There are certain real estate mantras that will always be true (location, location location!) Also near the top of the list is curb appeal, a devastatingly important detail when selling your home. Pleasing curb appeal translates to: you only have a few moments to make a great first impression. And a first impression can be a lasting impression.
If you don't have it, you must create it. And if you do have good appeal, check and recheck to make sure it's the best it can be. Most homes in Winnetka and the North Shore are simply gorgeous - but even they can have flaws that buyers will notice.
There are many things you can do to fix or enhance your home's curb appeal - here are the 5 quickest and easiest to do and they make a world of difference.
Clean Windows and Doors
Spiderwebs and rainstorm muck make a house look unlived in. Whether you use a power washer, hire someone, or do it yourself, clean windows and doors give the impression of a well-maintained and tended home. Since many of us drive into our garages and enter the home through side or back doors, we often don't notice if our front appearance is appealing.
Paint Dull Shutters, Doors, Fixtures
The front door is the gatekeeper of the home - it's one of the first things we see as we approach the house. A new, bold door color (red?) and a fresh coat on shutters plus metallic spray paint on light fixtures could provide a quick and easy shot to the arm of your home's exterior. If the front door is just too janky, install a new door. The national median cost installed is $2000 and the return is a hefty 75-100%.
If your garden is overgrown and weedy, it tells buyers that you don't sweat the small stuff. Hire a landscaper to weed, till, and refresh the plants. Station several urns around the front entry and fill with seasonal plants or evergreens in the winter. Most homes have established greenery so you don't have to recreate the wheel, but a few shrubs with bold colors can take your garden to a new level. Another overlooked task: weeds growing between your bricks or patio stones.
Bonus tip: if it's summer and you have cute Adirondack chairs, position them on your front lawn. So welcoming!
Replace Antique/Old Hardware
This includes door handles, knockers, address signage, and mailboxes. If you don't want to replace doorknobs, try to get them polished. If you have a door slot for mail, make sure it shiny and clean. New address numbers can easily be purchased from the local hardware store.
Take a walk around the exterior of your home and keep a critical eye. Look for more spiderwebs, gutters that are full or growing plants, and peeling trim paint. Easy fixes - use a power washer for grime and cobwebs, hire someone to clean the gutters, and repaint peeling trim.
These simple tweaks can have a major impact on the buyer's interest and the amount they will be willing to pay for your home. It will only take a few days or perhaps a week to complete these tasks as part of the process of listing your home for sale.
At first glance, my home looks like it has nice curb appeal.
But wait, upon closer inspection, this is what I see:
Old rusty and dirty hinge
Chipping, ancient paint job
Brass mail slot with water stains
Clearly, I have some work to do myself before I decide to move! The point is, after living in our homes, we become oblivious to their flaws. Buyers won't be!
Don't overlook your curb appeal!
To CONTACT Margaret Goss, please call 847-977-6024 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Margaret Goss is a full-time real estate agent since 1998 servicing the North Shore communities of Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Glencoe, Northfield, Glenview, and Evanston. See full BIO for Margaret Goss.