An attractive front entrance area gives a home curb appeal that invites both guests and potential home buyers. Upgrading a home’s exterior can be as simple as painting or as complex as installing new windows or adding a patio.
A potential home-buyer's first impression is extremely important and that impression forms before they even walk into a house. The more a homeowner can do to give the front of a home a makeover, the better a buyer will feel better about what they see inside a house, said Dan Peterson, managing broker of Windermere Real Estate in Marysville.
"The first impression is huge for the buyer," Peterson said.
He said improvements should be made before a home goes on the market and before a real estate agent takes photographs of their home.
Painting is a good start. Whether it's trim, railings or decks, any peeling paint on the house should be eliminated. If the entire structure needs to be painted, then a homeowner might want to consider hiring a professional.
For more help, visit a local hardware store, such as Ace Hardware in Arlington or The Home Depot on the Tulalip Reservation. Check out do-it-yourself information to learn about painting a home and other projects. HomeDepot.com has a nice library of how-to guides about how to tackle painting and other home-improvement projects.
One of the easiest and quickest ways to boost curb appeal is to paint (and repair if needed) a home’s front door, molding and trim. Painting garage doors, porches, shutters, doorsteps, flower boxes, furniture, mailboxes/stands, and window trim are other potential projects, as is changing the front door hardware.
Another possible project to improve curb appeal is to trim and edge the yard and replace the bark around flowerbeds. "Nothing gives a better first impression than a well-manicured lawn," Peterson said in an email. In addition, add some color to the front by adding flower pots or colorful flowers to the flower beds, which will put a smile on a buyer's face when they visit, Peterson said.
Replacing windows, gutters and downspouts, adding molding to a door, outdoor furniture, a unique mailbox and stand, or flower containers, and adding or expanding a patio area/porch require a large investment of time and money. One simple task to improve a home's curb appeal is to wash the windows and make them shine," Peterson said.
He added that moss has to be removed from the home's roof. Peterson said in an email that nothing looks worse than moss on a roof and it makes it look like a homeowner doesn't take care of their house.
To further help a potential buyer's first impressions, preparing a home for sale will also mean decluttering a house and depersonalizing. Clear items from countertops in kitchens and bathrooms. In keeping with the concept of "less is more," remove personal items from walls and shelves and place excess furniture and items into storage. The amount of clutter a potential buyer will influence their impression of a home's condition.
Once a homeowner decides to sell their home, there relationship with the house changes.
"You almost have to treat it like a business transaction," Peterson said.