Just how important is curb appeal? Real estate industry legend Barbara Corcoran has said, "Buyers decide in the first eight seconds of seeing a home if they're interested in buying it." What are buyers going to see in the first eight seconds after driving up to your place?
If you've walked around the perimeter of your house recently, you've probably seen at least a couple of issues that need to be addressed before you sell. And your plan probably depends on how much time you have available. If you're listing your house today and expect immediate interest, you may have to pick from a few quick tips to get it in the best shape you can. Have a little more time? You can make a real impact in improving the curb appeal so potential buyers will drive up and want to see more.
Everything just looks a little shabby
It may be time to bite the bullet and repaint the house, or, at least, address some peeling trim. If your windows, walkways, and ornamental details are looking drab, a power washer can help transform the area easily and inexpensively. This is a relatively easy DIY task and the rental will only cost you about $40 a day from Home Depot.
Your open house is today and your yard is looking pretty boring
You may not have time to do any new plantings, but that doesn't mean you can't make the yard look tidy and pretty. Fresh flowers in pots placed near your front door will bring the eye up from the street to your entry and give the impression that your home (and your yard) is well cared for. Add a new welcome mat to finish the look.
Your front door is janky
If you're looking at making a few smart updates before listing your home, don't ignore your front door. A new door can return between 75–100 percent of your investment, and it's a relatively low-cost project," said Houselogic, with a "national median cost of around $2,000 installed."
You have a last-minute showing and the landscaper hasn't done his thing in the yard yet
Get in the car, drive to Lowe's, and pack up the trunk with mulch. It's one of the easiest ways to transform your yard and make it look fresh and neat. Lawn and bushes a little overgrown? Nextdoor is a great resource for finding last-minute landscape help or, in a pinch, a neighborhood kid with some developing gardening skills and a need for pocket cash.
Get out the hose and spray those suckers away from sidewalks and walkways. Even if the hardscape is wet when the prospective buyers arrive, the area will look nice and clean. Now corral everyone in the house for some fire drill leave-bagging fun. An abundance of leaves in the yard can be a turnoff to those looking to buy as it may make them think the home is unkempt or that the yard is hard to take care of.
Your mailbox is…wow. How did you never notice that?
If it's old, worn, rusty, or has just seen better days, buyers will notice. This seemingly little thing can make them question the quality of your home. Thankfully, it's an easy fix that you can do yourself for almost no money. "It doesn't matter if you have a regular mailbox by the road or if you have a box mounted to your house, adding a new mailbox can add curb appeal. You can find a new mailbox starting around $20," said DIY Network. "When you install your mailbox, make sure that you are following the regulations that are set forth in the city that you live in. If you have a simple mailbox mounted on your house, this home improvement project should take less than an hour to complete. If you have a full-size mailbox at the road, plan for at least two hours or so to complete the project."
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