Chances are, you will get buyers into your home if everything on the outside from the street to the front door looks great. Other than keeping your yard mowed and trimmed while your home is on the market, there are many ways you can spruce up the exterior to make it more inviting. Here are some ideas that I found in Realtor Magazine that will enhance the exterior of your home.
1. Front Door. It’s the focal point to your home so make sure it has a positive influence and not a negative one like peeling paint or dingy hardware. Replacing an entryway door with a new steel door (which costs approximately $1,200) actually offers among the biggest bang for the buck at resale (an average of 73 percent of the cost may be recouped, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2011-2012 Cost vs Value Report, which analyzed 35 remodeling projects’ payback potential). Sometimes all it takes is a fresh coat of paint. Just don’t overdo it. Make sure the colors complement the house and change out the hardware if it is dated with the more trendy satin nickel, black or oil-rubbed bronze styles.
2. Windows. For added sparkle wash them inside and out and remove the screens. Dress up your windows with flower boxes. If you have shutters, consider new colors such as monochromatic palettes that blend with the rest of the house, according to the Paint Quality Institute.
3. Garage. Depending on its orientation to the house, a garage can make a huge impact. Does the door need paint, repairs or replacing? While sellers might not be willing to spend on a stylish new cedar wood door, they can find more budget-friendly options in metal or fiberglass. A new steel garage door can cost about $1,500, but sellers, in average, recoup nearly 72 percent of that investment at resale, according to the Cost vs Value Report.
4. Front Porch-The icon of American Living. It’s where you invite your neighbors over to sit a spell, have a glass of tea and catch up on the latest news. Don’t overlook this key selling point! “Sell” your porch as additional square footage by staging it with as much care as you would other rooms in your house. Include rockers, swings or an outdoor living suite. Buyers will be able to envision themselves on the porch meeting their new neighbors.
5. Driveway. If your driveway has cracks or oil stains and you can’t afford a complete resurfacing (which costs about $2,000 for concrete driveways) look into patching up cracks by using premixed concrete materials. If the cracks are a quarter inch or smaller they may be able to be filled with asphalt or concrete that comes in caulk-like tubes. A patching compound for asphalt can be used for larger cracks. Some experts recommend kitty litter for removing oil stains, though hardware stores offer designated products, too.
6. After dark. Evening curb appeal also matters. For a low-cost, high-value impact, conceal a couple of portable outdoor lamps and aim them at the house or a beautiful tree. Keep them on a timer so they’re always on for night time showings. Interior lights also work to create a warm glow from the curb. If the home isn’t wired outdoors, line a pathway to the front door with solar lights as these have improved with technology and are less costly to install than hardwired lights.
Remember, first impressions are important. It’s what’s imprinted in the buyers brains when they first pull up to your home. If it looks appealing on the outside then they are enticed to see what the inside has to offer.
Director of Marketing and Advertising
for The Texas Team