How to Improve Curb Appeal

How to Improve Curb Appeal

Home Selling Advice to Help You Attract Potential Buyers

A large percentage of home buyers decide whether or not to look inside a house or take it seriously based on its curb appeal—the view they see when they drive by or arrive for a showing. You can help make sure they want to come inside your house by spending some time working on its exterior appearance.

It's difficult to look at our own house in the same way that potential home buyers do, because when we become accustomed to the way something looks and functions, we can't see its faults. Decide right now to stop thinking of the property as a home. It's a house—a commodity you want to sell for the highest dollar possible.

Curb Appeal Exercise

The next time you come home, stop across the street or far enough down the driveway to get a good view of the house and its surroundings.

  1. What is your first impression of the house and yard area?
  2. What are the best exterior features of the house or lot? How can you enhance them?
  3. What are the worst exterior features of the house or lot? How can you minimize or improve them?

Park where a potential buyer would and walk towards the house, looking around you as if it were your first visit. Is the approach clean and tidy? What could you do to make it more attractive?

Take photos of the home's exterior. If you have a digital camera, view the color versions first, then remove the color and look at it in black and white, because it's easier to see problems when color isn't around to affect our senses.

Make a list of the problem areas you discovered. Tackle clean up and repair chores first, then put some time into projects that make the grounds more attractive.

  • Kill mold and mildew on the house, sidewalks, roof, or driveway.
  • Stow away unnecessary garden implements and tools.
  • Clean windows and gutters.
  • Pressure wash dirty siding and dingy decks.
  • Edge sidewalks and remove vegetation growing between concrete or bricks.
  • Mow the lawn. Get rid of weeds.
  • Rake and dispose of leaves, even if your lot is wooded.
  • Trim tree limbs that are near or touching the home's roof.

Don't Forget the Rear View

Buyers doing a drive by will try their best to see your back yard. If it's visible from another street or from someone's driveway, include it in your curb appeal efforts.

Evening Curb Appeal

Do your curb appeal exercise again at dusk, because it isn't unusual for potential buyers to drive by houses in the evening.

One quick way to improve evening curb appeal is with lighting:

  • String low voltage lighting along your driveway, sidewalks, and near important landscaping elements.
  • Add a decorative street lamp or an attractive light fixture to a front porch.
  • Make sure lighting that's visible through front doors and windows enhances the home's appearance.

Landscaping Decisions

There are times that adding elements to your landscaping can improve curb appeal, but there are other times when removing something is even more effective.

For example, there was a listing for a large brick house with large white columns. Tall evergreens, planted in front of each column, had grown taller than the roof. They obscured the columns and windows and made it difficult to see the front of the house.

Most buyers cannot visualize changes, and often won't take a second look at a house if the first look doesn't appeal to them. Home buyers who can visualize changes, and are prepared to make them, expect you to reduce the price of the house to compensate for the work they plan to do.

A Few Curb Appeal Tips

  • If you can budget it, a fresh paint job does wonders for a dingy house. Drive around your town to find color schemes that are appealing.
  • Install a more attractive front door, maybe something with leaded glass inserts.
  • If you can't justify the cost of a new door, consider replacing plain doorknob hardware with something more attractive.
  • If new hardware is beyond your budget, repaint or stain the door and polish the hardware?

If you brainstorm, you'll find that there's a solution to most problems—one that lets you stay within your budget. The trick is to find the areas where improvements are needed, then work on them as best you can.

Thank you for visiting today. If this is your first visit, take your time and look around. I have plenty of information and resources available to you. If you are a return visitor, thank you. I would love to hear from you and tell you how I can serve all your real estate needs.

Laurie Williams
Remax Properties of the Summit
220 S Main St.
PO Box 4600
Breckenridge, CO 80424
Phone: 970-485-3994
Email: laurie@SummitCountySkiProperty.com
“Watch Laurie’s TV interview with RE/MAX Founder, Dave Liniger”  http://bit.ly/XL5WQo
agent photo

Testimonials Page

We recently contracted with Laurie Williams to market our condo in Frisco, Colorado. My wife and I have been totally pleased and satisfied with both our friendly relationship and her professional talent. Our condo sold in record time for a full price offer. All the complexity of marketing and selling were handled expertly and relieved us of the usual headaches. We strongly endorse Laurie Williams, Re/Max Properties of the Summit, as the best realtor in Summit County. Larry of NC
Just wanted to pass on how pleased we are when looking back at how things worked out for us with the Ensign property. I don’t think we could have found a better place for us and we fully recognize how lucky we were to be working with you, and at the perfect time. Thank you John and Karen Woods
Patient, Persistent and Professional....That would be the top three words I would use for our experience working with Laurie Williams at Remax (Breckenridge). Lots happened between our first house hunting tour and now. All the while Laurie stayed in touch, kept us apprised of opportunities, and even showed us some more houses during holiday visits. She kept looking for a deal that would meet our growing family needs. We purchased a home that we expect to make lifelong memories in. Laurie was a great advocate for us as we finalized the transaction long distance, and finally closed just a week ago.....on our 31st wedding anniversary. Through the patience to stay with us, the persistence to keep us informed and the professionalism to negotiate, finalize and close the deal, we are now proud owners in Breckenridge. Thanks to the team for the support. Looking forward to the future. Rich and Jani Crawford
"Laurie did a wonderful job staging and selling my condo in Breckenridge. She opened up the space and added much needed accents. We received an offer the first day on the market, and had a backup offer soon after. Laurie has integrity. She could have stopped at the first contract, but she continued to manage 3 interested parties to get us the backup offer. And we closed on the first contract!" Alice Landoch
View All

Thank you for visiting today. If this is your first visit, take your time and look around. I have plenty of information and resources available to you. If you are a return visitor, thank you. I would love to hear from you and tell you how I can serve all your real estate needs.