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You’ve heard this term thrown around among friends, colleagues and realtors in your sphere, but what does it actually mean.

What is Curb Appeal?

Curb appeal is the first impression any potential buyer gets of your home. It’s the first thing they see when they walk by or come to an open house and it’s also one of the most viewed images in online listings. It’s a teaser telling of what else is to come. If the owners take care of what their home looks like, you can bet they take care of the inside, many buyers think.

Your home’s curb appeal includes the front yard, driveway, and the exterior all the way from the paint, the garden, mailbox, to the welcome mat, and the front door.  And since it’s a buyer’s first impression of your home, it can be absolutely essential in selling your home. This is also opinion of the renovation expert Bob Villa, who estimates that a buyer’s first impression could add up to 20% to your home’s value.

How do you get your home’s curb appeal listing-ready? Follow our 4 easy and cheap curb appeal ideas to help sell your home fast below.

Before You Start

Before you jump into this task, buy up a storm and hunt for your garden gloves, we suggest a practical approach before the action starts. First, start by knowing how much your home is worth. You can find that out for free with our home valuation tool. Second, you should decide what your budget is for this project.  This first decision can only help you determine where you should prioritize your attention.

We suggest taking a photo of the home’s exterior as if it were the photo you’ll used on your online listing. Look if anything negative catches your eye or if something positive stands out. Also use the photo as a before and after reference to see how big a difference this project will make.

Curb Appeal Tip 1: Paint Your Front Door

Photography: Dream Home Images

No one can resist a freshly painted door, better yet, no one can resist a freshly painted colorful door. It creates a welcoming impression, it brightens up the space and makes your home stands out from the rest.

When repainting, take the opportunity to try a lively color or add an accent color to your existing exterior scheme. Colors like orange, blue, yellow and green are a great hit and we discuss even more desirable colors in this article. Even though this article refers to Eichlers and Mid-Century Homes, the paint colors listed are are popular for front doors of all homes. We recommend trying the tried and true trick of patch testing before tackling the entire door.

Curb appeal tip cost: Paint for a project of this size should cost no more than $20.

Curb Appeal Tip 2: Let There Be Light

Photography: Nate Donovan

Your new curb appeal doesn’t stop at the end of the day. Brighten up your home (literally) by highlighting the pathways and plants with landscape lighting. Not only will make the space more attractive, you’ll also make it more safe. Try using solar landscape lighting, they will save you a lot of money on your energy bill.

Curb appeal tip cost: It shouldn’t cost you more than $50 – &100. You can find these 6 pack solar lights at Target.

Cur Appeal Tip 3: Plants

Photography: Dream Home Images

Plants and flowers are a guaranteed hit when sprucing up your curb appeal. It adds that extra “this home is loved” feeling.  In California, planting native drought-resistant plants adds an extra element of low maintenance for the prospective buyers. Local is always better, but you can pretty much plant whatever your heart fancies.

Curb appeal tip cost:  $100 to $200, depending on how much space you want to fill.

Curb Appeal Tip 4: A Healthy Lawn

Photography: Nate Donovan

According to Zillow, sellers who hire professionals to get their home ready for listing spend an average of $6,570, part of which includes lawn care and gardening. Sellers spend the most in San Jose, with an average of $7,755. We are of the opinion, it can be one of the least-expensive steps you can take to improve curb appeal. You only need some weed and feed treatment from your nearest garden shop and dust off your lawn mower.  You can also consider installing new sod, if you feel your lawn needs a little more than a pick-me-up or if it’s riddled with weeds.

The lawn is a big part of that first impression image people get from your home. It doesn’t have to be expensive but it does require a little bit of elbow grease, that definitely pays off in the end.

Curb appeal tip cost: : $15 for the grass seed, and $0.65 per square foot for the new sod.

Final Curb Appeal Thoughts

Perfecting your curb appeal can be as cheap and easy as 1,2,3…4. With a low budget and lots of love, you can completely transform the first impression your homes creates and have a little family side project at the same time. If you have any questions about this article, or you’re interested in more tips to improve your home’s value before selling, you can either reach out to us directly for a free, no obligations consult, or you can join our free Home Selling Seminar on August 23rd at 7:00pm (PST) where we’ll answer several of your burning questions about selling your home in today’s tough market. If you can’t make the seminar, we will send you the recording afterwards. You can sign up here.

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