Curb appeal does matter when selling a home and not everyone can afford a massive overhaul to improve it. A record number of people are opting to sell their homes without an agent. One thing an agent will do is suggest ways to fix up the home to make it more appealing. An honest, thorough and critical look at the property will allow the homeowner to see what needs to be improved upon.
When selling a home during the summer months, the lawn being as weed free and healthy as possible is not the only issue to consider. While you may not think the landscaping is too shabby and the paint job on the railings isn't gaudy, a prospective buyer may. They may not have the money to tackle projects as soon as they move in, the time to plan and execute projects due to the shortness of summer or the desire to be outside working in the heat. Taking care of these little curb appeal issues can make or break a deal during a summer sale.
Things You Will Need
Garden sheers, snips or any other pruning tools you desire
Tarp or drop cloths
Fix cracks in any pavement outside of the home the best that you can. There are several inexpensive products on the market to repair sidewalks, driveways and other types of pavement. If the damage to the driveway, sidewalks or any other surface is bad enough to require complete replacement it will have to be completed before you sell, it isn't worth the extra time, hassles that arise or money to have the work done after you have moved out and new owners have moved in.
Use a wire brush to scrape off paint that is chipping and sand down rust spots on ironwork around the yard whether it's a mailbox, light fixtures, gates, railings or fencing. Paint with a neutral paint that goes well with the home or black. You may have felt your blue and gold railings went well with your wonderfully creative yard and added to the curb appeal of your home, but a buyer may not agree. They will lose interest in the home, and quickly, if they have to put a lot of work into it.
Make sure to keep all mailboxes, lights, fencing, gates and railings clean. A quick spray with a hose every morning will go far. Cob webs will appear in amazingly record time and numbers. They definitely lessen the curb appeal of a home.
Thoroughly clean all windows, window wells and screens. Dead bugs and leaves can become trapped in between storm windows and inside windows so be sure to clean there. Repair or replace any broken windows and screens. Sand down any spots where the wood has splintered. Fill in cracks with wood putty and sand the area. Repainting window frames and shutters is a quick and inexpensive way to refresh a home exterior and improve curb appeal.
Trim, prune and thoroughly clean all landscaping areas. Be sure to remove all dead leaves, garbage, cobwebs and empty nests. Prune bushes by removing all dead limbs first and then removing approximately 1/3 of the oldest branches. Strive to ensure good air circulation within and between bushes. Remove bottom most limbs to help increase air flow, reduce garbage traps and shelter for pests. Rake out any old mulch and spread fresh mulch. Give the landscape as much of a simple, airy, low maintenance and clean look as possible. New owners may have a different vision of the landscaping but not be able to realize the vision until the following year. They will want to have curb appeal that they can tolerate until then. Check bushes often during the summer to see if they need to be cleaned or trimmed.
De-clutter the front entrance. If items must be kept outside, buy a storage container that would be of suitable size and blend in with the entryway. Thoroughly scrub the ceiling, doorway, walls, porch and stairs. Clean and repair any damage to storm door and entry door. It may be necessary to repaint the front door to be neutral and blend in well with the home. Remove excess of plants and decorations. Prospective buyers like to see and feel the space that is available to them and imagine their own belongings there. Choose a neutral, yet welcoming door mat. If they are unable to revamp and design the curb appeal to their taste during that summer, they should have an area they can be comfortable with. If they don't like walking into their own entry they won't want to buy.