When you are gearing up to sell your home, the exterior should be just as prepared as the interior. On average, buyers will pay 7% more for a house with great curb appeal versus a home with a neglected exterior. Buyers’ willingness to pay more for a home with great curb appeal is why 96% of real estate agents advise improving curb appeal before a seller lists their home. Before you set into detailed exterior projects you should give your home a deep clean. Cleaning up your home’s exterior is not as difficult a task as one might think. To begin with, rent a pressure washer to power wash the siding, windows, gutters, sidewalk, porch, and deck. Next, check out your windows. If the screens have holes or are tearing at the edges, you should remove them and purchase new ones. You can wash the windows inside and out next. After your windows are crystal clear you can double check your vinyl siding for mold. If you find any you can attach a mod specific product to your hose and cover your vinyl in it. Finally, tidy up your yard and remove clutter, debris, and dead leaves.
Of all of the curb appeal projects, basic lawn care is the one that yields the highest return on investment. Basic lawn care includes cutting grass, fertilizing the lawn, and weed control. The average cost of turning your lawn into a bed of soft green grass is just $340. Nationally, investing just a few hundred dollars into your lawn and putting in a bit of extra work during the spring will increase your home’s resale value by $2,173. Lawn care can be handled by you or by a professional lawn care service. If you choose to tend to your own lawn you’ll need a lawnmower, trimmer, fertilizer bags, and a weed control product. When the temperature begins to warm in the early days of spring spread a layer of fertilizer across every inch of your lawn. Let your grass grow to over three inches in height before you trim it. Finally, control weeds such as dandelions, crabgrass, and white clovers when they begin to grow with a product specifically made to kill the particular weed in your lawn. If you have patches of your lawn that are bare or thin you can spread grass seed lightly over the area. Water it enough to keep the soil damp but not overwatered. Keeping up with a well manicured lawn takes a bit of work during the spring but with a 539% return on investment, you’ll be rewarded for your hard work.
Designated landscaped areas to add dimension to a yard. To create your own perfectly landscaped area that homebuyers will gladly pay more for, you should keep the area simple. Choose perennial plants that are resistant to disease and drought. Add a mixture of heights, textures, and types of compatible plants for a cohesive look. A variety of plants that bloom during different seasons will add continuous color to your yard. Azaleas and tulips will bloom in spring followed by petunias and daylilies that bloom well into the hot summer months. If the area you are planting in is heavily shaded, hostas are a perfect plant to add green. Your final step is to add a fresh layer of mulch to the landscaped area. Mulch should be layered at about two inches thick to keep them looking fresh and tidy, reduce the need for watering, help ward off weeds, and add nutrients to the soil. While it will cost about $275 to spread about 3 cubic yards of fresh bark mulch it will add $1,749 to your house at resale.
Freshen Up The Front Porch
Front porches create the perfect focal point for a home. Start freshening up your front porch by painting your front door. A bold color such as red, bright yellow, teal, dark blue, or dark green will draw a buyer’s eye toward the entrance of your home. In addition to a fresh coat of paint, install new door hardware that matches the style of your home. While you are working around your front door, you should also add a smart doorbell. Buyers are becoming more interested in high-tech items and a smart doorbell not only provides a technology upgrade, but it also adds a layer of security that home buyers appreciate. Now that you have created a bright focal point with your front door, add a few accents around it. Large house numbers or an address plaque are particularly popular with home buyers right now as are classic appropriately sized doormats. In addition to a few accents, your front porch should be inviting. Add a couple of rocking chairs and a small table or a porch swing where homebuyers can envision themselves relaxing.
New Garage Door
While the majority of your time preparing to sell your home may be done inside or around your front porch, you don’t want to forget your garage. Homebuyers will be looking just as closely at your garage as they are at the front of your home. If the first thing they see is garage doors that are scratched, dented, off track, or noisy, they may not be as motivated to buy. Refresh your garage doors with a good scrubbing just as you would your front door. If it needs a new layer of paint you can use exterior paint that is the same color as your front door or go for a basic white garage door paint. If your garage door is damaged or really showing its age you should replace it. A new garage door costs around $1,200 however it has a 133% return on investment. While you are purchasing your new door you can splurge for one that is WiFi enabled so that you can open it from anywhere using a smartphone.
Add Exterior Lights
Buyers are looking at homes long after the sunsets. Make sure they can see the most beautiful parts of your home with a few strategically placed exterior lights. Lantern or flush mount sconces are popular additions around the front door and garage doors because they provide ample lighting for the majority of the front of your home. If you want to stay away from lighting that requires a professional, you can opt for solar powered lights. These can be placed on the ground along the driveway or walkway. They can also be added as solar hanging lanterns or spotlights around the side of the house and areas you would like to illuminate. Exterior lighting amplifies the most beautiful areas of your home and provides a safe and secure area for homebuyers in the evenings.
Curb appeal projects do not need to be overly complicated or expensive to add value to your home. With a fresh coat of paint, a trimmed lawn, a layer of fresh mulch, and a few brightly colored flowers your neatly manicured exterior will add beauty and value to your home.