First impressions are important – and that goes for your house, too. Improve its image – and its sales potential – with these enhancements.
Step 1: Take a good look Stand at a distance from your home and view it through a stranger's eyes. Note what is appealing and what might be off-putting. Ask a few honest friends for their opinions.
Step 2: Give it a fresh coat Give your house an instant facelift with a fresh coat of paint. If that's too big an undertaking, even painting the front door can make a huge difference. Choose a dramatic color that still complements the rest of the structure.
TIP: Use a glossy finish to make your house look brighter, especially from a distance.
Step 3: Upgrade the entrance Upgrade your entrance with a new doorknob and a matching door knocker. Install a wall-mounted light fixture next to the door. Hang big house numbers that match the architectural style of your home. Replace the mailbox if need be, and roll out a new welcome mat.
TIP: If you're trying to sell your home, don't display a mat that advertises that you have pets; it may turn off some buyers.
Step 4: Add some flowers Add flowers wherever you can: Flank the front door with pots; plant beds in the front yard; put them in hanging baskets; add window boxes. Choose colors that are bright enough to be seen from a distance. Reinvigorate any existing flower beds with a layer of fresh mulch.
Step 5: Trim the bushes Now that the house looks so inviting, make sure it can be seen! Trim bushes and low-hanging branches, especially if they're blocking windows.
Step 6: Green your lawn Sort out your lawn. Edging and striping are two ways to make an ordinary lawn look extraordinary. If you don't have good grass to work with, consider installing sod.
TIP: For a quick camouflage, spray brown spots with the green turf colorant used by golf courses; that's what professional home stagers do!
Step 7: Clean the driveway Rent a power washer to clean the driveway and sidewalk. If the asphalt is cracked and gray, add a fresh coat of black sealer. Now step back and admire your home's makeover.
FACT: Good landscaping adds 5 to 11 percent to the sales price of a home.