Curb appeal goes a long way toward successful home sales. A potential home buyer makes their first impression based on the home’s exterior. When a home seller improves the outside of a home before putting it on the market, they better their chances of a sale.
Just as a home interior has priority updates, so do exteriors. Hitting all the marks can help get your home sold quickly. Let’s consider what each home seller can do to improve their home’s curb appeal.
Insights on Selling a House
According to U.S. News and World Report, the exterior of a house leads home buyers to stop and look at the inside of the house. Sellers who neglect to weed their yards, make structural repairs, and properly stage their home’s exterior hurt their chances of selling their house quickly and at a fair price. In this article, we consider the top priority repairs, landscaping needs, and staging requirements that can help get your home sold quickly.
Needed Repairs and Upgrades
Any needed structural repairs top the list of exterior fixes. Foundation damage, roofing, siding, and window damage comprise the must-have repairs. These projects address the home’s structural integrity and a homeowner can recoup about 70 % of their repair costs at resale.
Address any foundation damage first, such as cracks, crevices, and chunks missing from a slab foundation. If a foundation sinks, a foundation repair professional can lift it using house jacks and reinforce it by adding to the slab or using shims if the house sank negligibly. This process plumbs the house, ensuring its floor provides a completely level surface.
Next, attend to any roofing damage with repairs or a new roof installation by a licensed professional roofing contractor. While an asphalt shingle roof costs the least, these roofs last about 15 years. Conversely, metal roofing lasts about 50 years, a major selling point that helps get your home sold quickly. Clay tile roofs also last about this length of time, when properly cared for and installed in the appropriate climate.
If the home’s siding suffers damage or the paint looks terrible, hire a general contractor to fix it. Siding installs that update the appearance of the home or use a type of siding that won’t require repainting, can help get your home sold quickly because they reduce the amount of maintenance the home’s exterior requires of the home buyer. If the siding looks good, but a bit lackluster in color, have the house power washed. Use a professional power washing service because improper use of power washing equipment can remove paint from a house.
Contact window replacement companies if your home’s windows appear damaged or contain cracked or broken glass. Replace the older windows with double- or triple-pane energy-efficient windows. Look for a logo that designates the windows as “Low-E,” a signal of high energy efficiency design. Replacing the home’s windows transforms the exterior and updates the home’s perceived age, something that can help get your home sold quickly.
Take inventory of what the home needs to improve its appearance and boost its curb appeal. Each home differs, so your house might need something besides these four major items to fix. Make a list of every aspect of the exterior that makes the house look neglected, then fix those items. For example, a sagging front porch or broken or loose step needs repair before moving on to the next step in selling a house, the inspections and appraisal.
Home Appraisals and How They Work
When a house gets sold, the buyer must pay for two examinations of the home. First, they must have the home appraised to determine its value in order to qualify for a mortgage. The appraisal determines if the home value matches the asking price. A bank will only make a loan for the home’s value, not more than that.
An appraiser considers the exterior and interior of the house. They check that all appliances that sell with the home work well and that items like the furnace and faucets function properly. Finally, the appraiser considers other comparable homes, or comp homes, in the neighborhood or town that have sold in the past six months to decide the home’s value.
The appraisal differs from the inspection. After the buyer qualifies for a mortgage, but before closing, the buyer must have the home inspected, a more intensive examination that analyzes the electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), structural elements, etc. Items found during the inspection that do not meet the building code or create a hazard to the buyer, the seller must fix or provide funds for their repair.
Most buyers will want repairs made before they purchase the home. If an inspection uncovers mold in the home, the seller needs to abate the mold before closing. Pests, such as termites and toxic contamination, also make the list of must-fixes before a sale goes through. Because some buyers consider finding these types of items a deal breaker, it can help the home seller to have an inspection done before listing the home, so they can repair any issues before any potential buyer sees the property.
Hiring Landscaping Services
After all those repairs, an appraisal, and one or two inspections, you might think you’ve readied the home for sale, but no. Most yards still need landscaping at this point. If you had to have the home lifted or foundation repair done, the foundation crew had to pull out the landscaping around the house and remove the fill dirt from around it to expose the slab. They do replace the dirt when they’re done, but you’ll need to hire a local landscaper to replant the area around the house, so you can get your home sold quickly.
Even without the need to replant around the home, original local landscape designs differentiate your home from others. Well-maintained hedges, verdant grass, or other ground cover, such as clover, and flower beds can help sell the home. So, let’s consider the landscaping priorities that can get your home sold quickly.
