Increasing Your Home's Appeal to Buyers

Increasing your home’s appeal to potential buyers can help maximize the offers you receive for it. Home projects are often expensive ventures if you hire someone to make the upgrades, but many of the changes can be implemented with DIY projects. Ultimately, it is important for the exterior to have curb appeal and for the interior to have clean, defined spaces.

If you are hoping to boost the curb appeal of your home, begin by cleaning up outdoor spaces. Thoroughly clean siding, brick, and any other housing material, and maintain green spaces, which may involve planting trees and shrubs of varying heights and widths if the yard currently lacks greenery. From there, paint anything that needs a fresh coat, such as garage doors and other doors, fencing, trim, shutters, etc., and reseal the driveway if the color has drastically faded. Once you have finished painting, add accessories such as updated house numbers and new door fixtures, and plants and flowers that bloom at different times of the year. Choose low maintenance plants if you lack a green thumb, as unhealthy plants will negatively impact curb appeal. You should also stage the front porch in a way that makes the home look as inviting as possible. Adding flower boxes on the railings and below windows will give the porch some life and color. After you have made all the changes you have planned, hire a professional photographer to get quality photographs of the home.

It is easy to blow through the budget on home projects if you do not account for the cost of each individual project beforehand. Luckily, there are resources available to help you budget accordingly. Below is a list of common ways to increase curb appeal, and the costs associated with each project.

  • Paint or replace the front door. Paint costs about $20 per quart. A new steel door is pricey at roughly $1,400, but it can provide a 90 percent return on investment and give the exterior a more appealing look
  • Landscaping can add about 14 percent to the resell value and help your home sell 6 weeks faster
  • Clean up the driveway by removing weeds and dirt, power washing, repairing, sealing, and making sure garbage cans are out of plain view. Power washing can cost between $100-$600 if you do not own a power washer, and repairs average $1,450
  • Clean or paint the exterior of your home. It costs about $2,600 to paint a home and, as mentioned, roughly $100-$600 to power wash
  • Update the roof. Fixing small issues like missing shingles and flashing costs around $680, and a new roof costs roughly $7,600, but can provide a return on investment of 105 percent
  • Revamp the porch with outdoor lighting for as low as $30, new door numbers for a few dollars per number, and new door handles for about $50 each

Staging the interior of a home is just as important as curb appeal on the outside. Decluttering rooms and providing an overall clean and defined look should apply to any decision you make, as prospective buyers want to picture what the home would look like with them living in it, not you. This can be accomplished by utilizing light-reflecting colors and adding pops of color for personality, using mirrors to make spaces appear bigger, buying comfortable furniture that is up-to-date, practical, and right-sized for the space, putting bulky furniture in storage, removing items from counters and taking down all personal photographs, using real plants, and forming a look that matches the age and style of the home.

You can implement most of these changes on your own without the insight and skill of a professional. However, a real estate photographer is one professional you should spend the money on, as they will help make your home look as appealing as possible and can offer tips on how to stage it. Keep in mind that less is more. Think about the ways hotels stage rooms, using white sheets and white towels, very few decorations on the wall, and a practical approach. This helps minimize distraction and puts visitors at ease. Also, when showcasing your home, remember that prospective buyers will open your closets, so avoid hiding items from plain view in these spaces.

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