What’s Curb Appeal, Really?

Realtors® always talk about Curb Appeal, but what does that really mean? It comes down to this:

The first thing a potential buyer sees when they visit your home is the exterior. That initial impression can often make or break a sale. In a market like Arlington, where there are literally thousands of homes with nearly identical floor plans, the curb appeal of a home can be a huge selling point. So if you’re getting ready to sell your home, the first thing you need to do is look at the exterior through the eyes of a potential buyer.

What do you see? Does it look inviting, like your Grandmother’s house on Thanksgiving? Or like one of those houses that turns the porch light off Halloween night?

If it’s the latter, some work needs to be done before putting your home on the market. Fortunately, in terms of getting bang for your buck, exterior improvements are relatively inexpensive. Here are some simple things you can do to get the exterior of your home ready for sale:

Enhancing Curb Appeal

  1. Landscaping: Make sure yard is always manicured as this is the first thing a prospective buyer will see. For some reason, homes having yellow or red flowers in pots or near the front porch seem to sell faster. Also, fresh mulch in the beds is aninexpensive but great enhancement to the exterior appeal of your home.
  2. The Entryway: When you look at the front of your home, what do you see? If it is unappealing to you, ask yourself why that’s the case.
    • Some quick fixes: Repainting or restaining the front door can often do wonders, as can refreshing any paint or stain on the front porch /portico / awning.
    • A little more expensive: Replacing the front entryway door can do wonders to enhance the appeal of your home. Also, think about replacing any rotten trim and flooring around the entryway
  3. Exterior Lighting: Something that many people overlook when trying to improve curb appeal is what a home looks like at night. Are the grounds and front entryway well-lit? Are the exterior light fixtures clean and attractive? Improving the nighttime appeal of your home can be as simple as replacing existing lightbulbs with more powerful bulbs, or replacing the exterior light fixtures with new, more attractive fixtures. You can also install landscaping lights for relatively little money. All of these improvements will make a home vastly more inviting to someone who visits a home in the evening.
  4. Patio/Outdoor Living Space: If your backyard doesn’t already have one, it’s a good idea to patio space for entertaining. Make sure the space is clean and fresh, with clean furniture and fresh flowers. Stage the patio in the same way that you stage a living room, make it feel inviting!
  5. Exterior Painting: This can get a little expensive, but sometimes it may be necessary to repaint your home’s exterior before putting it on the market. Don’t make this decision lightly. See what other homes in your price range look like, and then take an honest look at your own home. Does it need a refresh?


The Bottom Line

When you’re getting ready to sell, it makes sense to look at the exterior of your home from a macro perspective. That is, how much does it make sense to spend in total? Once you’ve arrived at a figure, look at everything you’d like to do, and prioritize. Some things are more important than others. What those things are depends on your home. If you’d like me to come take a look at your home, and give you a free evaluation of your home’s exterior, and what I think it might cost to spruce it up, please get in touch.

– Lou


Contact Lou Sagatov