Jan 20 2023

9 cost-effective ways to increase curb appeal

Paying attention to curb appeal can help your house stand out.

In a typical market, spring is usually seen as the busiest homebuying season. In fact, spring contains some of the “best” days to list a house, where you might see more homebuyer interest and may sell at a higher price.*

Last year’s realtor.com® report* found April 10 to 16 to be the sweet spot. Listing within these dates might draw up to 30-percent more viewings. Some sellers may choose to list even sooner—in January or February—so that their house will have less competition.

Focusing on your home’s curb appeal, or its exterior aesthetic, can also help to attract buyers. Strong curb appeal makes an impression on buyers arriving for a showing, as well as those browsing online. Sometimes, the smallest changes make the biggest difference, like repainting your front door** to help your home sell above asking price.

Boost curb appeal on a budget: 9 ways to draw attention to your house

Put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer, and try some of these top strategies:

1. Spruce up the yard.

curb appeal

If your house is the work of art, your yard is the frame. Take a few steps back and observe what you’re working with—is it clean and organized? Or is it overgrown and chaotic? Pull weeds, check that paving stones are in good shape, and add window boxes, hanging, or potted spring flowers. Landscaping often ranks among home reno projects with high ROI—meaning, a good-looking lawn might improve your home’s value when you sell.

2. Pressure wash the exterior.

The spooky season is long gone, and the last thing you want prospective buyers to see is dust and cobwebs on your house. If you don’t have a pressure washer—which can make cleaning your home’s exterior much easier—consider renting one from a local home improvement store.

3. Paint the front door.

Simple as it seems, refreshing the paint on your front door can go a long way in boosting curb appeal. Houses with black front doors may sell for as much as $6,449 over asking price.** Slate blue front doors are also popular picks, while pale pink and cement gray doors are known to be off-putting.

4. Make the entryway shine.

curb appeal

Great outdoor lighting is the way that your home says “welcome.” Are your porch lights working? It might be a good idea to update the fixture(s) if you have the budget for it. If nothing else, simply ensure that the porch is clean, swept, and free of cobwebs and debris.

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5. Update your fixtures.

Along with front porch lighting, take a moment to assess if other outdoor lights, door hinges, garage door handles, your mailbox, pathway lighting, and outdoor electrical fixtures could use an update. Sometimes, a good cleaning is enough to make these fixtures look like new again. Other times, a full replacement is needed.

6. Replace your house numbers.

New house numbers are another detail that makes a strong first impression. You can purchase numbers from a local hardware store in a color and style that complement your house. If you live in a neighborhood with an HOA, there may be guidelines dictating the size and placement of address numbers. You can also take a look at neighbors’ house numbers if you’re in need of inspiration.

7. Refresh outdoor furniture.

Minimalistic is usually the way to go when you want to improve the curb appeal of your house. Outdoor furniture should be selected and arranged in a way that a buyer can picture themselves spending time there. If you already have yard furniture, wash cushions, wipe it down, and replace anything that’s broken or stained. If you don’t have outdoor furniture, adding chairs or a bench to your front porch can make it more inviting.

8. Reinvent concrete.

Plain concrete might never be described as enticing. But there are ways to make driveways and walkways more attractive. Line a concrete driveway with bricks, stones, or freshly planted flowers. Or use a concrete stain in an earth tone to cover blemishes and revive outdoor walkways leading to your house.

9. Do a drive-by.

curb appeal

Once you’ve completed your projects, get in the car and drive past your house so you can look at it more objectively. You might also consider asking a friend to do this. Check for anything that sags or appears dingy. There may be missing roof tiles or clogged gutters that you’ve gotten used to seeing. You’d be surprised how often minor issues are overlooked, only to turn up in photographs for a home’s listing.

Boost your chances of getting into your new house faster

The timing of selling your home and buying a new one can be a delicate balance. You can help smooth the transition by pre-qualifying† for your next mortgage before you list your house. Pre-qualifying† early tells you how much house you can afford and prepares you to start hunting. It also prepares your loan to start processing once you make an offer on a house. Connect with a local Academy Loan Officer and pre-qualify†.

†Pre-qualification is not a commitment to lend. This is for informational and educational purposes only and not intended as an advertisement as defined by Regulation Z. Please consult a trusted professional as personal circumstances may vary. No specific results are guaranteed. MAC1023-1483591.