Dallas Realtors Dish on Curb Appeal
Adapted from Candysdirt.com
Much is said about creating curb appeal when you put your home up for sale. But is it really that important in our red hot housing market? And what projects will get the biggest bang for the buck and attract the right buyer?
Why not ask Realtors? They’re on the front lines with buyers, hearing comments and seeing what works and what doesn’t.
One Realtor said it best: “Curb appeal is one of the most important factors when it comes to the marketing of your home. It’s all about what the potential buyer sees when they pull up out front, get out of the car, and walk to the front door—you really have 30 to 45 seconds to capture that buyer’s attention before they form their first impression.”
Another agent said: “Whether listing a $200,000 or a $2 million property, you only have one chance to make that first impression—I’m always looking for that ‘wow’ factor that will attract potential buyers.”
We asked top Dallas Realtors to weigh in on curb appeal improvements sellers can make to their properties. We’ve divided their answers into budget-friendly, mid-range, and high-end so you can easily see where to best spend your money. Let’s hear what they have to say!
BUDGET CURB APPEAL UPGRADES (under $500)
Curb appeal from a budget standpoint means focusing on what features your property already has and making it shine. Here are our Realtor suggestion for budget-friendly improvements:
MAKE WINDOWS SPARKLE:
Clean windows are a must. Take the time to wash the exterior and interior glass. There should be no visible dirt of streaking.
TRIM AND MULCH:
Mature trees are a selling feature, but can distract if limbs are blocking large portions of the front of your home. Hire a tree trimmer or do it yourself and make sure buyers have an unobstructed view of the front of your house. Make sure all shrubs are nearly trimmed, too.
Adding mulch to beds provides a neat and clean canvas for potential buyers to visualize their own color selections. Consider kicking it up a notch with some pots filled with flowers for seasonal color, but make sure these fit the scale of the home and entry. Adding benches or outdoor chairs also adds to the appeal.
MAKE YOUR GRASS PRETTY:
Take inventory of your front lawn and get the yard green or overseeded. A large lawn looks more inviting in green than an expanse of dormant, cut-back grass. Large expanses of dirt are usually better with ground cover, even if it is just sprigs.”
You can rent a pressure washer from most home improvement stores for under $75 a day. They will take years of dirt off your house and keep buyers paying attention to positive features.
Power wash the front porch, around doorways, to remove any dirt or pesky cobwebs, as well as the driveway, walk, steps, and brick that may have become discolored or stained.
PAINT SHUTTERS, TRIM, DOOR:
Paint is the least expensive tool you have to improve curb appeal. Neutral, soothing colors always play well with potential buyers, and a pop of color on the front door can go a long way. For brick or masonry homes, paint the trim to give the house a fresh and clean look.
REPLACE FRONT DOOR HARDWARE AND HOUSE NUMBERS:
Your front door should be stylish and inviting. With a fresh coat of paint and hardware and attractive new house numbers, you’re well on your way. There are so many chic options available today that there’s no excuse for a lackluster entrance. Hardware can be replaced fairly inexpensively compared to buying a whole new door.
LEAVE THE LIGHTS ON:
Potential buyers often drive friends and family by a house they’re considering, and this often happens in the evening. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your outdoor lighting and that beautiful chandelier in the dining room, Hammett says.
MID-RANGE CURB APPEAL UPGRADES ($500-$2,000)
Properties that hold an average list price in a city may need to step up their curb appeal to gain a buyer’s interest.
When buyers search for properties online, the first photo they see is the exterior of the home. The seller then has a split second to convince the buyer to look at more photos of their home.
Here are some mid-range curb appeal ideas from our Realtors:
BUY A NEW FRONT DOOR:
This is an easy way to add trendy design elements and provide a focal point. It can dramatically change the look of a house, especially if the old one was dated or beaten up.
If your front lawn is ho-hum, overgrown, or bare, consider bringing in a professional for a design consultation. He or she can suggest options to maximize curb appeal based on the size and shape of your house, how it relates to the street, and the style of your home. These contractors typically charge by the hour, anywhere from $50 to $100, and can give you a rough design plan to follow as you DIY the landscaping.
REPLACE DATED OUTDOOR LIGHTING:
This is an easy way to showcase the entry and complement your landscaping. Outdoor lighting fixtures come in a range of styles and sizes can add a touch of elegance and highlight to your entry. Light your walkway, and place indirect lighting behind shrubbery.
REPAIR THE DRIVEWAY:
Make sure your driveway is not distracting buyers. Power wash the driveway and walk and patch all cracks, crevices, and holes (talk to a specialist at a home improvement store for product recommendations). Finally, use a polymer-based cement resurfacer, like Ardex All-Purpose Concrete Resurfacer, to create a thin layer of new concrete on top. Your driveway will look like new.
HIGH-END CURB APPEAL UPGRADES ($2,000+)
Knowing your buyer is something Realtors emphasized again and again. When making changes to your property, it’s important to identify your intended buyer demographic and select upgrades that will resonate with them.
If your home is in the luxury range, then your curb appeal needs to reflect that. Since this is a higher price point, your home should have some sort of landscape lighting and an impressive entry at the minimum.
Here are some of the high-end upgrades Realtors suggest:
CHANGE ARCHITECTURAL LINES:
Consider adding a covered front entry and create a nice focal point for the property with an inviting entry.
REPLACE FRONT DOOR WITH A CUSTOM OR HIGH-END DOOR:
The variety of custom doors is almost unlimited, but the door should be in keeping with the overall design and style of your house.
If your windows need to be replaced, select replacement windows that fit the style of the home and are energy efficient. Do not go with bargain replacement windows. Upscale buyers expect the best, so invest in quality windows.
INSTALL A BEAUTIFUL WALKWAY:
Brick laid in a pattern is popular in upscale homes, as well as a combination of concrete and paving stones in a patterned design.
PLANT LARGE TREES:
Generally speaking, the taller the tree, the bigger the price tag. But a more mature tree adds tremendous beauty to the curb appeal. Go as big as you can afford.
ADD TREE LIGHTS:
Tree lights are big in Dallas and create a soothing moonlight effect on your front lawn and drive, especially when they are on the ground and in the trees. Exterior lighting is a key factor in presenting a luxury property listing.
If you are considering buying or selling, you need top-notch mortgage representation. We recommend you contact our preferred lender Don Kelly at Affiliated Bank.
The Brandee Kelley Group is experienced in consultation with both buyers and sellers. Call us at 817.635.1141 to discuss your housing needs.