Low Cost Curb Appeal

You want your home to look good from the outside in order to draw prospective buyers inside. Real estate agents call this "curb appeal," playing off the idea that what you can see from the street (or curb) determines the initial interest in buying a home. Since we are focusing on how to get your home ready to sell by doing only the minimum, your number one home exterior focus should be is neatness. You don't have to hire a landscaper to re-do your front yard or a contractor to build a new deck. Instead, focus on sprucing up the space you already have. Spend a weekend afternoon doing all the little things that make your yard pleasant to look at and then simply maintain it while you're showing your home to potential buyers. Start out by raking and mowing the lawn, clearing toys and clutter, and organizing any outdoor furniture you may have. If your windows are dirty or water-spotted, give them a quick wipe down and make sure to leave them streak-free. If you have oil stains on your driveway, try to get them out with dishwashing detergent or a commercial concrete cleaner. If those don't work, give your car a good wash so that it is sparkling clean and park it over the oil spots to hide the eyesore for now and you can deal with it later once you have some seriously interested buyers. Lastly, take a good look at your exterior walls. If they are discolored, dirty, or just plain old grungy, you might want to consider a paint job. A fresh coat of neutrally colored paint has minimal renovating costs and raises property value.