open house tips for realtors

12 subtle-but-successful ways to boost curb appeal

Bethany RamosCleaning, DIY, Homeowners

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When it comes to improving the curb appeal of your home, you’ve probably heard the basics. Spruce up your yard, wash your exterior, and fix any glaring issues. But beyond the essentials, there are several smart ways you can make your house stand out.

Standing out is particularly important if you live in a neighborhood where a lot of houses look similar.

Make 12 simple changes & sell your house fast

You might not be surprised to hear that exterior upgrades were the number one home improvement project homeowners tackled during the pandemic.’s 2020 survey showed that most homeowners kept busy by working outside. Sixty-one percent reported renovating their home’s patio, garden, or structure.

It makes sense. Adding curb appeal is one of the strongest steps you can take to make your home show-ready when preparing to sell your house. This can hold even more weight in today’s seller’s market. Impressive curb appeal can also better showcase your home in listing photos and 3D tours — which 78 percent of buyers are now using.

Thankfully, it doesn’t take much. Putting some extra effort into your home’s exterior can help get more buyers in the door and may potentially increase your property value:

1. Add small decorative elements.

sell your house fast

If you want to sell your house fast, giving it character can add a unique touch:

  • This includes features like metal outdoor wall décor, an old fence with distressed paint, or other landscaping elements you don’t see just anywhere.
  • Consider repurposing an old pump into an outdoor water feature.
  • Purchase plants unlike those anyone else in the area has — but which are still hardy enough for your growing zone.

Don’t forget to decorate your front porch. Pretend your porch is an extension of your interior, and add throw pillows, planters with flowers, and even a small outdoor rug to give it a welcoming, homey feel.

2. Bring in a bench.

Whether it’s a custom bench made out of reclaimed wood, a duo of cozy rocking chairs, or an inviting porch swing, make sure to incorporate some seating on your porch if you have the room to do it. An area on your front patio dedicated to socializing sends a friendly message. A metal or hardwood porch swing may run you around $125.

3. Choose a sharp color scheme.

sell your house fast

If you plan to upgrade your siding or shutters, you’re already expected to earn a nearly 70-percent return on your investment when it’s time to sell.

Why not aim for even stronger curb appeal with an unusual color scheme?

  • Take the time to survey the homes around you. Are they all red and white?
  • Choose a color palette that sets your house apart but doesn’t clash.
  • For example, green might not be the right fit, but a soft buttercream could help your house pop in contrast to the other homes around you.

When selecting a standout color scheme, don’t pick something so far out of the norm that most people won’t like it. Instead, go for hues novel to your street that still have classic appeal.

4. Clean your gutters.

Clogged, untended gutters scream “poor maintenance,” while a thorough cleaning can show potential buyers how much you care for your home. Roll up your sleeves and get to work if you feel confident on a ladder, or hire local gutter cleaners to save time.

Home sellers, we’re ready to help you move fast. Find a local loan officer near you.

5. De-clutter.

sell your house fast

After years of living in a home, it’s easy to collect clutter you don’t even realize you have:

  • To sell your house successfully, look at your home’s exterior through the eyes of a first-time visitor.
  • Remove crowded or personalized porch/lawn décor — like hand-painted garden rocks — and save it to take to your new house.

Also, seek the advice of your realtor. See what they think about the layout and design of your landscaping and whether it ups your chances of selling your house. Seventy-two percent of agents recommend lawn care and grooming as a top way to enhance curb appeal.

6. Flip your mailbox.

If your mailbox has seen better days — meaning, it’s dented, tilted, and/or wobbly — switch it out for a brand-new one with more personality. A cedar-wrapped mailbox may cost around $100 (without the post). If your mailbox just needs a touch-up, give it a new coat of paint and consider integrating landscaping around its base or hanging a plant from its post.

7. Make your front door artsy.

sell your house fast

Your front door should make a statement about your house:

  • The great thing about doing something artistic with your front door is that it’s a simple fix if buyers don’t like it.
  • It’s always easy to paint back over a door that has an unusual color or pattern.
  • Painting a door costs a fraction of the amount of buying a new one, and the right design makes your house stick out in a good way.

In all seasons, you can create a painted design on shutters to catch the eye. This works particularly well on adobe houses or homes with basic wood siding, as it adds a point of interest to an otherwise drab, solid-colored wall.

8. Paint concrete.

Is your front porch blah or your patio a bit weathered?

  • A coat of concrete paint in a design that matches the exterior of your home can help.
  • You can paint almost any pattern imaginable, including creating a tiled design with tape and paint, a marbled look, or a pattern with stencils.

To paint concrete in a way that promotes instant appeal, think through the colors and materials in and on your home and choose colors and stencils that suit those patterns.

9. Plant a sustainable garden.

sell your house fast

One of the key ingredients to your home’s curb appeal is the yard:

  • If you want to add a garden area to the front of your home, consider making it a sustainable garden, which is attractive to eco-conscious buyers.
  • A sustainable garden is also much easier to care for, making it appealing to busy professionals without much time for upkeep.

Sustainable gardens provide nourishment. So, imagine rows of potato plants in full bloom or bright sunflowers with seeds that are easy to harvest.

10. Put in a new porch light.

A little (great-looking) lighting goes a long way. It can complement your well-maintained landscaping and also showcase any changes you make to your front door. Visit your local home improvement store or shop online for a fixture that’s distinct but crowd-pleasing — like a farmhouse-style lantern light, costing around $50.

11. Switch out your house numbers.

sell your house fast

This can be especially helpful if your current house numbers are chipped or faded. New digits may cost you anywhere from $7 to $20 a number, with styles ranging from classic to rustic to modern. Or, browse Etsy to invest in a slightly pricier but striking vertical number plaque.

12. Tend to your roof.

If you’re thinking about selling, and your roof isn’t in great shape: Talk with your real estate agent. They’ll help you determine if the expense of roof repair is worth it, taking into account how quickly homes are selling in your area. At the very least, plan to power wash your roof (or hire the pros to do it) and replace any visibly damaged shingles.

Boost curb appeal & bring in more buyers

Right now, homes are getting five offers on average.* By enhancing your curb appeal, you may sell your house even faster. Prequalify for your next mortgage before you list, and you’ll be ready to sell quickly and move into your new home sooner. Click here to prequalify from anywhere.

*“REALTORS® Confidence Index (RCI).” NAR, 2021.

For educational purposes only. Please contact your qualified professional for specific guidance.

Sources are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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