Whether you’re selling your own home or working with a real estate agent, a ton of effort goes into drawing in a potential homebuyer. One of the first factors a buyer will consider is the outside appearance of the house. For some, this first impression can make or break whether they take the next step to learn about what’s inside your home.
Despite how big a role appearance can play, encouraging interest in a home does not have to be a huge production. Below, a panel of Forbes Real Estate Council members share their top tips for enhancing your home’s curb appeal. Follow their advice to catch the attention of prospective buyers.
Members of Forbes Real Estate Council share tips for improving a home's exterior.Photos courtesy of the individual members.
1. Make A Statement With Your Front Door
Your front door has many purposes. Not only does it tell a story about the condition of your home, it is the first thing that people see. Front doors are symbolic. They can welcome people in or keep people out. Replacing your front door will enhance the curb appeal, tell customers that there is pride of ownership and create a positive lasting impression. Let your front door make a statement. - Michelle Risi, Royal LePage Connect Realty
2. Reduce Landscaping Clutter
Landscaping is obvious, as that's among the first to be observed. Consider not just the condition, but also how much there is. Then, reduce or eliminate trees and shrubbery to give the home a cleaner and more cared for look, along with the impression of reduced maintenance. As an added benefit, when you enter the home, there will be more natural light. - Robert Jafek, Boomerang Capital Partners
3. Install Exterior Lighting
Impress potential buyers immediately by throwing some light on your well-manicured landscaping. Exterior lighting is warm and welcomes buyers before they step inside the home. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, it is a great safety feature. Perhaps that is why 85% of buyers in a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders put exterior lighting on their want list. - Joe Houghton, RE/MAX Results/The Minnesota Property Group Team
4. Paint Your Exterior
Paint it! Fresh paint looks great on brick or siding. However, to really enhance curb appeal, make sure to use three colors. The contrast will really help your home pop from the curb. The areas of the exterior you should be working on are the roof, walls, front door, garage door, trim and windows. On many of our flips, we find shutters in the right color bring it all together. - Mark Bloom, NetWorth Realty
5. Display Clean, Open Windows
Clean those windows and open the blinds. This gives the home a fresh look and allows light into the property. Using a large vase at the front door and filling it with colorful flowers and vines is a great way to give any entry a pop that you can see when you drive up to the home. It sends a message that the seller is putting their best foot forward! - Nancy Wallace- Laabs, KBN Homes, LLC
6. Add Potted Plants
Potted plants are an easy, cost-effective and quick way of boosting curb appeal by adding some life and colors to your home. Play with different pot sizes and colors to create the style you desire. Many of my clients have had their homes sell quickly after improving their curb appeal with this simple trick. - Julien Leclair-Dionne, HomeFluent
7. Power-Wash Everything
The instant reaction when driving up to a home is to cleanliness. Power-washing the sidewalk, driveway and front door, and planting fresh color in the yard gives the impression of pride in ownership. Prospects believe the inside is as clean as the outside. First impressions motivate a buyer to preview the house or just drive past and never go inside. - Rita Santamaria, Champions School of Real Estate
8. Replace The Garage Door
Most houses have a Garage Door facing forward, and your eyes are immediately drawn to it. Adding a Garage Door with windows can be a huge plus to increase its curb appeal. Best of all, research shows that replacing a Garage Door ranks No. 1 in for home improvements when it comes to your return-on-investment. New Garage Doors are smarter (controlled by a voice assistant) and much quieter. - Kevin Hawkins, WAV Group, Inc.
9. Take A Photo
Sometimes it's hard to see the truth of what lies before us because we're too accustomed to it. Curb appeal is no exception. Take a photo from the street and look at it honestly. It's harder to deny the truth when faced with it in a photo. You'll see what needs to be cleaned, repainted, weeded, trimmed and planted - Thomas McCormack, Resources Real Estate
10. Design Effective Landscaping
Landscaping is critical to appease human perception and emotions. When you drive up to a house, the first thing people see is the lawn, flowers and trees. Before you have a chance to walk into the house, that first impression is going to come from the landscaping. By designing the landscaping effectively, you can very much change a buyer's perception of the house itself. - Ari Rastegar, Rastegar Property
11. Show Off A Low-Maintenance Front Yard
When looking to boost curb appeal, exquisite landscaping and gardens look amazing, but most potential homeowners will see through this and start asking, Who's going to weed and maintain all this? Landscape beds should be freshly edged and mulched with low-maintenance landscaping native to the location. Crisp, clean and modern is where it's at! - Matt Motil, The Marie Paul Companies
12. Add Pops Of Color
There is no better way to enhance curb appeal than to incorporate a bit of color. Consider painting the front door a bright color that contrasts with the color of the house and match a hint of it in a pillow on a neutral chair or with simple, elegant flowers. While you are at it, don't forget to freshen up the mulch. It goes a long way. - Stephanie Anton, Luxury Portfolio International
13. Liven Up The Front
Make sure the mailbox and front door look good. The mailbox, if it’s at the curb in front of the home, could make or break a buyer's impression. The front door is the first physical contact a buyer has with the home. If these two things are not in good order, the buyer starts to consider how well the seller maintained the home. Then, jazz up the landscaping with color and paint the exterior trim. - Michelle Ames, HorsePower Team Texas/Independent Realty