With home-selling season in full swing, making a home look pretty is all-the-more important. Simple things, like pressure washing, can make a difference.

NEW YORK — When selling a home, there are plenty of things to increase the price tag. From deep cleans and renovations to staging and even baking bread during viewings, many value-boosting tips focus on the inside of the home.

However, the first thing a potential buyer will see is the outside of the property. As such, curb appeal is incredibly important and worth focusing on before listing a home. When a buyer is impressed before they even step through the door, the chances of them making an offer rocket.

So, what curb appeal ideas can be implemented to improve the chances of selling the home for the best price? Let’s take a look.

1. Begin by cleaning

Before you do anything else, give the outside of the home a deep clean. This simple job can transform the curb appeal with minimal costs. A pressure washer is your best friend at this point. Use it to blast dirt and grime away from:

  • Windows
  • Sidings
  • Gutters
  • Walls
  • Sidewalk
  • Driveway
  • Decking
  • Porch
  • Fences
  • Garage door
  • Front door

Just doing this will make a huge difference, especially if moss, algae or mold have built up anywhere. In the case of mold, use an anti-fungal spray to keep the spores at bay. Next, give the window glass a good clean, inside and out, to help the home sparkle even more.

Finally, clear away any debris, such as fallen leaves and branches, old plant pots, and any other clutter that is making the front yard look unkempt.

2. Don’t forget the roof

Homebuyers are very wary of purchasing a home with a faulty roof. If necessary, have a professional come over to take care of things like broken shingles, excess moss or algae growth and stain removal. Even if the roof is healthy, taking care of the aesthetics is worth paying for as it gives the buyer peace of mind.

3. Create inviting landscaping

With a clean slate, you can now see how to improve the yard and make it as inviting as possible. Overgrown grass and shrubs must be trimmed and pruned to tidy things up considerably. Besides mowing the grass, ensure it’s as weed-free as possible and try to fix up any patches.

Look for dead wood on the trees and shrubs and remove where necessary. Not only do these look bad, but a dead tree branch can be dangerous, too.

Next, think about adding some bright and inviting flowers and plants to the borders. If the soil is a little tired, adding a fresh layer of topsoil or mulch can work wonders to improve the appearance. Hanging and climbing plants can also look fabulous, adding pops of color to the walls and giving the home an attractive and cared-for appearance.

4. Freshen up with a coat of paint

Peeling, flaking or fading paint on the home’s exterior walls, windows, doors, gates and fences can suggest poor maintenance, even if the landscaping is stunning. Fortunately, a fresh coat or two will have them looking like new. If you plan to do it yourself, be sure to clean and prepare the surfaces before you paint them.

Scrape away any flaking paint, sand the surfaces, and fill any damaged areas with a suitable filler before you even think about opening the tin of paint. Take your time and use the correct type of paint for the job to ensure an attractive yet durable finish.

When choosing colors, avoid bold tones and aim for a more neutral, earthy palette instead.

5. Give the entrance the wow-factor

Having walked through the now gorgeous yard and admired the sparkling exterior of the home, it’s time to amaze potential buyers one more time with a stunning entrance. If the front door doesn’t look the part, it might be worth replacing it. Alternatively, either clean it up or give it a lick of paint to brighten it up. Unlike the rest of the house, you might choose a bolder color for the front door. This way, you draw the eye to the entrance.

Next, look at the smaller details, like the door handle, house number, and even the doorbell. Installing a smart doorbell can be a good idea, while shiny brass hardware looks great and will remain rust-free for years.

A new doormat is another good addition, though try to avoid those with quirky messages and stick to a classic design that’ll appeal to a broader array of people. If you have a porch, consider adding some furniture, perhaps some tasteful seating or storage.

6. Out with the old

Damaged garage doors look bad but can also put buyers off as it’s something else they’d need to deal with once they move in. If you can, it’s well worth replacing them before you sell. A new garage door will look great and be a joy to operate, allowing buyers to see the garage as a usable space rather than an inconvenience.

Likewise, get rid of any old or damaged fixtures or fittings and replace them with new ones. From bird feeders to fences and mailboxes to window shutters, get rid of them if they look shabby or don’t work.

7. Add exterior lighting

No matter how great the curb appeal is, if it can’t be seen when the sun sets, buyers may be reluctant to go in. Good exterior lighting should be functional in that it improves safety, as well as aesthetic, creating a warm and welcoming environment after dark.

It’s important not to go overboard, though. No one wants their yard to light up like a bonfire every time a cat walks across the drive. So, opt for warm, natural lighting tones. Solar lamps can be great for lining walkways and drives, while hardwired sconces and wall lights can be fantastic for the porch area.

Try to make sure that all the bulbs match rather than having an array of different types of light throughout the yard.

Is curb appeal worth investing in?

Many listing agents will advise you to spend a little time and money on improving the curb appeal, and for a good reason. Whether they mean to or not, most people do judge a book by its cover. This is especially true when it comes to house hunters.

If the home they’re prospecting looks run down and unmaintained outside, the buyer is likely to go through the door with a negative impression. This can make them more critical overall and less inclined to make an offer.

On the other hand, if their first impression of the home is positive, they’re likely to take that mindset into the rest of the house. As a result, there’s a higher chance of them making an offer, and they’ll likely be more inclined to offer more. In fact, some agents report that investing around $3,500 in the curb appeal can boost the sale price by almost $12,000, a return on investment of well over 200%.

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