How important is curb appeal? Very.

Posted on Sunday, April 11th, 2010 at 9:39am.

Whether potential buyers are driving around scoping out “For Sale” signs, or flipping through listing photos online, curb appeal is everything. It’s the difference between “I want to look at this house, it might be the one” and “No thanks, blah.”

 Most online listings feature the exterior view as the main photo – so it doesn’t matter if you just installed a Million Dollar kitchen or a Master Suite to die for – if the front of the place isn’t impressive, you are losing the majority of your audience before they even think about unlocking the door or clicking the link for more photos or information.

 Here our my favorite quick tips that make a huge difference with very little time or money invested:

  • If the storm door is ugly or unnecessary, remove it. Nothing is worse than outdated wrought iron – it gives the impression that the neighborhood is unsafe, and it just looks awful.
  • Paint the front door a bright, cheerful color & replace the hardware. It should say “Welcome home” not “Go away”
  • Paint the porch. Whether it’s made of wood or concrete, wrap-around or a simple step, it needs to look well-maintained, fresh, and clean. 
  • Paint the trim. Even if you can’t afford to paint the whole place, a modern and crisp trim color will make not only home-shoppers but the neighbors stop and take a look.
  • Replace the mailbox and house numbers.
  • Hit the garden center. If you don’t have various heights of plants and trees in your landscaping, place a few pots filled with both leafy trees and colorful flowers around the stoop for a professionally landscaped look without the digging.
  • Mulch. Spread a thick layer of fresh mulch over anything that looks less than perfect. It’s cheap and earth-friendly – and a lot lighter than rock.
  • Stage a sitting area out front. Community ranks high with today’s homebuyers, and even builders of new construction are adding friendly front porches to their plans. Even if it’s just a couple of adirondack chairs or a little cafe table, it’s a good idea to show buyers that they can hang out and get  to know the neighbors!

And finally, are the homes around yours bringing your value down? It might be worth offering to spend an afternoon helping your neighbors improve their curb appeal as well.

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