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Curb Appeal: Necessary Now?

Curb appeal is talked about so much when selling a home, but in this super hot sellers' market, is it even necessary to spend a lot of money since you expect to get tons of offers over asking price right away?

First, let me clear things up a bit. Yes, in my market in Florida it is very much a sellers' market. That means there are way more buyers looking for houses than houses for sell. That does often mean we see multiple, over asking price offers in the first day or two. However, that seems to be happening much more to houses that are priced well and completely move in ready. They are updated, cute and buyers see themselves just needing to move in. Houses that are overpriced or look like they need work are getting fewer and lower priced offers. My advice to sellers, even in this market, is to spruce up your house. I'm not suggesting you have to spend a lot of money, but you do still need to make buyers see your house as done if you want all those very high offers.

Here are some low cost curb appeal improvements you can make to ensure your house sells fast.

  • Start at the curb. Stand out there and pretend you are looking at your house for the first time. What do you see? Pull weeds, put out some fresh mulch, trim the hedges, pressure wash the sidewalk and driveway, etc. for a fresh clean look. Keep the grass mowed and the weeds pulled until your house is sold.

  • House numbers: Do you have some? Are they clean and vibrant? Buyers will be looking for numbers to find the house. Don't make them look too hard or have the first thing they see look bad.

  • Mailbox: If you have a mailbox on a post, make sure it's clean and freshly painted.

  • Front door: Your front door should be clean and freshly painted. It should give a nice contrast to the other colors in the house so it stands a good way. If there are windows, wash them. The door knob and lock should be completely functional. Sticking locks and doors start the buyers off with a negative impression right away. If the hardware is dated or weathered, replace them. That's an easy and inexpensive DIY project. A clean welcome mat is also a nice touch.

  • Stage the porch: If you have a front porch, don't forget to do some staging there. A cute chair or bench, a potted plant, maybe a new light fixture (at least no burned out bulbs) all do a long way in making the buyers feel like home before they even walk in.

  • Garage doors are often a focal point on a house. Again, make sure it's clean and freshly painted and that it is in good working order.

  • Siding and fence: I bet you already know what I'm going to say...clean and freshly painted. Do not let your house look like a project.

Keep in mind, the buyers are often very excited to see your house. They may arrive early and stand out front looking at the house for a while waiting for their appointment time. They will likely spend more time looking at the front of the house than at any other part. Anything they see that doesn't look updated, clean and well maintained is going to be a red flag for them to look harder for issues inside. If the curb appeal looks fantastic, they will likely go into your house looking for what they like instead of looking for more problems.


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