Many real estate experts assert that homebuyers know whether or not they want a house within seven seconds of opening the front door. That means your house’s front yard and entryway absolutely must make a profound impression if you want your home to sell high and fast.
Curb appeal is loudly touted as a home’s most important means of charm, but designers often have myriad conflicting suggestions for homeowners looking to make a change to their house exteriors. To avoid spending thousands on unnecessary outdoor remodels, stick to these seven obvious and not-so-obvious ways to boost your home’s curb appeal.
Obvious: Garden and Landscaping
Few homebuyers are looking to snatch up a house whose front yard is plagued by weeds, dying trees, and patchy grass. The look of your yard is of utmost importance. The least you can do is to make sure the current plants are living and thriving, but you can even improve the landscaping by adding bright colors from seasonal flowers. However, you should keep in mind that overplanting is as much a problem as the opposite; buyers should be able to see your home from the curb.
Symmetry is naturally pleasing to the eye. In fact, most psychology research has found that people are significantly more attracted to human faces with a high degree of left-right symmetry. You can use the same principle to make your house look more appealing from the street.
Using your front door as the dividing line, make sure that any light fixtures or potted plants you place on one side are reflected on the other. You can extend the symmetry as far into the front yard as you like: balance planters, hedges, trees, and more to create an especially cultivated look.
Obvious: New Paint
Home experts are divided about how much time should pass between exterior paint jobs, with some saying that the event should occur every four to six years, while others claim a superior application should grant you 15 years or more. Still, no matter what, if you are preparing to put your house on the market, you should absolutely repaint your home’s exterior. Almost any onlooker can tell the difference between a freshly painted house and one that hasn’t seen a painting (let alone a washing) in a handful of years, and you don’t want to give potential buyers any reason to be disconcerted about the state of your home.
It may seem like an innocuous detail, but the mailbox is one of the most important features of your front yard. Like it or not, your mailbox reflects you and your home’s personalities, which is to say that buyers can learn quite a bit from the look of your mailbox. Your mailbox should mirror the style of your home as closely as possible. In most cases, you can spruce up your mailbox yourself with a can of paint or some stone, but some homeowners like to go a step further and customize their mailboxes in novel and unforgettable ways. Just don’t make yours too outlandish.
Obvious: Gutters and Downspouts
True, few homebuyers are attracted to a home due to its gorgeous gutter system, but countless numbers of buyers are dissuaded from bidding because of gutters and downspouts that are peeling, rusted, clogged, or otherwise neglected. If your gutter system is still in fairly good shape, you should make sure to keep it sparkling while you show your house. However, most homeowners would do well to gut their gutter system completely in favor of newer and shinier hardware.
Not-So-Obvious: Outdoor Art
Any decorative item you use indoors has an outdoor counterpart, and art is no different. Weather-proof outdoor art is an excellent addition to your front and back yards, and it can make your home memorable and unique. You may consider adding the following pieces of art to increase your curb appeal:
- Metal cutout
- Stone sculpture
- Wind chimes
Though an overwhelming majority of homebuyers will never see potential properties after the sun goes down, you should still consider adding plenty of outdoor lighting to your entryway and front yard. Yard lights can be charming when properly placed, but more importantly, lights add a feeling of safety and security to a home. What’s more, plenty of outside light fixtures are powered by solar panels, so you don’t have to worry about rewiring your front yard to add these features.