Thursday, May 14, 2015

Don't Curb Your House's Appeal!

When selling your house the exterior very important – or even more so than the interior. 

Homes with great curb appeal command higher prices and take less time to sell Some people make the mistake of doing lavish renovations to the inside of the property thinking the buyer will fix the outside to their own taste. However, if the buyer is discouraged from entering, the sale is already lost!

Which projects will boost curb appeal the most?

Sellers are faced with so many decisions as to how to improve their properties. Let’s take a look at some of these and why they are important. While this article is an overall guide, I have tended to list in order of priority. Only you can know what your house needs most.

The Roof

The best place to start is with the roof.


In terms of structure, it also makes sense to start at the top. Any materials going up or down, ladders, work crews and possibly dumpsters will damage your yard no matter how careful your contractor tries to be. When you start with the roof first, you will avoid having to redo any other (lower) part of your planned renovations. Once the roof is taken care of, you can concentrate on work closer to the ground.

Informed buyers know to look at a roof first. It is also what an appraiser will probably start with. Make sure it isn’t leaking or sagging, that there are no missing or damaged shingles or tiles. If you have any issues, fix them right away. Remember: You can pay for roof repairs now, or pay for them later in a lower appraisal and offer.

If your roof is covered with debris from branches, leaves, dirt, or moss, find a qualified professional with the right tools and technique to clean it without damaging it. Don’t try cleaning your roof yourself!

The Gutters

While you are having you roof checked, make sure to include the gutters. Are they properly attached or do they have gaps or leaking joints? Are there any blockages or debris such as leaves? It is important to have this checked regularly both for the benefit of your house, and to show buyers that your property is well maintained.

The Façade


No matter if you have brick, stone, siding, or stucco, have your house power washed to remove pollution, dirt, mildew, or organic waste from the outside of your house.

If you are concerned that power washing will damage your paint, then it is probably time to refresh it any way! A good washing will help you find the areas that need painting.

Cleaning is always the first step of paint preparation. If your house does need painting, stick with the same color. Now is not the time to get creative. In addition, painting the same color will make any missed spots less obvious.

If your house has brick, make sure that it is in good condition. Any re-pointing should be done before the house goes up for sale and before any landscaping is done.

If you have siding, check that there is no damage or rot. Fix whatever is needed.

Stucco crumbling? Get it fixed.


Wash your windows inside and out, remove cobwebs, leaves and bugs.
A great way to get them streak free is to wipe up and down in the interior and side to side on the exterior (or the reverse – just stay consistent!). In this way, by the direction of any streak, you will be able to tell which side needs to be retouched.

Make sure that your screens or shades are in top shape. Replace any damaged netting (no patches or clear tape, please!) If you have missing or damaged frames, replace those too. Do not show your house with the odd window missing a screen or shade, it will make your house look poorly maintained.


Clean doors and the jambs to remove any dirt and dust. This is a good time to make sure that they shut properly and that the locks function easily and well. Clean and polish the hardware, or replace it. Check weather stripping for a proper seal.

If you have screen doors or security gates, make sure any netting is intact and tight. Nothing looks as sad as damaged and sagging netting. Don’t patch or cover any hole with tape! That is as unattractive as a run in a stocking! Go and get the frame recovered.

Don’t forget to check any back yard or RV gates and make sure they are clean and function well.

Once you have taken care of the basics, enhance your front door.  Paint it a great color, update door hardware or adding a new knocker. Place a fresh welcome mat. Make sure your mailbox looks new. It should not have any rust or dents. Check inside your mailbox to ensure it’s free of bulk mail. If your architecture permits it, place pots of flowering plants leading to your door.

Check that house numbers are in place and easily visible. Make sure they are not blocked by trees or porch railings. Ideally, make sure they will be illuminated in the evening.


The garage and driveway are often a big visual portion of the front of a house. Check the condition of the garage and driveway. Have any driveway cracks repaired or resurfaced, or replace any missing or damaged pavers. 

Remove any weeds from cracks. Wash the garage doors and make sure that they operate properly. If you have a dented or damaged panel, you can have it replaced without changing the whole door provided that the design is in stock.

Freshen up the garage door with a coat of paint, add some attractive lighting and flower boxes, if space permits.

Clear out as much of the inside of the garage as possible. You will have to do this when you sell, anyway, so make it inviting now. Sweep, mop and if there are any stains from automotive leaks, do your best to eliminate or minimize them.


Trees, Shrubs Plants and Lawns

Prune shrubs and trees to easily boost the curb appeal of any home. Replace damaged, sick or overgrown bushes with leafy plants and colorful annuals.

Care for grass and mulch flower beds. If you have a lawn, spring is a good time to reseed or add sod if it looks patchy. Weed and mulch flower beds with a natural mulch to help the soil retain moisture and give the beds a finished look. If you have a rock in your front yard, make sure it is weed free and that there are no bare patches.

Add plantings on the street side of your front yard. A fence or stone wall can be accented by planting perennials just outside it as well. The extra layer of foliage and color will soften the wall or fence and create a sense of depth, making your front yard appear larger.

Plant flowers with fragrance which can have a big impact on a buyer’s experience of walking up to your home. Consider fragrant roses, lilacs, honeysuckle, jasmine, lavender or even fresh herbs, like rosemary or mint. If that isn’t an option, place fresh cedar chips on flower beds.

Outdoor Living

Carve out space for front-yard living. 

Even a simple garden bench can make your front yard more appealing. If the style of your house permits, hang a porch swing or get a glider chair. 

Place some decorative cushions, accent tables and potted plants to complete the look. 

A large front yard might be a great place for adding outdoor seating area with sofas and chairs, and if permitted, a fire pit, or fireplace for chilly nights.

Consider adding a water feature so that buyers are welcomed by the sound of running water. This is especially helpful if your street tends to be noisy.


Make the most of night lighting. Make sure porch lights are clean inside and out, working well and have matching bubs. Check your exterior lighting from the street and see if it is inviting.  A single sconce porch light is sad and lonely - add at least one more to balance the door. An overhead fixture should give off enough light to welcome visitors. If not, find ways to add more light.

If you have a large yard or a very long path leading to your door, consider adding landscape or architectural lighting as well. It will make your house stand out at night in addition to improving the safety of your entry.

Whatever work you decide to do, remember that you are doing it to interest a buyer. Choices should reflect popular trends rather than personal taste. If you are not certain what to do, hire an architect, designer or home stager with experience on exteriors.

Perhaps after your review of your house you come to the decision that it would be best to sell FAST, then this can do this in one of two ways. It is possible to renovate, landscape, de-clutter and clean to put your refurbished house on the open market and hope the right buyer comes along quickly. The house can also be sold privately “as is” to resolve your situation immediately.

Next week I will share my moving checklist.

So thanks for reading my post. I'm so glad you're here! 

And I really look forward to getting into more great stuff in future posts -- so that you can 
Turn Your House To $OLD!

Feel free to ask me any questions through the contact info below. I would be very happy to help.

Linda  623-335-2662

Article Sources:

Lynda Bathory