First impressions mean a lot, whether you’re meeting someone new or looking for a house to buy. And, if you’re selling your home, making sure prospective buyers are getting the best first impression can make a big difference – not only in how quickly your house sells, but for how much.
In real estate lingo, first impressions hinge on “curb appeal,” the attractiveness of the outside of a home from the street. Homes with great curb appeal sell for an average of 7% more1 than comparable properties that lack exterior charm, according to the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics.
Putting effort into increasing your house’s curb appeal before selling it will pay off.
Focus on upgrades that make the most impact
A clean home, with freshly-washed siding and windows, is a basic necessity. Beyond that, focus primarily on what buyers notice first when driving up to a house – the landscape and entryway. But they’re also looking for usable outdoor space, so if you have it, you should showcase it.
Here are three of the best “bang for your buck” projects you can invest in before listing.
1. Fresh paint – A front door in a vibrant red or energizing yellow color is an instant attention getter, and all it costs is a can of paint to DIY. You could go further with freshly-painted shutters, and even siding.
Estimated cost: $100 (paint and materials to DIY) – $5,000+ (professional painters for the entire house)
2. Landscaping – Clean up overgrown beds in front of the house and along pathways. Add colorful annuals and mulch in the flower beds, and have the trees and bushes trimmed – especially if they’re blocking windows.
Estimated cost: $0 (DIY cleaning) – $2,000+ (professional arborist/landscaper services)
3. Outdoor living space – After the last two years, outdoor spaces like front porches and back decks that serve as everyday retreats are more desirable than ever. A front porch, patio, or seating area should be clean and inviting, with plants and furnishings (bonus points for a porch swing!). If you don’t have the budget to build a new structure, create the illusion of a dedicated space with furniture, outdoor rugs, and accessories.
Estimated cost: $100 (DIY cleaning and some accessories) – $20,000+ (building a porch)
Get an expert opinion
First, if you don’t know the curb appeal projects that make the most sense in your area, enlist a professional real estate agent through Anywhere. Based on their experience and knowledge of your local market, they can advise you on the best improvements to make – within your budget – to sell your home faster. They’ll guide you through the entire sale process, from listing through closing.
Second, take advantage of AARP® Real Estate Benefits by Anywhere. As an AARP member, it’s free to sign up. There are no hidden fees. And when you buy and/or sell your home, you can earn $300-$7,200 after closing.
When you enroll in the program, you’ll be assigned a personal Advocate who will be your champion – with you every step of the way. You’ll be connected to a real estate agent known for superior service from one of Anywhere’s trusted residential real estate brands, including Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, Century 21®, Coldwell Banker®, Corcoran®, and ERA®.
Terms + conditions apply.