By Luis Montejano, Realtor and Broker Associate in Los Angeles (Sotheby’s International Realty, Los Feliz)
In a buyer’s market, where there are more homes for sale than people to buy them, what’s going to separate your home from all the rest? Is it the crown molding you just put up? The fresh paint job? How about those beautiful, newly installed hardwood floors? Actually, it’s none of these—because it’s pretty hard for buyers to see your home improvements as they drive right past your house.
Without curb appeal, potential buyers will never stop. The “For Sale” sign may get the buyer to glance at the outside of your house. But it’s the outside of your house that will make them want to go in. So if you’re selling your home in a buyer’s market, it’s not enough to know the market, get your inspections, and choose the right Los Angeles realtor. You need to know how to add curb appeal to your home—or you might be living there quite a bit longer.
Here are 10 things you can do to make your outside stand out:
1. Paint Your House and Trim/Power Wash Siding and Vinyl Window Trim. The cleaner and newer your house looks, the better.
2. Decorate Your Doorstep. Making your house look lived in from the outside is a great way to make your house look more like a home.
3. Replace Exterior Hardware. Nothing makes a house shine like new doorknobs, light fixtures, and metal railings.
4. Upgrade Your Landscaping. From planting new garden beds to installing fountains and ponds, any upgrades to your outdoor living space will add visual appeal—and value—to your home.
5. Add Window Boxes. These are a little touch that can make a big difference by adding color to a more neutral looking house.
6. Try Solar Lanterns. Lighting up your walkway or patio with solar powered lanterns creates the sense that the outdoors is a livable part of your home, adding charm and value.
7. Update Your Gutters. People never replace gutters unless they break, which means they always tend to look old. Replacing these can be a great improvement to the look of your house.
8. Redo Your Driveway/Walkway. Incorporating stonework or slate can be an aesthetically pleasing update, as well as an opportunity to coordinate your walkway with your patio, giving your outdoor space a harmonious look.
9. Give Your Mailbox a Makeover. This is the first thing that a potential buyer will see since it’s usually right next to your “For Sale” sign. You know what they say about first impressions…
10. Coordinate Your Assets. If you have a garage, shed, or any other structure on your property, make sure its look is one that matches the house.
If you can take advantage of one or more of these curb appeal boosters, then there’s no time like the present. Because even though people say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, everyone still does it—and the people who are going to buy your Los Angeles home are no different. Just make sure it’s a real page-turner once they step inside.