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Six Quick Steps to Instant Curb Appeal This Fall

By Michele Dawson | September 10, 2012
  • If your house is on the market, or you’re getting ready to sell, one of the first things to put on your to-do list is evaluate your curb appeal.

    © Iriana Shiyan -

    Curb appeal is a vital tool in selling your house more quickly than you might have otherwise, and it can potentially increase the price tag. It provides a potential buyer’s first impression. Good curb appeal will entice a buyer to want to see more. Bad curb appeal will automatically leave a bad taste in the buyer’s mouth. It will take a magnificent interior to overcome poor curb appeal.

    Your goal is that a would-be buyer will drive up and think, “Wow! I can’t wait to see what it looks like inside.”

    Six quick ways to achieve that “wow” factor are:

    1. Make your door pop. Clean it, add a fresh coat of paint. The front door is probably the only place you can be a little bold when repainting. Complement the house color by adding a splash of color to the door. Make it stand out even more with some decorative hardware, or at least clean and polish existing door hardware. Adorn the door with a tasteful, seasonal wreath. Place a clean welcome mat at the foot of the door.
    2. Focus on your front lawn and landscaping. Eliminate any scraggly branches that are hitting the house or are weighing down the tree. If trees or bushes are thick, prune them down and ensure the house is visible. Fertilize your lawn, make it as green and inviting as possible. A clean table and chairs by the front door or front porch also looks inviting and gives a homey feeling.
    3. Add some color. Go to your local nursery and buy some colorful annuals to plant in front of your house or in containers near the front door. For fall, look for oranges and yellows. Mums and marigolds are perfect.
    4. Clear the dirt and clutter. Remove any extra “stuff” that blocks the line of vision from the street to your house. That could mean kids’ bikes, newspapers that haven’t been picked up, dirty walkways, or piles of leaves that accumulate in the fall.
    5. Keep it clean. Powerwash the house, clean the windows until they’re sparkling. If it’s in your budget, give the exterior a fresh coat of paint.
    6. Add some new digits. Go to the hardware store and get some new, ornate house numbers. If your house is light-colored, get the numbers in a dark color.

    Michele Dawson is a freelance writer based in Phoenix, Arizona. She spent seven years as a newspaper reporter and has written for various magazines and web sites specializing in real estate and home improvement, including Realty Times, SmartHomeowner, California Builder, and the Sacramento Business Journal.

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