That’s about how long you have to create a good impression when a buyer first views your home. The moment they pull up, even before the car door opens, they’ve formed an opinion and you had better be sure it’s a good one!
“Because today’s buyers have much more to choose from in the way of inventory, any home for sale must make a positive first impression,” according to the National Association of Realtors.®
But the good news is, you can shape your prospective buyer’s opinion by maximizing your home’s curb appeal – and it’s not going to cost you a fortune. Here are some ideas of how you can quickly improve the appeal of your home so that it doesn’t stagnate on the market and fetches the best possible price. These same ideas work for those of you who just purchased a new home and wish to improve upon your existing curb appeal.
- Eliminate Weeds
Kill them, pull them, dig them – whatever method you choose is up to you, but get them out of your flower beds, sidewalks, driveways, and paths.
- Prune or Trim existing plants and trees
Overgrown beds hide the beauty of your home. Trim back overgrown shrubs, prune branches from trees, thin out overgrown areas in your flower beds. If you are unsure how to properly trim or prune your shrubs and trees look on the internet for advice. Neaten up any overgrown beds.
- Plant Rye Grass (if selling in the fall / winter)
Make your yard stand out by having a bright, cheery, green lawn all through the fall and winter. It is simple and inexpensive to over-seed your existing lawn with rye grass. Just make sure you have not applied a pre-emergent to your lawn – it will prevent the rye seed from germinating.
- Apply Pre-Emergent
If you are not going to over-seed with rye grass then apply a pre-emergent on your lawn. This will prevent any cool season weed seeds from germinating and growing into weeds. Your lawn won’t be green, but it won’t have weeds either.
- Freshen Mulch
Spread a thin coat of mulch in your existing flower beds and it will make the bed look much cleaner and new.
- Replace Dead Plants
If you have dead plants in existing landscapes then replace them with healthy plants. Dead plants give the appearance of neglect and a potential buyer will wonder what else hasn’t been tended to other than just the plants.
- Create an instant garden
Container gardens add a welcoming feel and colorful appeal to any home exterior — quickly and affordably. You can buy ready-made containers or create your own with your favorite plants.
A staggered, asymmetrical arrangement of 3 to 5 pots creates a dynamic setting or flank both sides of the door with single matching pots. Choose bold colors to add the “wow” to the neutral color of most homes. The current trend is to combine several different type of plants into your pots designs – small shrubs, ornamental grasses along with an area for seasonal color. The best part is you can take them with you if you are selling your home.
- Add Outdoor Fountain to cover road noise
If you happen to be on a busy street and road noise is an issue in your outdoor seating area you can minimize it with the sounds of falling water from a water feature. Offered in a variety of sizes and styles (ornate, contemporary, earthy) let the burbling sounds of falling water take the place of the sound of cars rushing by. Place fountains on level ground in optimum hearing and sight vantage points.
- Add Seasonal Annual Color to Existing Beds
Colorful annuals planted in groupings can make a statement that is easily seen from the road. These pops of color brighten up the yard and can help draw attention to them and away from another area of the yard that you might want to de-emphasize.
- Create a new planting bed
Add contrast and color to your home with a new planting bed. Prime spots are at the front corners of the yard, along driveways or walkways, and immediately in front of the house. When creating a new bed, choose features that will frame your home rather than obscure it. Take advantage of our “Plant by Number” design program – we design it and you plant it. Best of all it’s free.
- Outdoor Lighting
Low-voltage landscape lighting makes a huge impact on your home’s curb appeal while also providing safety and security. Fixtures can add accent lighting to trees or the house or can illuminate a walking path. If you aren’t able to use lights that require wiring, install solar fixtures (but understand that their light levels are not as bright or as reliable).