Let’s start with the exterior. Before your buyers even enter your house, they will make their first impressions based on the exterior of the home – your “curb appeal,” so to speak.
How’s your mailbox? Does it close? Does the flag work? If it’s in working order, a can of spray paint and some new stick-on or stencil numbers will work wonders! Remember to keep it neutral. Use black, white or silver spray paint for the box and black or white address numbers on the side of the box or post.
Speaking of numbers, to make your house easy for buyers to find, use the spray paint from the mailbox and the same stencil and spray your house number on the curb in front of your house. As an aside, this little addition will also make it easy for emergency crews to find your home in the event there’s a disaster and your house number is not visible because of damage.
Your home’s exterior should look clean. Painting the exterior of your home can be very costly and not always necessary. Sometimes, all your siding or brick needs is a good washing. Pressure washing your home’s exterior is a great way to get that fresh, newer look that buyers are looking for. Here’s a video from Lowe’s, explaining the do’s and don’t’s of power washing your siding or brick.
When you’re at Lowe’s renting your power washer, be sure to pick up a new welcome mat. You might already have one, however, it may be well used or have your family’s name on it. Try purchasing one with NO wording or a simple “Welcome.”
Every home should have a cheery porch light, either overhead or as a sconce on the wall next to your door. Be sure you use the brightest lightbulb your fixture can handle. You want to create a safe, bright feeling before your buyers even enter your home. If the light works fine but the color is a dated gold or just tarnished, you can always use a brown or black spray paint like this one from Rustoleum.
Be sure to sand the fixture first, if it’s rusted or tarnished, but also to give the paint a rough surface to which it can adhere.
How about the front door? Remember our theme – clean and neutral! While you made this house your home, did you make your front door a statement piece? While some homeowners may paint their front door a bright, non-neutral color for “pop,” your home may benefit from having a simple door color. Think about painting it a dark brown or black – something that coordinates with your home’s exterior color. If the paint is cracking or peeling, be sure to sand it well, first. If the hardware is tarnished, you may want to consider replacing it. Remove it before you sand and paint and purchase something in a dark color, like wrought iron or an aged bronze. Matching it with your porch light is nice and if you don’t replace your light, you can always spray paint it to match the new hardware.
Washing exterior windows is always a good idea, as water stains and dirt can be seen from the interior as well as the exterior. Wash your screens, as well.
During the warm months, plant a flat of flowers, preferably yellow, and be sure to keep your lawn mowed, preferably in a diagonal pattern. Get the edger out and give your lawn a clean edge on sidewalks and curbs. Trim the bushes to make them uniform. Adding a dark mulch to your flower beds and around your house will create definition and clean lines. During the winter months, be sure to keep your driveway and all sidewalks clear of snow and ice. Here’s a great de-icing product, safe for animals and children. It’s good to keep a container on hand to spread on walks before showings.
Most of these items can be completed in a day or two and will make the exterior of your home so inviting that buyers will be dying to get a look inside!
Stay tuned and Live Well.