Often, when someone decides to sell their house, they get so caught up on interior projects or shopping for the new home that they neglect one of the most important aspects of selling.
The view from the street.
A stunning 63 percent of homebuyers will drive by a house after seeing one they like online, according to the National Association of Realtors. And that’s why you need to make sure that those folks get a little “wow” when they swing by. Take a little time to assess and optimize your property’s curb appeal.
Here are five of the easiest and cheapest quick-hits.
Tidy up the landscaping
When it comes to vegetation, less can mean more. So edge the sidewalks and other walkways. Trim those low-hanging oak branches and thin out those shrubs near the foundation. Improvements to beds and borders are statistically the most important curb-appeal upgrade you can make.
All of this will help give shoppers a positive experience on a drive-by, and it will lead more eyeballs to what you’re actually selling — the house. The less you can make a potential buyer imagine the possibilities hiding behind all that foliage and actually see them, the better.
There’s another advantage, too. Cleaning up the landscaping may also point out important larger projects you need to undertake to get the most money for your house. Does your place really need a new paint job? Do the windows need replacement? Does that wooden deck need rejuvenation?
One caveat before you break out the chainsaw or hedge trimmers: City codes, homeowners covenants and historic district restrictions may regulate what you can do with trees and other landscaping in your front yard. Do your homework with whatever authorities have a say.
Plants on the ground
Or the porch. Or under the windows.
Now that you’ve got those eyes on your house, surprise them with a little splash of color from flowers or vibrant potted plants in the right places.
Flower boxes around handrails or windows are a great long-term option. Folks who have even a little bit of a DIY ethos can manage to build them as a weekend project with a little cedar, some screws and just three tools. But an even better strategy for the seller may be to put down an array of potted plants on the porch, because you can take them with you to your new house after you’ve reeled in a buyer.
Mail it in
There’s a part of your home’s exterior that you visit six days a week but probably never think about.
That’s right: The mailbox. And whether yours is on the curb or wall-mounted on the porch, you can help get a speedy delivery … of a sales contract, by punching up the volume on your mailbox.
A bed or flowers or perennial herbs like rosemary is an easy addition for curbside boxes. Consider a paint upgrade with a coordinating color from your house’s pallette for the box itself, or invest in the timeless beauty of a copper box.
“Nothing will put a bigger smile on your face when you’re pulling into the driveway,” writes Country Living, and the same is true for people who are just pulling in for a few minutes to car-window shop. Check out the magazine’s great collection of ideas for dressing up mailboxes.
What’s your number?
Is your craftsman bungalow mired with a generic house number from a big-box store like Home Depot? Or, even worse, does your house not even have an obvious number on it (which, by the way, can be dangerous in the event of an emergency)?
Consider going fashion forward with that number, making it a feature instead of a blasé requirement.
Modern house styles tend to have the most fun with numbers, but traditional homes should also take advantage of the digits as a feature. It’s easy, and fairly cheap, to suss out wrought-iron numbers in a variety of styles that will complement your home’s era. And for Spanish-style houses or beach cottages, your choices broaden to ceramic tile.
When you’ve found the style or numbers you like, consider going big with them — or maybe not even putting them on the house proper. These DIY’ers created an adorable milk-can version for their home.
The door key
We don’t want to belabor a point we’ve already talked about in more detail, but in case you missed it, don’t forget about the front door. It’s the one thing every shopper is guaranteed to look at, and the one thing you hope they’ll eventually walk through.
Think of the front door as a little bit of canvas. It’s a great place to add a lovely accent or a jarring, beautiful contrast to the other colors on your hoose.
These quick punch-ups can really help reel in customers. And if you need help making these decisions, or getting your home on the market, please reach out to Carter & Associates for your full-service real estate needs.