Curb appeal—it’s what sells a home

Marketing is vitally important to getting your home sold quickly. Without effective marketing not only may it take longer to sell, but you may get less money at the closing table as well.

The more folks that come through your front door, the better your chances of getting it sold, sooner. If your agent is slacking on the marketing of your home, get rid of him or her and hire someone who will market your home for all its worth.

You have a part to play in this as well. After all, it’s not your agent who will clean and de-clutter the inside of the home or work on the exterior to make it more appealing.

Curb appeal is one of the most important marketing factors in home sales.

Take an hour or so this weekend and drive around your general area. Check out the other homes on the market. Pay close attention to each home’s curb appeal, or lack thereof.

Then, take a few minutes to create a what-can-I-do-to-better-market-my-home list. You’ll be glad you did.

What is curb appeal?

Curb appeal is simply how your house looks from the street. It either has it, or it doesn’t. If your home is among the latter, you should consider fixing that.

Real estate buyer’s agents can tell you just how common it is to drive up to a home, with a buyer in the car, and have that buyer refuse to get out of the car. Based purely on how the home looked from the outside, they made their decision to not bother looking at the inside.

Of course, it’s not right to judge a book by its cover; we all learned that in kindergarten. But home buyers do. And that’s a fact.

How to give your home more curb appeal

Let’s take a look at a few common items that can ruin a home’s curb appeal:

Landscaping. How’s yours? Could the front yard use a little sprucing up? Start by picking up the branches, dead leaves and trash.

Rake around shrubbery and in beds. Consider adding a layer of fresh mulch to planting beds. It doesn’t cost all that much and it looks really great.

If you’re going to sell in winter, the landscaping is a bit more challenging to freshen up.

Pops of color are a welcome respite from the dreariness of winter. Choose some of the pansies we’ve seen on sale, pot them up in pretty pots and set them on the front porch. Or line the walkway with them.

Don’t think that buyers won’t notice that your window screens have holes in them or are hanging off their frames. They will; maybe not consciously, but it will give the house a general run-down and shabby sort of look. This is another relatively inexpensive fix that will pay off.

Could the front door use a new coat of paint? Sometimes just that one change can brighten the entire exterior of a house. If it coordinates with the home’s exterior paint color, consider a “… black or charcoal gray front door,” according to a survey by a major real estate website. Why?

“Homes that feature charcoal gray or black doors typically sell for $6,271 more than expected,” they said. Whatever you choose, don’t pick yellow. Homes with yellow front doors actually sell for less, according to the survey.

Before you paint the door, though, look up. That’s right UP. See the cobwebs hanging from the eaves? They kind of match the ones hanging from the porch light.

While they may have looked festive last Halloween, when the house is on the market, they look awful. Sweep or power wash them away before you paint the door.

How about some little things? New house numbers and a new mailbox will lend a fresh feeling to the home from the curb. Washing the exterior of the windows will make it look like the owner of the home really cares about it. That’s attractive to a buyer.

Overall, the effect you want to give to anyone looking at your house from the street is: “Mr. and/or Mrs. Clean live in this house.”

Even if you are more like Mr. and Mrs. Piggy. . .fake it ’til you make it, as the old saying goes.