It’s common knowledge that a potential buyer will decline to view the home's interior based on outer appearance. First impressions matter a lot to buyers, and sellers must accommodate to buyer demand. Likewise, sellers can’t sell a house if nobody wants to look past the curb. How do you give your house curb appeal without losing money on the sale? Here are a few ideas:
Trees, shrubs, and plants can turn a depressed property into a lively one, and the proof is in home value. Research obtained from Virginia Tech showed that landscaping increases home value from 5% - 12%. The actual estimate varies by state, and by home, but the idea holds true. The best landscaping strategies look to satisfy all buyers. Too much personality in landscaping will backfire. The best landscaping usually has a sort of theme across the trees, shrubs, and other greenery. Whether it’s plants that all blossom in the spring, or even just a lot of native plants that grow well in the climate, keeping plants looking deliberate and uniform across the property makes the landscaping look nice and manageable. Elegant, practical landscaping raises home value and looks great doing it.
A fresh coat of paint across the exterior and on the front door transforms the home. Sellers will see a drastic difference in their home, while buyers will see that the paint is fresh and clean. It’s often recommended to make the colors match or compliment the colors seen in the surrounding neighborhood. View sample colors next to neighbor’s house colors to find the best combinations before you start painting. Test a sample of the home's exterior to view the appearance in the light and next to other surface materials (stone, brick, concrete, etc.). If painting two or more colors, the darker color should be the bottom color to avoid a top-heavy, lopsided result. Like landscaping, too much personality is likely to backfire, and conservative colors will attract more interest. Fresh paint is sure to raise home value as long as the job is done well.
Similar to the front door, the walkway welcomes you to the property. Rain and snow can damage or destroy a walkway and you might need to give yours some attention. If your house doesn’t have a nicely paved walkway, you may consider having one installed. The best walkways serve their purpose while maintaining a budget. Standard, minimal walkways are just as effective as fancy walkways. As with most renovations, too much personality may be a detriment for both finances and curb appeal. Brick, gravel, stone, and sand are all popular walkway materials, and concrete pavers and rock/stone increase value the most. In terms of style, as long as the quality of the walkway is apparent, you really can’t go wrong. A straight walkway may outshine a curvy one to a practical buyer.
These three things alone can make a huge difference in cub appeal. There are many other cosmetic changes you can make to your home that will help it sell, but you should always consider whether the money you spend on them will translate to greater home value. If you want more ideas, a real estate agent like those at Mark Fox Company can help you determine which upgrades will benefit you the most.