Unless your home’s exterior impresses a buyer, they won’t bother taking a look at its interiors. That’s why curb appeal is crucial when selling a home in California—it sets the all-important first impression that makes house hunters give your property a second look. If you want to boost curb appeal and improve your home’s sales prospects, take a look at these tips:
Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes
To find out how to improve your home’s curb appeal, take a walk around your property and view it from a buyer’s perspective. Does it give a good first impression? What stands out the most, whether good or bad? What repairs are needed? And how does your curb compare to the neighbors? You should also stand across the street to get a big-picture view of your house and its curb. Even better, call up a trusted friend and ask them to do the walkthrough with you.
Repaint exterior walls
Improving curb appeal doesn’t always have to cost a fortune—in many cases, it costs no more than a gallon of paint. Repainting exterior walls has a return of investment (ROI) of 55%, making it well worth the cost. Experts recommend using no more than three paint colors, as suggested by the 60-30-10 rule: 60 percent for the body of your home, 30% for the garage doors, and 10% for accent colors. And while repainting is a cost-effective home upgrade, don’t skimp on paint quality—buyers can spot cheap paint from a mile away.
Upgrade your softscaping
Softscaping refers to the planted elements of your curb, including the lawn grass, shrubs, flower beds, and trees, among others. Softscaping makes a home more inviting and picturesque, which is exactly the impression sellers should strive for. More importantly, it can potentially increase the average home price in Dublin, CA by up to 15%. But you don’t have to go all out on landscaping—even things like replanting your lawn or adding flower boxes to windows can help. If you have the budget for it, you can also plant mature trees in your front yard to make your home stand out even more.
Mind your hardscaping, too
Walkways take quite a beating from being underfoot and being exposed to the elements. Over the years, they tend to develop a grimy film that makes your curb look dirty, which might put off buyers. Luckily, you can rent pressure washers to deep clean driveways, walkways, and flagstones—but be sure to rent the right equipment to avoid damaging your hardscaping. For the best results, rent a unit that outputs at least 3,000 pounds per square inch (PSI) and four gallons per minute (GPM). If your driveway has oil residue, a hot pressure washer can help melt away the grease.
Replace your front hardware
Your front door welcomes prospective buyers into your home, so make sure it’s as attractive and inviting as possible. If your current door is showing its age, replace it with a new one in a more contemporary design—just make sure it compliments your newly repainted walls. While you’re at it, consider replacing your mailbox and house number as well. Is your fence starting to look dingy? Consider giving it a fresh coat of paint, too. Separately, these might seem like little tweaks, but collectively they create an enticing facade for your home.
Utilize outdoor furniture
Outdoor furniture invites buyers to take a seat, lending your home a more welcoming feel. That said, use them judiciously—too little and your curb looks spare; too much and it looks cluttered. Clean them regularly and make sure they’re in good working order in case a buyer does decide to take a seat. Note that you don’t need to have a front porch to utilize this strategy; if you have a smaller lawn, even putting out a weatherproof coffee table and chairs in the front yard will do the trick.
Make it look good online
Given today’s digital-first world, most people will begin their home search online. This means that your curb must look as good in online photos as it does in person. Before photographing your property, check the weather first—you don’t want a gloomy sky to cast a pall over your home. Early morning and late afternoon are usually considered the “Golden Hour,” when natural lighting is most conducive to photography. Lastly, take multiple photos from various angles so prospective buyers can better appreciate your house.
Do you have more questions about putting your property on the market? Whether you’re wondering how to sell a house with a realtor or how to get top dollar for your home, the Sousou Team has the expert answers you need. Just give us a call at 925.413.4511 or send an email to manel(at)sousouteam(dotted)com to get started.