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You know the saying, don’t judge a book by its cover?

Well, that’s exactly how buyers judge a home.

If your house doesn’t look great on the outside, a lot of buyers will walk—or scroll—right on by to the next house.

Lackluster curb appeal isn’t a death sentence for a home sale though. There are big and small changes you can make to boost curb appeal (and your sale price). In this post, we’re going to dive into the best ways to improve curb appeal, but before we begin, let’s discuss what exactly curb appeal is.

What Is Curb Appeal?

Curb appeal is how attractive your home is when someone views it from the curb. While the main focus of curb appeal is the front of the home, many consider the side and back to be important as well.

Having good curb appeal means everything in the front of your home looks well-maintained and polished. This means landscaping is maintained, the front porch and door are clean and bright, any damage to the driveway and walkways is patched, and siding is cleaned or even updated. On the other hand, your home can have bad curb appeal if you have things like overgrown shrubs, a dated exterior design scheme, or siding, gutters, or roofing that need repair.

curb appeal - before
curb appeal - after

Why Is Curb Appeal Important?

Most buyers decide whether or not they like your home within the first 10 seconds of seeing it. Since the first thing buyers see is the outside of your home, curb appeal can make or break a buyer’s entire opinion of a home.

Boosting your curb appeal can help you attract a broader set of buyers, sell faster, and maximize profit. Read on to learn how to improve curb appeal.

How to Improve Curb Appeal

Improving curb appeal doesn’t have a one size fits all solution. Based on the age and unique condition of your home, you’ll need different home improvements to boost your curb appeal. Before determining which projects to take on, discuss your home’s current state with a licensed real estate agent. They’ll help you determine which updates are necessary to get your home sold, which ones will result in positive returns, and which ones are nice, but will ultimately take away from the profit of your home sale. They can also work with Curbio to get estimates for specific projects so you know exactly how much each improvement will cost and the estimated return. The best part? With Curbio, you won’t pay for the work until closing, so you can tremendously increase your profit without fronting the cash.

To help narrow down the choices, below are some of the best projects for improving curb appeal.

Update Siding

Siding isn’t something you’ll always notice on a home—unless it’s terribly outdated or in poor condition. When siding material is outdated, worn down, or falling apart, it can be a huge detractor for buyers. Let’s look at this house as an example.

The siding is in such poor condition that the home screams, “buyers beware.” In actuality, the interior of the home was in great condition, but most buyers wouldn’t go far enough to see.

If it’s seen better days, you should consider updating your siding. Replacing it can be pricey, but when necessary, it’s an improvement that pays off.

curb appeal - siding - before
curb appeal - siding - after

If the siding material is in good condition though, replacement isn’t necessarily the best option. For this home in particular, the wood siding itself was in good condition, and it was just the paint that had been worn down.

See for yourself how amazing the transformation was with just a fresh coat of paint for the siding and a fresh coat of stain for the fence.

Swap Out Doors

Another way to improve your curb appeal is to change your garage door and front door. Front doors naturally draw attention. You can swap your front door out entirely or simply repaint your door with a vibrant color (like red or teal).

With so much front-of-house real estate, garage doors are another focal point of your home. They also take more time and money to replace—so, to maximize the value of home improvements, we only recommend updating them if they’re outdated or damaged.

Spruce Up Landscaping

There’s more to curb appeal than the look of your house itself. Another key part of curb appeal is landscaping, which can include everything from plants to paths. Before making any changes, it’s first important to clean up what you already have. Patch up your lawn, prune your shrubs, power wash concrete paths and driveways to make sure everything—at the very least–looks clean and well maintained.

In some cases, it also makes sense to also add to a home’s landscaping to create a more cohesive look and stellar curb appeal. The important thing to note here though is that while today’s buyers want outdoor spaces, they also want those spaces to be easy to maintain. Too many plants or anything that takes time to maintain can turn buyers off, so it’s best to work with a Realtor to determine which landscaping projects will add value and which will just cost you money.

Stage Outdoor Living Spaces

While not the first thing buyers see, your backyard space is also important for curb appeal, and an increasingly important area of any home. The backyard is somewhere to hang out with family, entertain friends, or relax and unwind. So, it’s important to make your backyard just as inviting as the front of your home. One of the best ways to do this is by creating outdoor living space by updating and staging.

Adding elements like a fire pit, lighting, and cozy seating will help buyers imaging themselves using the space. Developing your backyard into a living area can help your home feel bigger (and boost your curb appeal).

staged-backyard

Address Deferred Maintenance

Some of your deferred maintenance may have already been touched on by addressing the previous items, but it’s important to make sure you take a look at anything that needs repairs. Today’s buyers want move-in ready and will avoid listings that look like they could become projects or money pits.

Before you list, take a look at your gutters, windows, paths, steps, doorways, and of course, your roof to make sure there aren’t any red flags that will send buyers running.

Curb appeal isn’t just a buzz word. From simple repairs and clean-up to adding outdoor spaces and replacing a roof to add value, improving curb appeal can help you significantly increase your profit from a home sale.

While it’s important to tend to a home’s exterior, buyers don’t make a decision on the exterior of a home alone, so you shouldn’t stop there. To maximize the profit from a home sale, it’s best to clean up, repair, and make home improvements that will add value to the home both inside and out.

How pre-listing improvements work and understanding which ones add value (rather than just costing money) isn’t common knowledge. That’s why Realtors® and their sellers work with Curbio. Curbio is the expert in pre-listing home improvements and helps maximize profits while minimizing time on market. The best part? Curbio’s pay-at-closing model, sellers don’t pay until the home is sold, making pre-listing improvements accessible for every seller.

Learn more about how Curbio works.