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16 easy and inexpensive ways to boost your curb appeal

The outside of your property is where a buyer begins to evaluate how much they will pay.

Sure, they can be heavily influenced by a spectacular view or a swoon-worthy kitchen but the front of your home is where the decision process begins.

How could you spend the least amount possible to increase your likelihood of achieving a fabulous result?

You have less than 10 seconds to make your first impression.

Be Ruthless

Go and stand outside on the street. Take a hard, unfiltered look at your property.
Is the fence leaning? Are your porch lights hanging by a thread? Are there palm fronds and weeds lying around? Have spider’s webs and weeds begun to overtake the garden? Do you need to prune the bushes, thin out the dead branches in the shrubs, add some mulch or bark, power wash the path? Really be honest with yourself. Because, trust me, the buyer will.

I want it NOW Mummy

The overarching vision here is to create a property worthy of aspiration. You want your prospective buyer to begin to visualise living here, to WANT to own this house, even as they approach.

Here are a couple of easy peasy, lemon squeezy cost effective suggestions to spruce up the curb appeal for your home.

  • Trim bushes and trees. Give yourself a little lead time and heavily trim back overgrown shrubs. Don’t be too savage with the chain saw if you are selling next week and just leave a few naked sticks sadly displayed. The idea here is to tidy up the area, and to let in the light to the front of the house. It would be helpful if the purchaser didn’t have to duck overhanging tree limbs to get to the front door.

  • Neaten the sides of paths and get rid of any weeds. Scrub away any signs of green mould on paths or stepping stones. No need for your prospect to slip and fall on the way in.
  • Mow the lawns and get rid of any dog poo. Really, you would be amazed at how buyers find this offensive…
  • Don’t forget to venture outside your own gate and manicure the front nature strip. Do the neighbours too if you need to. People driving past will see both houses. Improve the overall street appeal.
  • Repaint or otherwise address the fence. Prop it back up, add missing posts, remove spiders webs, clean up any brick work, clean or replace the mail box and make sure your street number is very obvious. Nothing more annoying to buyers than aimlessly driving up and down a street looking for your number. (Even if they do turn the radio down while they are looking..)
  • Dress up the front door. Paint it if its wood, re-stain it if its natural timber. Consider it a bit of lippy for the house.
  • Don’t forget the garage door. Give it a wash. A paint if necessary. Replace if its too far gone to salvage.
  • Clean the windows. All the windows facing the street. Even the little windows in the front door. Clean them properly. With a clean cloth.
  • Replace any shabby curtains or blinds visible from the street. And take down those sheets in your son’s room you have had since you moved in 12 years ago. Shout yourself a new blind.
  • Fix tatty or ripped fly screens. You are better off removing them completely than leaving unsightly torn screens. This includes the front screen door.
  • Fix your saggy gutters too while you are at it. And no, this is not a good place to grow grass.
  • Identify the arrival point. Buy a couple of impactful plants in tubs or pots for the front step. Brightly coloured flowering plants if the house is traditional or country in style, or if that’s not the style of the home, two decent sized shrubs. The rule is either one shrub either side of the entry, or three on one side only. Go for scale here, don’t be mean. Think symmetry.
  • Update light fixtures and put in new light bulbs. Apparently, spiders are not keen on lemon so maybe a rub around with some lemon peel might keep them off for a while. Leave lights on overnight while the house is on the market.
  • Get rid of personal junk. Roll up and hide garden hoses, numerous scruffy old pots, kids toys and dogs toys. De-clutter the outside as much as you would the inside.
  • If you have a decent sized front patio, consider telling a story and adding an outside chair, some cushions, and possibly and little table. Maybe with a plant on top. Its all about the feel’. Make sure it doesn’t block the entry way and adds value, rather than makes it look cramped.
  • Get a new front door mat. For $20 you can get a nice clean, thick, appealing fresh front door mat

Any investment you make here will be money well spent.

Call a landscaping company (or ask me for a referral) if this is outside your comfort zone but make sure you give your home its best possible opportunity to snag a fabulously well qualified, incredibly emotional and generous buyer.

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