including yours.
Pressure wash your house and walkways
We have heard painters complain of jobs canceled after pressure washing. Sometimes a home just needs a scrub down.
You can buy a small pressure washer for around $100, or rent a much higher quality machine for a day at about the same price.
Use a pressure washer with care. High pressure can strip away paint, especially if your paint is visibly loose. Windows on historic homes are not tightly sealed, and should be lightly washed.
Always start with the minimum pressure, and never use more pressure than you need. Just like when cleaning your car, you want to soap up your house and gently (very gently) scrub and rinse.
Don’t forget that you can probably hire a painter to do the pressure washing for you in a few hours.
If you have a one-story home, you might be able to simply clean your home with a car hose and soft car scrubber.
Don’t forget to use that pressure washer on your sidewalks and driveway too! Cement can clean up nicely.
Get the Road Map
See the entire listing process with the Seller Road Map Infographic.
This step-by-step infographic illustrates the sales process from prepping your house to accepting an offer.
Feel confident. Print this infographic to know what to do and when at a glance.
Don’t miss anything when you spruce up your yard. Download the Total Yard Clean Checklist
When you’re ready to prepare your home inside and out, Use the Prep Your Home For Sale Checklist.
Get all the worksheet and checklists you need in one place. Unlock the Seller Toolbox.