Home Enhancement Guide - Home Exterior

Home Enhancement Guide - Exteriors


Neatly trimmed shrubs are essential. Taking the time to do this costs little, but has a huge impact. Besides being freshly mowed and trimmed, a lawn should look healthy. If there are spots that look beyond help, a little sod goes a long way to restoring the look of a well-maintained lawn.

Ask yourself these questions:
  • Does your yard look well maintained?
  • Are the trees and bushes trimmed?
  • Is your lawn mowed and edged?
  • Is your lawn free of weeds?
  • Is your yard raked of leaves and pine needles?
  • Are the decks and patios clean?

Additional Tips and tricks:
  • Spruce up outdoor containers/sheds.
  • Touch up the mulch.
  • Plant some instant color.
  • Shape unsightly or overgrown trees and shrubs.
  • Tend to perennial beds.
  • Clean up water features.
  • Take care of any irrigation issues.
  • Repair faucet leaks.

Don't have the expertise, time or energy to get your yard ready? Hire a landscaper to spruce up your yard and make it look great.
Home Enhancement Guide - Exteriors

View From the Curb

The property's landscape is not limited to to the lawn and shrubs but encompasses everything from the street to your doorstep. For this reason, you must make sure each component of the visual landscape looks its best. The real estate industry refers to this as "curb appeal."

  • Street
    Mak sure the street in front of your house is free of litter and debris. If necessary, give it a fresh sweep.
  • Fire Hydrant
    Although you don't own the fire hydrant in front of your house, you should still be concerned about how it looks. If it needs a freshening up, get permission from your town and paint it.
  • Sidewalk
    Sweep your sidewalk if needed and remove weeds that may be growing between cracks.
  • Fence
    A freshly painted fence gives a home a crisp look. You should never let a peeling, tire-looking fence or squeaky gate stand between a prospective buyer and a positive first impression.
  • Mailbox & Light Fixtures
    A quick painting of an old mailbox will let the buyer know you care about the details. If outdoor lamps look rusted and worn out, new ones will cast a positive light on your property.
Home Enhancement Guide - Exteriors

As The Buyer Approaches

Through the Buyer's Eyes...Pay attention to everything the buyer will see when walking up to the front door. What will they notice?

  • Front Walkway
    Like the sidewalks, the walkway should be clean and free of weeds. If sections are badly cracked, consider having them repaired.
  • Driveway
    If your driveway is stained or otherwise worn-looking, consider resealing it with a high quality sealer product. Consider your car if you plan on parking it in the driveway. A clean well-maintained car will make a much different statement as compared to a poorly cared for car. Consider parking down the street for showings.
  • Paint
    A fresh coat of paint can be one of the best investments you can make to increase the value of your property. If you do not want to spend the money to paint the entire house, consider just the shutters or the front. Read our section below for tips and tricks on choosing paint colors.
Home Enhancement Guide - Exteriors

Siding, Windows, and Roofs.

Keep in mind the experience a buyer will have walking up to your front door. What will they see and what impression will that give them?

  • Siding
    If you have vinyl or aluminum siding, have a cleaning service wash or repaint it using a product designed for these materials.

  • Windows
    Attractive windows can help increase the appeal of your home.
    • Replace any cracked or broken glass.
    • Make sure the windows are sparkling clean.
    • Add shutters to the front of your house.
    • Install window boxes with bright flowers.
    • Apply touch-up paint where needed.
  • Roof
    The roof may be the single most important aspect of your home front. A well-maintained roof will say a lot about the overall condition of the property.
    • Replace any broken or missing shingles or tiles.
    • Repair flashing where needed.
    • Paint eaves and fascia boards.
    • If the roof is old and needs to be replaced, consider having the work done before showing the property.
Home Enhancement Guide - Exteriors

Choosing Exterior Paint Color

Picking the right exterior color can be crucial. Here's some tips and tricks that will hopefully help:

  • What colors exist on your exterior that cannot be changed? The dark gray flecks in your brick, for instance, or that blue cast in your roofing shingles. A cohesive color scheme will take into account and compliment these unchangeable shades. Your paint choices should also compliment your landscaping.
  • Add character and charm by painting your window trim and architectural details in a contrasting accent color.
  • Accenting is great, but only when used to highlight the more attractive elements of your home. Avoid drawing attention to drab features like gutters, air conditioning units, or unevenly placed windows.
  • Trends in exterior paint move at a snail's pace. The color you choose today is very likely to still be in style tomorrow, or ten years from tomorrow. Tour a few neighborhoods to get a sense of what others are opting for.
  • Don't ignore the neighbors. While it's a good idea to get creative, it's usually a bad idea to pick colors that will clash with your neighbors' exteriors. You can always stand out, but try to do so in an unobtrusive way!
  • Light colors make a house look larger and more inviting, and if painted on a house that's sited away from the curb, they can bring the structure visually forward. Dark colors, meanwhile, make a house look more substantial, and especially if applied to a home's lower portion, they suggest stability and permanence.

Home Enhancement Guide - Exteriors

The Front Door and Other Recommendations

  • Make the front door inviting. A fresh coat of paint, especially in a color that contrasts with the home, will make the front door stand out. Replace faded house numbers so buyers can see them from the curb.
  • Buy a new welcome mat to enhance the feeling that the buyer is being welcomed into their new home.
  • Make your repairs in advance. Things like squeaky doors or a window that sticks or a toilet that runs until you jiggle the handle. it might be easy for you to ignore these minor issues, but buyer's will likely see these as problems that lower the home value or as bargaining chips during the closing process.
  • Remember that the more issues a buyer sees on the surface, the more concerned they will be about what they can't see.
  • A pre-sale inspection can ensure all repairs necessary for the sale are handled before buyers walk through. If the inspection unearths costly issues, such as needing a new roof, you can decide to make the fix or price your home a little lower to account for the needed repair. An inspection typically costs between $200 and $483, according to HomeAdvisor.com. Most buyers will include an inspection contingency in their offer so if both parties aren’t able to agree on repairs following an inspection, the buyer can walk away without a penalty.
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