When selling your house, you want to maximize its value and appeal to attract potential buyers. While interior upgrades and renovations can drive up your home value, an unfinished outside might put people off from looking inside. Conversely, prioritizing certain aspects of the exterior and your property can enhance the attractiveness of your home before prospective buyers even set foot inside.
To help, we asked the members of Forbes Real Estate Council to share tips for improving the curb appeal of a home. Whether you’re an agent, a broker or a homeowner, these 15 simple tips can help visually enhance a property and draw in buyers.
Members of Forbes Real Estate Council share tips on ways to increase the attractiveness of your home.
Photos courtesy of the individual members.
1. Reduce The Look of Deferred Maintenance
While many may think increasing curb appeal has to do with a home’s beauty, it’s actually more about reducing the look of any deferred maintenance. That can be remedied by cleaning up the landscaping, washing windows, fixing chips on the front door, ensuring a cohesive color palette on the exterior of the home and more. Do whatever you have to do to make the home look well-maintained for buyers. – Jennifer Anderson, Anderson Coastal Group
2. Mow The Grass
Curb appeal is one of the most important things you can do before listing your home. Depending on which part of the country you live and the time of year it is important to have green grass freshly mowed. Rake the rocks, trim the bushes and definitely hose off the front walkway and driveway. Make sure to clean around the front door to remove cobwebs and buy a new doormat. First impressions are everything! – Dave Panozzo, The Panozzo Team-HomeSmart
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3. Powerwash The Exterior
Assuming landscaping is in check, powerwash, powerwash, powerwash! Especially if your home is stucco with a tile or concrete roof. Well-maintained homes with a fresh look sell faster. Powerwash driveways, curb areas, gutters, patios and decks. Get rid of dust, mold, mildew, algae, blemishes, mud dauber nests and spider webs. Let the latter two freeloaders get a new home! They are not a selling point. – Ruth Marlene Graham, Tropics Real Estate
4. Paint The Front Door
One of the easiest ways a seller can increase their curb appeal is by painting their front door. Add a pop of color that coordinates well with the existing siding or brick. It instantly makes the home feel more welcoming and makes the professional photos “pop!” – Mark Brace, Brace Homes | Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
5. Install New Floors And Lighting
The lipstick goes a long way. I always cringe when I have a client that just replaced all the heating systems and windows. These are high-ticket repairs that don’t give you the best return when selling. If you’re selling, you are better off painting the house inside and out as well as putting new floors down and installing lighting. Also, taking down large surrounding vegetation that shrinks the home is a must. – Chris Ryan, Beyond Properties Group (eXp Realty)
6. Maintain Your Landscaping
One of the simplest things that homeowners can do to maximize their curb appeal is to maintain their lawn and landscaping. A few fresh plants and flowers go a long way to making a home seem inviting. Pressure cleaning of the walkways, driveways and exterior of the home may also help to give it a fresh and clean look. – Blake Plumley, BluWater Capital LLC
7. Paint The Exterior
Paint is the most simple thing, something everyone can do themselves and it goes a really long way. Whites and neutral home colors are the most innocuous and appealing to a larger audience of buyers. Cut your grass, clean your hedges and make your property look like it’s being taken care of! Declutter as much as you can too. – Adam Mahfouda, Oxford Property Group
8. Upgrade The Entrance
The first glimpse of the front door can set the tone for a positive or negative reaction from buyers. This often-overlooked fact is so easy to improve. Clean the door thoroughly or give it a bold new coat of paint. Make sure the welcome mat is literally out, clean and spiffy looking. Finally, accent pots of flowers can help frame the portal to the “soul” of a potential customer’s new dream house. – Cris Burnam, StorageMart
9. Digitally Enhance The Property Photographs
While most sellers will laugh and say this is out of their control—it is now technologically available! Through the use of virtual staging, photography enhancements and without changing the property itself for integrity is what the buyers are looking at, we can now improve curb appeal by making gray skies blue, the grass greener and the house warm with a glow of lights at night! – Michael Thomas Chambers, Chambers Theory
10. Add Fresh Plants In Front
As real estate author Tom Kelly used to say, “Make certain your shrubs don’t look like grubs.” A few fresh plants in almost any season can spruce up your home’s view from the curb. A clean landscaped front of your home can make a buyer eager to see what’s inside. Make sure your first impression—what they see from the curb—makes your best impression. – Kevin Hawkins, WAV Group, Inc.
11. Replace The House Numbers
It’s very important that a new buyer can immediately envision themselves in your home rather than thinking about the projects that they will need to do as the new owner. It’s essential that the property is clean, fresh and well-maintained, which includes landscaping and the front entry. Adding some fresh flowers and new house numbers at the front door is always a great addition! – Joanna Schwartz, Quartz Properties
12. Install New Energy-Efficient Windows
A home should make a buyer happy, from the outside in. Painting the outside of the home and replacing old windows with energy-efficient panes are great ways to add value to a home for sellers. Energy-efficient windows bring a look of freshness and save homeowners money on utilities. – Ralph DiBugnara, Home Qualified
13. Touch Up Damaged Wood And Trim
Paint and landscaping will determine the greatest first impression. Touching up damaged wood and trim, and repainting the exterior will go a long way. Bringing in fresh flowers, succulents or other landscaping can also create a sense of a well-kept home. Curb appeal sets the tone for the rest of the experience, so it’s important to get it right. – Kofi Nartey, SOCIETY Real Estate + Development
14. Tell A Story With Your Digital Presence
Ensure your digital presence tells an authentic narrative. Buyers and renters evaluate many options before stepping foot in your home, so ensuring you showcase what makes your property unique is critical. By showcasing features of your house, your neighborhood and more online—the “curb appeal” of your home will be improved, making any in-person tours more impactful and helpful. – Benjamin Pleat, Cobu
15. Imagine How Others Would Evaluate It
Step across the street and look at your house to evaluate how someone driving up would see it. Do you have broken blinds that need to be replaced or caulk around windows that is chipping and falling out. Powerwash the outside of the house, clean the gutters, make sure shrubs or flowers are cut clean and neat, and get weeds out of flower beds. Fix any broken cracks in the sidewalks. – Nancy Wallace- Laabs, Profitable Landlord System