September was “Curb Appeal Month,” and before we wrap it up — along with many of the summer maintenance chores — we asked our local realtors a few questions about curb appeal. If you’re getting ready to sell your home, or simply want to spruce up the outside of the home before the holidays, check out these tips.
- Donna Cryder, Windermere Real Estate/Port Orchard
- Eileen Black, John L. Scott Real Estate, Bainbridge Island
- Debra Keene Bergeron, Better Properties Kitsap, Bremerton
- Brian and Sharna McArdle, John L. Scott Real Estate, Silverdale
Most Important Areas for Curb Appeal
Eileen Black: I consider the front yard and fresh paint to be two of the most important areas for curb appeal. If the front yard has not been kept up, spruce it up by removing dead or dying plants, hydroseed the lawn and freshen up at least the trim and front door of the home. All of these items will make the house look fresh and well cared for.
Donna Cryder: The most common items overlooked by the homeowner are the little things that matter. The buyers’ first impressions are the most important. The curb appeal must stand out like no other. Stand out front of your home and stare at it and then think to yourself, what does it need? Drive around the neighborhood and see what catches your eye then go back and look at your home again.
Brian and Sharna McArdle: The approach to the front door is most important. Power-wash hard surfaces. Add fresh bark, some color plantings and bowls, and a new “Welcome” mat. Clean front porch and entry thoroughly.
Debra Keene Bergeron: That front door is the portal to the home of your buyer’s dreams. I always ask my clients to consider repainting their front door in an appealing, inviting color, and framing it with a couple potted plants filled with colorful flowers. A charming “Welcome Home” mat is the perfect finishing touch.
Attention to Small Details
Eileen Black: People often leave trashcans and assorted items like boat or camper trailers to the side of the yard. Cleaning up this side yard so that it looks fresh and neat makes a big difference in the minds of potential buyers. When you have “stuff” lying around, it looks like the house has limited storage, but great storage areas are what most buyers want. Think fresh, clean and neat and it will help the home sell for top dollar.
Debra Keene Bergeron: I remember once, when on my own home search, driving down the street and seeing a lovely home on the left. I was so hoping that was the property for sale, and was so disappointed to see that it was the rather ratty-looking home across the street instead. Before I had even gone inside, that disappointment impacted how I viewed the rest of the house.
The only real difference? This yard was overgrown, the gate on the fence was broken, and the front porch was cluttered with shoes and cracked pots with dead and dying plants. A simple mow of the grass, repair or removal of the gate, and clearing off the front porch could have made all the difference.
Simple, Easy “Curb-Appeal-in-a-Day” Projects That Could Make a Difference
Donna Cryder: Sprucing up a home can be as simple as bringing fresh bark, adding flower containers to the yard, placing brick along the flower beds or outlining the yard and driveway and giving it a clean edge. Some ideas include:
- Touching up with fresh paint where it’s needed
- Cleaning the windows
- Shaping unsightly or overgrown shrubs and trees
- Power-washing the driveways and walkways
If you have a water feature, clean it up so it is standing out with both look and sound. Tend to the perennial beds — do they need to be thinned out?
Have the gutters cleaned on the outside as well as the inside. If the roof needs attention, then clean the gutters at the same time.
Unblock any windows of any trees limbs, remove all weeds and enhance the front with color.
All this curb appeal should be started a few weeks in advance if selling is something you are thinking of doing. By sprucing up, you will sell you home faster.
Brian and Sharna McArdle: Freshening the front door has a huge impact. Paint a contrasting, interesting color to add some pop. Replace the lockset. Replace light fixtures on the front of the home. Maximum impact for a couple hundred dollars and can be done in a day.