Did you know real estate experts frequently cite curb appeal as a top factor in selling a home? If your home lacks curb appeal, many prospective buyers will simply cross it off their list without stepping through the door or they may try to lowball you on your asking price. Boosting curb appeal doesn’t need to cost a lot of money, but the exterior of your home definitely deserves attention before you put your home up for sale.
1. Replace The Front Door
Did you know replacing the front door offers one of the highest returns on investment of all home improvement projects? It’s also one of the best ways to make an impact with potential buyers and give your home better curb appeal. According to the Remodeling Impact Report from NAR, upgrading to a new steel entry door will cost about $2,000 with a 75% return on investment.
Remember that your front entry is the focal point of your home’s curb appeal so it definitely deserves attention, even if you can’t invest in a new door. As an alternative, consider a fresh coat of paint on your door, installing a pediment (or decorative frame above the door), or polishing or replacing the door hardware.
2. Take Care Of The Roof
The roof’s condition is one of the first things potential buyers and home appraisers will notice and question. Missing, curled, or damaged shingles will detract from your home’s curb appeal and value.
You have a few options if your roof has seen better days; you can pay for roof repairs to replace missing shingles and improve the appearance and condition of the roof, replace the roof, or pay for the condition of your roof with a lower appraisal and sales price. If you decide not to replace or fix the roof and want the buyer to handle it, at the very least make sure you get estimates so you know how much it will cost during negotiations.
If your roof simply has algae or streaks, you can hire a professional to clean the roof for $400 to $600, according to Angie’s List.
3. Manicure The Lawn And Trees
An overgrown lawn filled with weeds definitely won’t attract buyers. Make sure your lawn is well-manicured and edged. Replace any overgrown shrubs and bushes with colorful annuals and leafy plants to add color and interest. Add fresh bark mulch to the flowerbeds with crisp edges. Your lawn should be kept green with plenty of waterings and fertilizer.
4. Power Wash The Exterior
The exterior of your home likely has years of built-up grime, dirt, and debris and your siding may not even be close to its original color. The good news is you don’t need to invest in new siding; power washing the exterior of your home is a cost-effective solution to restore the appearance of your siding and make your home appear well cared for.
You can rent a power washer if you feel comfortable doing the job yourself, but beware: it can be easy to damage the siding or cause water damage to your home if you apply too much pressure, stand too close to the house, or point the stream upward. You can be certain that power washing the exterior of your home will add value and curb appeal whether it’s for sale by owner or you’re listing with an agent. It’s possible to add up to $15,000 to your sales price by pressure washing, according to the National Association of Realtors.
While you’re cleaning the siding, make sure you wash the windows — just not with the power washer! Take off the window screens and use a soft brush, garden hose, and general cleaner to carefully clean the screens. Use a solution of one part white vinegar and one part water plus a couple drops of dishwashing liquid to clean the windows, wiping them down with newspaper to prevent streaks.
5. Address Maintenance
Finally, don’t greet buyers with signs of deferred maintenance. Address maintenance issues that detract from your home’s appearance because they can decrease your home’s value by around 10%. Common chores you may need to address include:
- Straightening or reattaching shutters
- Resealing cracked asphalt
- Repointing bricks missing mortar
- Reattaching sagging gutters
- Fixing peeling paint
Improving the curb appeal of your home can cost nothing more than a weekend of hard work and a fresh coat of paint, or you may need to invest several hundred into bringing your home up to snuff with the neighborhood. Whatever you do, don’t neglect how your home looks on the outside as you get ready to list.