Listing a house for sale is more than just putting a sign out front. The outside of your home is as important as the inside — more so, in fact. The first thing potential buyers see is how well the property is cared for. With home values in Virginia always changing, especially when it comes to a buyer’s market, you’ll want your house to stand out. Curb appeal is everything.
Look around. Could the house use a few repairs? How do the gutters, roofing, siding, and windows look? Potential buyers will notice these things right away. Sprucing up the house doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. When it comes to basic maintenance chores, you’re better off either doing them yourself or hiring a contractor. While a few people look for a DIY fix-’er-upper, most homebuyers prefer to have the major work already done before they’ll sign that contract.
The lawn is one of the first things visitors see. Grass that is overgrown, full of weeds, or infested with insects is a turn-off to customers. Caring for your Virginia lawn, whether you do it yourself or hire a service, is part of the draw to bring people inside the house. Keep it mowed, edged, watered, fertilized and weed-free. Prune all shrubs and trees
Color and Charm
It will only cost you a few dollars to add some flowers to the front. Don’t have a flower bed? Place some container plants around the porch or entryway. Flowers bring color and fragrance to your home. You can add simple designs that draw a buyer’s eyes. Native flowers and plants in Virginia are hardy and environmentally sound. Greenery easily adapts to garden soils. Native blooms such as butterfly weed, columbine, and white turtlehead attract birds, butterflies, and wildlife. Window flower boxes, suncatchers, and ornamental lights sparkle during the day and evening. A well-landscaped yard can increase the value by as much as nine percent.
Paint and Stain
Faded, chipped paint and varnishes on doors, shutters, fences and trim tell your buyers the house is going to need some work. A few gallons of paint and a few hours of your time on a Saturday afternoon can make your house look like new again. Same thing for decks and railings. The garage and front doors could use a splash of color, too. If the condition of the mailbox is beyond a new paint job, buy a new one that meets U.S. Postal Service regulations.
After all these years, it’s time to power wash the driveway. Driveways and walkways are full of dirt and grime. Cleaning them improves the aesthetics of your property. Also, use a string trimmer to cut a nice, clean edge around all perimeters; the difference is meaningful.
If you have old, moldy outdoor carpeting, get rid of it. Place a welcome mat at the front door. Rocks and solar lights along the driveway’s edges are nice touches, too.
Replace house numbers on the front door with newer, larger ones — they don’t cost a lot of money, but they do add visual appeal. Old, broken, or rusted light fixtures need to go. You can buy inexpensive yet energy-efficient styles to brighten up the perimeter of the house.
If you’re selling your home, you’ll want buyers to know they’re getting a “ready to wear” property that won’t take a lot of upfront maintenance. Don’t rule out replacing the doors, windows, fence, or even the deck. Consider these upgrades as investments that will pay off come closing time. Who knows? You may like these upgrades so much, you decide to keep your home and enjoy it yourself!
Ashley Miller is a home decor and lifestyle writer who cures her HGTV obsession by refurbishing anything and everything she can get her hands on into something new.