by Lucy Clark
Oh, autumn. The leaves are turning, the temperature is dropping and my kitchen is beginning to smell like burnt apple pie. My knack for ruining nostalgic baked goods isn’t the only thing remarkable about this season, though. There’s also something curious going on with the real estate market as well. Specifically, everyone is trying to sell their house.
I don’t know what it is about the fall that motivates so many people to sell their homes, but I always see more “For Sale” signs in the front yards of my neighborhood this season than any other time of the year. To me, that only means one thing – the curb appeal competition is on.
For the uninitiated, curb appeal is a term realtors use to describe how appealing a house looks from the sidewalk. The idea is that making a house sparkle on the outside will lure more potential buyers inside, which will result in more offers for the seller. Sound logic, right?
With so many homes on the market this season, curb appeal is a big deal. If you want to sell your house before winter, you need to make it look more enticing than any other home in the neighborhood. For example, here are a few easy ways you can raise your home’s curb appeal in the fall.
1) Light it up.
When the days get short, nothing says “home” more than a well-lit path to the front door. Pathway lights are cheap, they’re easy to install and they make houses look great. If your house doesn’t have a front pathway, consider upgrading your porch lights or adding a lamp post in your yard near your driveway.
2) Scour it clean.
Dirt and leaf stains can ruin your chances at receiving an offer on your home. Grab a pressure washer and show them who’s boss. Wash off the entire front face of your house, including your pathway, your porch and the grooves of your siding. Hit every single nook and cranny that a potential buyer might see on their way into your home. A little water, applied at high pressure, can make any old home seem new – just remember to keep the dial low enough so that it doesn’t strip your paint.
3) Clean out your gutters.
Falling leaves and other debris can wreak havoc on your home’s gutters. This is especially problematic when you’re trying to sell your home, because many buyers consider clogged gutters to be a sign that the home hasn’t been maintained. So before putting your home on the market, break out your ladder and some work gloves and get the gunk out. If you live in an area with a lot of trees, you might want to consider investing in a gutter guard to keep the clutter under control.
A bit of holiday flair can go a long way towards maximizing your home’s curb appeal – so start decorating. Start by adding a wreath to your front door. Compliment it with some more subtle touches, such as a wagon wheel or a pot of seasonal flowers on your porch. Feel free to get creative here, but keep in mind that your mission is to create a facade that is subtle and inviting. That means no giant inflatable turkeys or Santa Clauses. Keep it simple, sweet and affordable.
You don’t need a real estate license to know how to make your home sparkle. If you’re one of the many homeowners trying to fly the coop this season, follow these easy steps to make your house look appealing and inviting to potential buyers. In this heavily populated market, a little curb appeal can really go a long way toward landing you an offer.