How To Increase Your Home's Curb Appeal Before You Sell

Most homeowners understand the importance of fixing leaky faucets, putting on a fresh coat of paint in the living room, and installing new carpet before putting their house on the market, but what about your home’s exterior? Neglecting your home’s curb appeal could affect your bottom line when it comes time to sell.

The outside of a home is the first thing potential buyers see, so it stands to reason that paying special attention to your home’s curb appeal will go a long way in increasing its value and appeal to potential buyers.

In fact, according to a September 2019 study in The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics from researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington, the curb appeal of a property paired with that of surrounding neighbors may account for up to 7% of a home’s sale price, or up to 14% during “cold” residential markets.

During the study, about 400 photos were graded on a scale of 1-4 on curb appeal. Aspects such as trimmed shrubs, well-mown lawns, and colorful flowers were presented in some of the images. Sriram Villupuram, a senior author of the study, told REALTOR Magazine that blemishes such as broken pavement and overgrown grass were scored very low on curb appeal. Researchers found that the median house in the sample study sold for $299,000 and, based on curb appeal premiums, the increase in home value was between $20,390 and $24,219.

Want to increase your home’s curb appeal before you sell? Here are some ideas on how to get started:

  • Clean it up! When was the last time you gave your home a good washing? It’s likely been a while, and the positive results are almost instantaneous. Whether you use your own power washer, borrow one from a friend, or invest in a machine from your local hardware store, taking the time to perform this task will be well worth it. Make sure to power wash your driveway, patio surfaces, and sidewalk space as well.
  • Consider professional garden help. Many local garden centers offer consultation services and will come to your home or look at photos of your home and offer free advice on the types of plants that would work well in your space. From there, you can make the necessary changes on your own or hire a professional to give your lawn new life.
  • Roll on a fresh coat. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) calls a new coat of paint “a facelift for your home,” and advises against making a statement with your color choice. “If your home is a wildly different color from the other homes in your neighborhood, it could negatively affect a potential buyer’s perception of the home’s value,” the NAR says on its Houselogic website.

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