5 Effortless Ways to Improve your Curb Appeal

Real Estate Agent with @Properties

Updated 2022

5 Effortless Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal


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 Curb appeal Winnetka ILlandscaper 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.


Exterior Tasks 

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.  

Front of Tudor home


But wait, upon closer inspection, this is what I see:

Old rusty and dirty hinge. Chipping, ancient paint job.

Winnetka curb appeal



Brass mail slot with water stains

Rusted mail slot


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:  margaretgoss@atproperties.com


While you're here, please see all North Shore homes for sale:







Highland Park



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(847) 977-6024

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Winnetka and North Shore Real Estate Broker
Specializing in homes for sale in Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Northfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Northbrook, and Evanston.

Comments (19)

Liz and Bill Spear
Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
Transaction Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

Margaret, So often sellers seem to forget about the curb appeal aspect.  Having great pictures and marketing online is the start, but the home better match or beat the online version.  Too often the front entry is totally neglected, with faded paint, wood rot at the base of the trim and enough cobwebs to make a witch very happ!  Great advice you're giving here!

Aug 22, 2017 03:39 PM
Margaret Goss

Liz and Bill - the front door is often sadly overlooked (as my own is!)

Aug 22, 2017 04:55 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Margaret- I love your post and especially love as we scrolled down you showed us the "not so fast Bucky" moment of the small things that need to be done. Buyers and their agents spend quite a bit of time at the front door. It's important for the little details are addressed. 

Aug 22, 2017 05:43 PM
Margaret Goss

Kathy - we spend a lot of time at the front door fumbling with the keys and the whole time the buyer is checking out the surroundings!

Aug 22, 2017 06:12 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

                         Thank you Margaret Goss 

Aug 26, 2017 06:08 PM
Margaret Goss

Thank you!


Aug 27, 2017 09:08 AM
Terry Records
Records Results!Real Estate - Fort Myers, FL

Great post and reminder! I'm re-blogging.

Aug 27, 2017 04:46 AM
Margaret Goss

Thank you - simple but effective ideas I think.

Aug 27, 2017 09:08 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Good morning Margaret,

I enjoyed reading your post, and I appreciate how you shared your pictures and tips.  Have a great week. A

Aug 27, 2017 05:21 AM
Margaret Goss

Ron and Alexandra - I had to be honest!

Aug 27, 2017 09:08 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good morning Margaret.  Very good advice that all sellers should pay attention to and follow.

Aug 27, 2017 05:40 AM
Margaret Goss

Gabe - the simplest things to do sometimes take the longest to get done!

Aug 27, 2017 09:09 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Margaret. This is focused, and on the money. Wouldn't it be nice to live like we were moving.....

Aug 27, 2017 06:49 AM
Margaret Goss

Sheila - absolutely, so much more would get done!

Aug 27, 2017 09:09 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Margaret. How did I miss this before Kathy Streib caught me? Thanks! Enjoy your day!

Aug 27, 2017 07:23 AM
Margaret Goss

Wayne - thank you - and thanks again to Kathy

Aug 27, 2017 09:09 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Margaret --- I'm glad to see Kathy Streib highlight your post as part of her weekly "Ah Ha" moments.   Great tips and the photos of your own home(truly beautiful curb appeal) underscore the importance of "Details Matter.  A Lot" Now it's time for some of those important finishing touches.

Aug 27, 2017 07:33 AM
Margaret Goss

Michael - I clearly have my work cut out for me!

Aug 27, 2017 09:10 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I can see why Kathy chose to  highlight you post today....great stuff!

Aug 27, 2017 08:04 AM
Margaret Goss

Thank you, Kristin

Aug 27, 2017 09:10 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Margaret

We all know how important curb appeal is, and this is a great guide for sellers. And the examples you shared provide even more evidence of the need to focus on the details...we know buyers will while standing there waiting for their agent to open the door!


Aug 27, 2017 08:07 AM
Margaret Goss

Jeff - it's true, buyers comment on their surroundings while I open (fumble with the keys) the door!

Aug 27, 2017 09:11 AM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Margaret Goss Thanks for the very good tips to improve a curb appeal.

Aug 27, 2017 09:34 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Often times buyers are standing at that front door awhile waiting to get inside. Those details will pop out and send a clear message!

Great tips for improving curb appeal and increasing perceived value!

Aug 27, 2017 12:16 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Margaret

I wasn't sure I had seen this when I found the reblog, but it was worth visiting again as there as some really good tips for sellers, who so often are not aware of how important this is!


Sep 06, 2017 11:58 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is excellent advice to share with home sellers.

Sep 07, 2017 03:38 AM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

From the hardware to the windows...all are part of what says "welcome" and well kept....or not.

Sep 07, 2017 04:23 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Good blog, Margaret. I can still remember my first tour of a home for sale. Walking up to the front door, the first thing I noticed was duct tape on the screens that had been torn apart by their cat. There wasn't much else wrong with the place but I couldn't get over that little eyesore in the front!

Sep 07, 2017 04:27 AM
Margaret Goss

And such an easy thing to fix!

Sep 07, 2017 05:41 AM
Kathryn Acciari
Central One Federal Credit Union - Shrewsbury, MA
Mortgage Loan Originator

Love your photos, Margaret. They clearly show the points you are making. And your tips are very easy to follow and implement. Great post!

Sep 25, 2017 09:59 AM
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

Great points all. I did a small post on this as well. Curb appeal is important. Buyers buy with their eyes. Thanks for sharing!

Sep 25, 2017 12:54 PM