4 Tips to Improve Your Curb Appeal

When someone comes to visit your house, their first impression of your home is made within seven seconds of their arrival. And this impression is not just limited to the house, it becomes a reflection on you as well.


While it’s nice to impress anyone who comes to visit, your home must make a good impact right away if you are trying to sell it. Potential buyers may not realize it themselves, but deciding to buy is heavily influenced by a home’s curb appeal. Here are a few steps you can take to make sure your home makes its best first impression.

1.Tidy Up the Landscaping

You don’t have to make it a showpiece, but you don’t want a prospective buyer to get the image of a horror movie house stuck in their heads either. No matter how well kept the interior is, you don’t want them thinking of your home that way when they’re in the real estate agent’s office reviewing their options.


At the very least, clean up the dead leaves and other debris, get rid of any weeds and make sure the lawn is mowed. If you want to take it a bit further, plant some flowers or put a nice edging around the plants and bushes. Do the best you can to shout “welcome home!”

2. Get a Power Wash

After that first look at the foliage, all eyes will naturally move up to the house itself. Here, you want to think of Cinderella. The one at the ball, not the one who was a scullery maid for her step-mother.


A power wash of the exterior siding, windows, and roof can give your home a bright shiny new look. It can get rid of moss growing on siding and mold on the roof. Of course, it can also highlight some imperfections that need a good touch up from you. Look for the following things after a good cleaning.

  • Peeling paint on window sills
  • Missing roof shingles
  • Missing or damaged pieces of siding
  • Cracked window glass

Think of yourself in the shoes of someone shopping for a new place to live. Think of the things you would look for and make a checklist and fill it out for your home.


3. Do Those Touch-ups

The next step, of course, is to fix those problems. Call a glazier if you see any cracked glass in the windows or doors; scrape off any peeling paint and repair it; tuckpoint any damaged masonry; and so forth. Unfortunately, the typical buyer isn’t going to give you any “bonus points” (read, more money) for it because they expect that to be the norm, but they will dock you on their offers for any perceived problems. And, that deduction will be more than the cost to do the repairs.


With that in mind, when it comes to any major items like roof or foundation repairs, it’s best to get a professional’s opinion. Talk it over with your real estate agent, or hire a real estate appraiser. They should be able to give you some guidance on whether the advantage to repair will outweigh the cost. You’ll also want to consult your bank account, that might give you even better advice.


4. Don’t Forget the Driveway and Sidewalks

Don’t neglect the pavement either. Make sure any concrete or bricks you walk or drive on look good. Power wash them too and fill in any cracks or gaps. Level out any difference between sections of the sidewalks. Tripping and falling are unlikely to improve a buyer’s opinion of your property. Especially, if an injury is involved. Every time they have to scratch beneath a cast will be a vivid reminder.


The Bottom Line

Research shows that it takes people just seven seconds to make an initial judgment and that even if shown evidence to the contrary, more often than not that is both the first and last impression they will have. So, whether you’re selling your home or just inviting over new friends, follow these tips above because the adage is true “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”