4 Steps to Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

If you’re hoping to sell your home in the near future, you’ve probably been running around the interior, applying fresh coats of paint and steaming the carpets. But what about the exterior — the first thing a potential buyer would see when they show up for a tour?

Fueled by high demand, the housing market is hot this year. Rents are on the rise all across the country. For example, prices for popular Denver apartments are at record highs, while the one-bedroom units in Los Angeles are creeping up to top-5 national levels.

Home sales have risen quite a bit lately, despite a purported short supply. Even in a buyer’s market, it’s crucial to make your home stand out among the rest to ensure you get top dollar for your years of investment.

There are a few simple changes you can make to your home’s exterior to give it years of new life and enhanced curb appeal without dropping thousands. Here are 4 steps to improve your home’s curb appeal:

Step 1: Refresh Your Front Door

First things first: Pretend you’re a potential buyer showing up to tour the property. Is your front door welcoming? Or does it look like it holds a decade of future repairs and refurbishments? Clean and repaint your front door to make a good impression, and fix any tears that might be in the screen. If the hardware is looking a little worn, consider buying a new lock and knob set to make the door feel brand-new again.

Step 2: Wash or Repaint Siding and Windows

This simple measure is largely overlooked. Many homes these days have vinyl siding, which is easy to wash and never requires painting. Pressure washers are affordable to rent and can make an enormous impact on the appearance of your siding in just an afternoon. As an added bonus, you can use it to clean your sidewalks and driveway and remove years of salt and dirt. But be warned: Pressure washers can be very dangerous to use if you’re not properly trained or following the appropriate safety measures. If you have wood siding, it might be wise to repaint the exterior to enhance the value of your home.

Step 3: Replace Exterior Accessories & Lighting

If you splurge for a new handle and lock for your front door, make sure it still matches the other accessories surrounding the entrance — the doorbell, lighting fixtures, house numbers, and mailbox. All of those home features are affordable to replace, and the switch from tarnished, patchy gold-tone to brushed steel or bronze will instantly give your home a new look and feel.

Step 4: Add Greenery

Home-seekers are going to have their own visions for landscaping, so don’t spend a lot of time and money making significant changes or planting trees that the new owner might very well yank out. Instead, try potted plants and add life and greenery to a porch, entryway, or window.

Selling your home can be a long, arduous process. And finding buyers with adequate financing — especially first-time buyers eager to make a deal — can be difficult in certain markets. But by being proactive and working to make your home as beautiful as it can be, you can significantly shorten your home’s time on the market and increase the purchase price. In a market like Los Angeles, a little work can go a long way.