In today’s real estate market, curb appeal is about more than neighborhood drive-bys and official home showings. That’s because, if there’s one thing you can bet about today’s potential homebuyer, it’s that he or she is searching online. Thanks to a bevvy of easy-access real estate websites, it’s simpler than ever for anyone with a computer and an Internet connection to find details about homes for sale. And whether you’ve got a listing filled with photos or none at all, interested buyers can input your address and view the front of your home through Google’s Street View.
So how does your property look? When a potential buyer pulls up a picture of the front of your home, will it delight or disgust? To help you make sure you’re making the most of your online curb appeal, here are some specific tips for strategically staging the exterior of your home.
- Clean Up the Landscaping: Buyers like a fresh, manicured appearance, so if you have any overgrown bushes or trees, take care of them fast. Mow the lawn regularly. Rake the leaves. Cut down rotted trees. Sweep away debris on walkways or the front porch. Add colorful flowers. Not only can caring for your plants and lawn improve the way your home looks to buyers — it can showcase more of your house. Free from overgrown brush, your residence will be front and center, ready for buyers to fall in love.
- Declutter: Sure, you love the wacky, colorful lawn furniture your aunt made you — but to buyers, they just look cheap and junky. That’s why you need to get rid of all clutter and personal artifacts when selling. Toys, furniture, lawn ornaments, signs — anything that doesn’t make a home’s curb appeal look more beautiful and inviting should go. Make it as easy as possible for buyers to imagine themselves calling your property home.
- Make Any Needed Repairs: If the front of your home needs work, that will be the first thing buyers notice. Repair or remove the broken storm door. Replace the dingy home numbers. Switch the busted porch light. Get that broken window fixed. When buyers pull up your home’s photo you want them to notice how pretty it looks, not how much work they’d have to do to fix it.
- Update the Façade: Whether you replace all the siding completely or pay for a professional paint job, you want to find a way to update your home’s exterior. Make it look fresh and clean with a new look, one that modernizes your home’s style or simply shows that the property has been cared for.
- Power Wash the Deck: It won’t cost a bundle to power wash your front deck, but it will go a long way toward improving the look of your home. If you don’t own a power washer, rent one for the day from a local home-improvement store.
- Clean Up the Garage: It should go without saying that the garage needs to look its best when your home is on the market, particularly if it has front-facing doors. Repair any damages and, if the budget allows, consider replacing outdated doors with something a little more eye-catching like custom doors that feature windows at the tops. While you’re at it, declutter and clean out the inside of the garage — in order to make it a place to store cars and not all your out-of-season storage items.
Staging your home’s curb appeal for the Web does take time and money, but it’s an investment well worth the effort. In return for your updates, you’ll gain a home that’s worth more to potential buyers, as well as one that will draw in prospects the minute they see it on their computer screens. Use the tips above to get started!
Justin White is the Marketing Director for Mid Atlantic Door Group, the leading distributor for Overhead Door Corp. With his expertise, Justin has a wide knowledge on all things garage door-related, ranging from garage doors and openers to garage door operators.