#1: Get that Lawn looking good
You only have one chance to make a first impression on buyers! Before putting your home on the market, take the time to get your yard into shape. Do as much as you can within your budget. Some simple fixes, start by keeping the lawn mowed, raking up leaves and pulling weeds. Spread some fertilizer or new seed to make your lawn look fresh and thick.
#2: Add a Focal Point
WOW the buyers by adding colorful flowers and plants is one great way to make an average yard pop. For an easy, inexpensive fix, install flower boxes in your windows, potted plants around your front door and new house numbers. What about that front door? New is always nice but if you can't fit that in your budget how about a fresh coat of paint and a new doorknob. You can also liven up your landscaping by adding an eye-catching accent pieces, such as a water feature or an arbor. Stay away from anything too tacky. Complete the look with a new welcome mat. When choosing these items, make sure they complement the style of your home for a pulled-together look.
#3: Clean and Declutter
You want buyers to focus on your home, not the toys, lawn ornaments, lawn mower or any other items you have just laying around. Store it all out of sight before you show your home. Once the clutter is cleared away, you will want to clean your exterior. WHAT?? Remove grime and cobwebs by pressure washing your home's siding, and clean your windows inside and out. If your gutters are overflowing with leaves and other debris, buyers will think you've slacked off on interior maintenance as well. It's a good idea to just clean them out.
#4: Freshen it up with Paint
Freshen up that faded exterior with paint. Be sure to choose colors wisely. Earth tones are usually a safe bet, but you should take a drive around your neighborhood to see works and what doesn't. If you don't have the time or money to paint the entire house, you can always add color by painting the shutters, trim and railings. Also painting or adding a new mailbox is a great way to make everything look fresh and new.
#5: Light up the Night
Not only can outdoor lighting highlight your home's best features, it can also provide safety and security at night. Landscape lighting used to be difficult and expensive to set up and maintain, but pre-packaged lighting kits now cost as little as $40 and only take an hour or two to install. Consider adding decorative lighting along walkways or flood lights over entrance areas to brighten up your home.
#6: Maintain your Driveway and Walkways
Often overlooked by sellers, driveways and walkways play the crucial role of leading buyers to your front door, effectively setting the tone for every tour of your home. At minimum, you'll want to repair cracks in your driveways and walkways to make a good first impression. If you have cash leftover, consider upgrading typical asphalt with a higher-end material, such as stone or brick pavers.
#7: Check your Roof
Your roof is crucial element of your home's exterior appearance, and buyers will notice if it's in bad shape. Start by replacing or repairing missing and broken shingles -- not only do these look shabby, but they expose your roof to water damage and rot. Roofs generally last 12 to 25 years, so if yours is nearing the end of its lifespan, consider replacing it. Composite asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material, but metal, wood or clay shingles offer a unique, higher-end look.