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So, you’ve decided it’s time to move house, and seen a property you’d like to buy. Now, it’s a matter of getting the best price for your current home. Here are a few simple and inexpensive ways to boost the perceived value of your house, so you can get the asking price, or even more.
It’s all a matter of giving your home curb appeal, probably the most important factor when it comes to selling a house. When a potential buyer drives up to your home, that first impression is the one that will either make them get out of their car or simply drive away. It’s unfortunate that a lot of homeowners forget how important the look of their house from the outside matters.
When potential buyers are asked about their first impressions of the homes they look at, the exterior curb appeal is often one of the top deciding factors. If the exterior of your house looks clean and tidy and well maintained, they reason, the rest of the property will be of a similar standard.
As very few houses stand alone these days, it’s an opportunity for potential buyers to compare your home to the neighbors. If the outside of your property doesn’t match up to the homes next door or across the street, then the perceived value of your house will be lower. If you want to maximize your selling price, then your house should stand out from the rest for all the good reasons, not the worst.
Start looking at your home as a buyer, not an owner. Day after day you probably only look at your home from the mailbox to the front door, so it’s about time you took a closer look at all aspects of your house. Buyers always look with a critical eye, as any defect they spot can be used as a bargaining tool to get the price reduced. Walk around your property, and take a long hard look at the small details in the landscaping, the walkways, the lighting, and the front door especially. Walk across the street and see how your home stacks up against the neighbors. Be super critical, so you can anticipate any faults a potential buyer will see and correct them. Don’t forget to look at the grass and landscaping, and the driveway.
Here are a few simple DIY projects that can instantly improve the curb appeal of your home, and make it more attractive to potential buyers.
A little color goes a long way in making any home more attractive, inside or out. It is probably the single most important DIY task a home owner can do to improve the curb appeal of their property. Try not to skimp on the quality of paint you use. Top quality paint may cost a few more dollars per gallon, but it will go on easier, look better when it’s dry and last years more than cheaper brands.
There’s a great trick if you have a small house, and you want it to look bigger: paint it white! Also, if your house is a mix of styles, then you can use color to unify all the differing parts together. If you’re not sure about the color, then many paint manufacturers have software available that mock up color schemes on a digital image of your home.
The path from the street to the front door has to be enticing, drawing that potential buyer from the curb to your front door. Just by making sure your lawn is cut, and any planting is tidy and weeded adds to that first impression.
If you have a driveway or path, make sure the surface is even and is not cracked. You can use a pressure washer to clean any dirt and grime that might have accumulated from leaves and overhanging trees.
Giving your mailbox an upgrade is a simple and attractive makeover. If you have a freestanding mailbox, one mounted on the side the house, or a slot next to the door, a new look can give a stylish revamp to the look of your home. Taking care of your mailbox says a lot about you to potential buyers, in that you like to look after the details around your home.
If this detail is looked after, then others will be cared for too. If you’re planning to upgrade or install a mailbox next to the sidewalk, make sure it meets your local regulations and is at least 42 inches, and no more than 48 inches off the ground. Be careful if you decide to adorn the box with planting, as it can attract stinging insects such as bees.
One of the most straightforward DIY projects you can do to add me polish and shine to your home is to update your house number. It’s probably never been done since you moved into the house, or even before then. Remember when a potential buyer is coming to view your home, they will have the address and most likely they will never been to your street before.
So making your house number clear and easy to see from the road is essential. The last thing you want to do is put off potential buyers because they can’t find you. New eye-catching numbers can be made of brass, steel or aluminum. Try and see if you can match the finish to any exterior light fixtures you might have to give a coordinated look.
Outdoor lighting around your home can be both stylish, and add to the security of your property. If your current lighting is old consider updating as it can be a quick way to give your home a makeover. At the same time, you can adopt the new low-voltage LED lighting to cut down on electricity bills.
The new LED lights are generally brighter and with a more natural light than older bulbs, and use considerably less energy. You might like to consider sensors around the home to either switch on the lights as darkness approaches or to have them come on automatically when movement is detected.
To give your house a feeling of longevity, and permanence why not plant some trees. Trees are great as a focal point and can be used to frame your property when viewed from the street adding to its curb appeal. Visit your local garden center to get advice on the best trees to plant in your area. Before digging holes in your front or backyard, it’s worth calling the local utility company just to check where the essential services are running so they will not be disturbed by the tree roots as it grows.
You won’t necessarily reap the benefit of the shade a mature tree will give, but at least it may help you attain the asking price, and you will have passed on something to the new owners.
Whether as window boxes, or planters around the front of your house, the splash of color that comes from flower boxes can brighten up any home. Consider putting boxes outside any windows that face the street. If you have a casement or sliding windows, there should be no problem. If the windows open outwards be careful that you don’t decapitate any flowers when you open them.
Think about planters either side of your front door to frame the entrance. Hanging baskets of trailing plants will also add to the look of your home. Don’t forget to water the flowers, as there is nothing worse than a bunch of dead flowers where there should be a riot of color.
It’s not uncommon to see Mediterranean-style homes with shutters on the windows, consider if your house would look good with something similar. The shutters may just be decorative, but they can add a splash of a contrasting or complementary color to brighten up the façade of your home. Why not think about a new front door at the same time to complete the makeover.
Maybe the front door you already have no longer works with the style of the home, or it’s just outdated. Why not include a storm door at the same time, which can improve security and the energy efficiency of your house.
All these suggestions can be simple DIY projects. If you need to know how to go about them, you can get lots of free advice from your local home improvement store or garden center. They’ll be able to tell you how to install any new additions to your home safely, or what are the best plants and flowers for your area.