Real estate professionals know that curb appeal is crucial when it comes to selling a house. In fact, the 2010-2011 Remodeling Cost vs Value Report found that REALTORS® rated exterior projects among the most cost-effective home improvement projects. Between listing photos and neighborhood tours, potential buyers are quick to judge a book by its cover.
But getting the exterior of a house listing-ready doesn’t always require a major overhaul. Sometimes one good weekend is all it takes. Here we’ve compiled a quick checklist of tasks that are sure to increase a home’s curb appeal in less than 48 hours. Be sure to share this one with your sellers.
Mow the lawn.
Consistently. Not just once. Prospective buyers don’t just drive by on weekends. This is one of the easiest ways to make a home look like it’s being properly cared for. And, if you do it yourself, you get a free workout to boot! Est time: 30 min/wk
Wash the windows.
All of them, inside and outside, until they sparkle in the sun and confuse the birds from the Windex commercials. Est time: 1-2 hours
Stash the schtuff.
Ladders, bicycles, plastic play castles, and whatever else you have sitting out that isn’t aesthetically pleasing should be stashed in your garage or shed. Est time: 30 min or less
Mind the door.
People are attracted to a front door that stands out. At bare minimum, it should at least be clean. Wash any dust off the ledges and consider updating dated brass fixtures. If you have a little more time, consider giving it a fresh coat of paint – just make sure you pick a color that compliments the existing palette. Est time: 15 minutes to 1 full day
Pretty up the porch.
This should be in good shape since you’ve already stashed all the random stuff. Now give it a sweep and think about adding a few welcoming elements. A colorful potted plant is inexpensive eye candy. In the mood for a grand gesture? Try a porch swing, Adirondack chairs or decorative bench. Est time: 30 min or more
Take pride in your address.
Potential buyers like to admire their possible new address. Polish or put up some new house numbers. If your address is painted on the curb, brighten it up with a fresh coat. Est time: 1 hour or less
Light it up.
Set outdoor lights on a timer to make sure your home looks pretty around the clock. Replace bulbs and make sure any lighting highlights the best features of the property. No lighting? No problem. Add easy solar stake lights near the entrance and let indoor lights shine out through your recently-cleaned windows. Est time: 30 min
Spend $15 and buy a new welcome mat. You can probably even take it with you when you go. Est time: 10 min
And that’s it. Now your listing (aka your client’s home) should look as pretty as a picture and move in ready – at least from the street!
Recommended reading: Once you’ve got an outside that practically sells itself, spruce up the inside with DIY Home Staging in 8 Easy Steps.