It is a proven fact that homes with greater curb appeal command higher prices and will take less time to sell. The way your home looks from the street can significantly add to or decrease the value of your home, regardless of the interior condition. The first impression a potential buyer receives when approaching your property is one of the most important factors in selling your home.
When we say increasing your curb appeal is a good investment to make in your homes perceived value, we do not necessarily mean you have to embark on a major home improvement project. You do not have to replace siding, windows and doors to gain greater curb appeal, rather make your home look like it has been cared for and loved.
Take as much time as needed, and spend the least money possible to maximize your homes curb appeal. Consider these few tips to make your homes first impression one that lasts.
Remove the clutter – Remove any weathered toys, broken swing sets, old holiday decorations, rotting patio furniture or cruddy planters. This will open up your yard space and make your property appear larger.
Clean up the outside of your home – grab a bucket of soapy water and a long handled soft bristled brush to remove any dirt and dust on the complete façade of your home, including garage and entry doors. Walk around the perimeter of your home and remove any debris. Wipe away any cobwebs that may have formed. Hose out your downspouts and clear away leaves that may have gathered. Lastly, wash your windows inside and out.
Check the outside of your home – nothing looks as worse from the curb as missing bricks, peeling paint, damaged siding, cracked windows or missing trim. These maintenance issues not only affect your home’s value, they can also damage the structure of your home. Be sure to refasten sagging gutters, repoint bricks that have lost their mortar, reseal cracks in the asphalt, replace cracked windows, replace damaged or missing siding, or trim around doors and windows, and make sure all your windows and doors open and close securely.
Give some TLC to your front door – the most common advice a realtor will provide a seller is to make sure the front door is in the best shape possible. Whether that means painting it, cleaning it, re-staining it, or placing a decorative wreath on the door, your door is the main factor in your home’s curb appeal.
Check your roof – Whether it’s you or a professional, have your roof checked for missing, curled or faded shingles. Make sure you roof is clear from debris, and your gutters are attached to your roofline. A messy roof can make even a relatively new roof look like it needs to be repaired or replaced.
Clean up the yard - a freshly cut lawn, pruned shrubs, a few flowers and some mulch can boost the curb appeal of almost any home. Replace or remove overgrown bushes with leafy plants or colorful annuals. Walk around your property and remove any weeds or overgrown vines from the sides of your home. Whether it’s you or a professional landscape contractor, green up your grass with lawn food and water, and cover bare spots with seeds.
Add a splash of color – Although some realtors recommend your door red or green or blue, this may not be your thing. Consider instead adding a few pots of colorful flowers near the front door, or a colorful Adirondack chair on the front porch. Although adding color to your home will not increase its value directly, it will enhance your homes curb appeal.
Replace or add a welcome mat – add a welcome mat that reflects your homes style. This is a great way to add color to the outside of your home, while providing a place for potential buyers to clean their shoes before entering your home.
Add some finishing touches – Replace old house numbers with new clearly placed address numbers so that your home is easy to find. Consider replacing or painting your mail box a bright color to add some pizazz. The better your home looks, the easier it will be to sell.
If your home needs a lot more than a freshening up, consider hiring a licensed and insured professional who can take on some of the larger projects. It is suggested that you get about two to three estimates for the work you want to do. Then compare the services and materials listed for your project so that you are comparing apples to apples. During this process, you should also check references and on line reviews of the companies you are considering.
Homeowners are protected by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs when using one of their licensed contractors. It is important that the contractor you hire has a valid and active Home Improvement Contractors license issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs. You can call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/dca to verify their license, and to find out if there are any active complaints against the company.
Your home may be the most valuable asset you own. If you are considering selling it or have it on the market now, consider some of the items on this checklist so that your home gets sold at the highest price possible
Fran & Frank Reali, Owners -BHGRE Safari Realty
(718) 442-5200 www.safarirealtyonline.com