Many landscaping priorities abound besides replanting the area around the home’s foundation. Remove dead trees, plants, and yard debris. Trim the shrubs and hedges because an overgrown look degrades the landscape.
Have landscaping contractors frame the flowerbeds, so they appear to form a structural extension of the home. Use plants of various heights and vibrant flowers in the beds and cover the ground in the flower beds with mulch. Edge the flower beds with six-inch or lower walls of resin or stone.
To get your home sold quickly, create a visual statement at the front door or on the front porch using potted plants. Use topiaries or bright flowers on either side of the front door or three planters of varying heights in one corner of the porch or front stoop. Although a simple display of greenery, it creates a home designer look as potential home buyers approach the house.
If your home doesn’t already feature outdoor lighting, upgrade it with a landscape lighting installation to help get your home sold quickly. Although people visit homes for open houses during the day, they drive by them at night. Make your home sparkle by installing ambient, task, and accent lighting in the yard. This creates a warm glow in the yard and makes the house seem welcoming at any time of day.
Lighting a home’s exterior requires safety lights to provide bright night lighting for security. It also uses floodlights to chase away yard shadows. Landscape lights spotlight flower beds and other plantings, while path lights direct visitors along the sidewalk or walkway. Deck lights on steps create a safer home entry, and accent lighting, such as string lights, illuminates seating areas.
Other Home Exterior Updates
Finish out the amazing new look of your home with new hardscapes. Features like a new driveway or patio can help get your home sold quickly. A concrete contractor can install landscaping features that add utility to the yard, such as carports or a foundation for a pergola. A mason can install an outdoor kitchen that vaults your home to the top of the sales lists.
Many outdoor kitchens and outdoor living areas combine concrete and deck features. A deck builder can create a custom-designed deck that offers a cozy place to spend time outdoors during all four seasons. Consider a deck that offers a food preparation area, a dining area, and a conversational seating area to help get your home sold quickly.
Homes with basements need a form of flood mitigation built into their designs. If your home does not have a sump pump installed in its basement, consider having a general contractor add a French drain system to the house. This drainage trench contains a buried pipe covered with small pebbles or river stones that create an attractive landscaping feature that helps prevent flooding in the home. Adding this type of drainage and flood mitigation mechanism can help get your home sold quickly.
General Curb Appeal Considerations
When you want to get your home sold quickly, you need it to immediately make a great impression on potential buyers. Superb curb appeal does that. So far, we’ve discussed the must-haves of curb appeal. If you finish all of these projects and want to further add to the home’s exterior appearance, try the bonus projects discussed in this section.
Homes with detached garages sometimes need a little extra sprucing because the garage roof gets ignored when the rest of the home receives a new roof. Replace the roof, so it matches the home. Repaint the garage to match the house color and its trim.
Perhaps the garage looks pretty good but doesn’t quite complement the home. Install a new garage door to update the home exterior. These doors range in cost from $900 to $4,000, with aluminum roll-up doors costing the least. A set of wood or stainless steel carriage house doors or barn doors can instantly revamp a garage.
Also, update the home’s entry doors and storm doors. Upgrade the front door to a solid core, steel door to improve security. A jaunty color like bright red or vibrant blue can help the home stand out in a good way.
Further improve upon the new windows added to the home by installing window shutters. Exterior shutters create an Old World ambiance and offer a security element. Hurricane shutters protect the window glass from breakage during a storm with high winds.
The garage and house aren’t the only buildings that need attention. Repaint a wood shed or storage shed to match the home and garage. For a detached garage, replace the roof if it did not get replaced when the home’s roof did.
Make the rear yard look great, too, by maintaining every area, including any children’s playground or recreational equipment, such as a swing set. Make repairs to these sets, even if you take them with you. Fixing any potential eyesore upgrades the curb appeal. If you don’t move until after the house sells, making these recreational items look new can help you sell the home quicker.
Revamp Your Home’s Exterior for a Quicker Sale
Many homes require little preparatory work to the exterior because their house-proud owners maintain them well. In some cases, an older home needs a little work before offering it for sale. Repair the biggest items, like the foundation and the roof first, then move on to the landscaping and hardscapes. After completing the needed repairs, add other features that add to curb appeal, such as shutters.
Although it may seem like a lot of work, spending this time and money on your home’s exterior can result in a payback at resale of about 70%. Sprucing up your home before selling it can net you a much better selling price. Take care of the items that an appraiser or inspector would note need repair first. After that, focus on little updates like the garage door and shutters that add value, ambiance, and security to the home.