Buying & Selling Houses

8 Curb Appeal Updates You Can Complete in a Weekend

Expertise: Personal Finance, Business Management
50 Articles Written
medium to large sized homes on neighborhood street with well manicured lawns

You already know that first impressions are important. Isn’t that why you dress well for meetings and have a firm handshake?

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But first impressions don’t just affect your relationships. A buyer’s first impression of your property can make a serious impact on whether or not they make an offer—and what type of offer they make.

Improve your property’s first impression by turning your focus to its curb appeal. Curb appeal can skyrocket a home’s value and get buyers bidding before they walk in the door. And the best part: boosting curb appeal may only require a quick phone call, paint job, or a few hours of your time.

Invest some money this weekend on updating your property’s curb appeal in order to make a better first impression.

8 Ways to Improve Your Property’s Curb Appeal

1. Mow the Lawn

Landscaping is a crucial part of curb appeal. A landscaped property is likely to go for up to 12 percent more than one that isn’t.

You don’t need to install a Roman fountain to have an impressive lawn. A simple, well-cut lawn pays off. Experts estimate that paying for standard lawn care services will return at least 200 percent of the cost. And it doesn’t require more than a phone call and a few hours of someone else’s work.

Even if you just trim the bushes and mow the lawn, buyers will be more impressed with the overall property.

Related: Landscaping Trends That Increase the Value of Your Home

2. Paint the Door(s)

Doorways hold sentimental value. We’ve all seen those posters with “doorways around the world.” Would the front door on your property make the cut?

If not, give the front door a fresh paint job. Spruce it up with a bright color that invites buyers to come in and take a look around. Painting the front door may also make your home more memorable to buyers who are looking at multiple properties.

While you’re at it, take a look at the garage door. Many homeowners enter their house through the garage, so make it look inviting. Experts say that a garage door accounts for 40 percent of a home’s curb appeal. A quick wash or paint job will do wonders.

Hedge Trimmer Works. Gardener with Gasoline Hedge Trimmer Shaping Wall of Thujas

3. Clean the Windows

You don’t have to replace everything on the front porch—just a quick clean is sufficient. Spray down all of the windows facing the street and make any necessary repairs.

Ripped screens, missing shutters, and dirty windows are all projects that new homebuyers don’t want to take on after they close.

4. Buy Unique House Numbers

No one will visit your open house if they can’t find your open house.

Take a look at your property. Are the numbers prominent and easy to see from the road?

If the answer is no, a fresh set of numbers can solve the problem and give the house more personality. It’s another quick fix that will make the house more memorable. Don’t just leave the staging to the inside!

5. Clean Out the Gutters

Buyers aren’t just looking at what’s directly in front of them. If they look up and see clogged gutters and a dirty roof, they might walk back to their car. When a house immediately needs maintenance, it’s not exactly move-in friendly.

Clean the gutters yourself or hire someone to service the roof and top of the house. A quick run with the pressure washer won’t take long, but it will save buyers the stress of thinking about clogged gutters when they look at your property.

6. Decorate

Buyers want to see themselves living or working in your property. They want to see a Christmas tree lit up with decorations or a front porch ready to hand out Halloween candy to the neighbors.

Decorations are a great way to stage a property and make a memorable first impression.

7. Light Up the Driveway

When buyers pull into their driveway after a long day at work, what will they see: a dark house or an inviting home?

A few lights up the driveway can guide a buyer’s car onto the property at the end of a long day. Proper lighting also makes the property safer for families or elderly buyers.

Related: Want to Sell Your Home Fast—for the Most Money? Do This

8. Stage the Porch

The front porch isn’t the hottest spot for entertaining, but it can provide a nice space for a quiet evening with a cup of tea. Stage the front porch to show buyers just how relaxing life will be when they move in.

A nice porch swing and/or table and chairs will help shape the personality of the house and offer more seating for open houses and showings.

The Bottom Line

These aren’t extraordinary fixes—but they can make a big impact on the overall impression buyers get when they first look at your property. Take the time to invest in your home’s curb appeal, and you’ll surely invite more buyers to pop inside (and eventually make a bid).

Do you have any curb appeal tips to add to this list?

Share them with a comment below.

Scott Royal Smith is an asset protection attorney and long-time real estate investor. His law firm, Royal Legal Solutions, helps thousands of real esta...
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    Paul Hemming Flipper/Rehabber from Tacoma, WA
    Replied 30 days ago
    Excellent articles. I have been doing this for almost 30 years and have used most of your suggestions but a couple of your ideas I have not. I certainly will in the future. Thanks
    Karl B. Rental Property Investor from Los Angeles, CA
    Replied 29 days ago
    Painting the door makes a huge difference. I have a multi-family where I painted the door on the front porch a darkish green (from bleh white) and it looks so much better! It gives the house some character and stands out.
    David Bearden Realtor from Georgia
    Replied 27 days ago
    Colorful flowers really add to the appeal: especially if the color scheme is dark or on a covered porch.