make snap judgments about your house, and buyers begin forming their
opinion of your house long before they go inside. Curb appeal, the
external attractiveness of your property when viewed from the street,
is critically important. Here are some tried-and-true ways to enhance
your house's curb appeal:
Painting your house's exterior before you put it on the market
gives the biggest bang for your fix-up buck - if you use colors
that conform with your neighborhood's decorating norm. Now isn't
the time to make a fashion statement! White, light grays, or soft
tans are safe choices for exterior walls. If your house doesn't
need a new paint job, at least touch up window frames, front shutters,
gutters and down spouts. Also, be sure to give your mailbox and
front door a fresh coat of paint.
A freshly mowed, neatly trimmed lawn gives your house a well-maintained
appearance. Don't leave toys, lawn equipment, or garden hoses
scattered around the yard. You can make your grass look extra
lush and green by fertilizing it in the appropriate season.
Sweep your sidewalks daily. Keep your walks free of snow and ice
in the winter.
Remove or replace any dead or dying trees, hedges, or shrubs and
prune anything that looks scraggly or overgrown. Cut back overgrown
shrubs that block windows and keep light from entering your house.
Filling flower beds with seasonal flowers is an inexpensive way
to add color and charm to property.
Be sure that all gutters and down-spouts are in place and clean.
Replace missing roof shingles and broken or cracked windows. Repair
cracks in your driveway and remove large oil stains. Replace or
repair broken stairs, torn window screens, broken or missing fence
slats, and defective doorknobs. Make sure that your front and
back doors, garage doors, and all windows open easily. Check exterior
lights to be certain that they're working properly.
Keep your windows spotless inside and out throughout the marketing
period. When you're not home, curious buyers attracted by the
For Sale sign will peek through the windows to size up your house.
Don't let their first impression be windows covered with cobwebs
and smeared with fingerprints.
or hide clutter: Clear everything you don't need out of the
garage. Friends and family who live nearby can be a great source
of temporary places to stash your excess stuff. If you can't clean
your garage out, at least keep the door closed to conceal the
mess from prying eyes. Don't have a fleet of cars, trucks, boats,
and campers cluttering up your driveway or parked in front of
You probably lack both the time and the desire to do all this prep
work yourself. If you can afford it, make your life easier by hiring
competent folks to help you with these chores. Your real estate
agent can probably refer you to people who specialize in this kind
Next Step: Key Interior Improvements
To Seller Services