10 Ways Elbow Grease is the Secret to Great Curb Appeal

If you’re considering selling your home this Spring, you will want to start getting your home ready.  Don’t forget the outside when you consider sprucing up the home. With the Spring officially upon us, it’s time to give some attention to outside. In most cases, all you need is a little elbow grease to make a big difference. Here are 10 steps to great curb appeal:

Great Curb Appeal Welcomes Buyers

We’ve seen the effect that the outdoor approach to the home has on home buyers. Great curb appeal is a first impression that can set the tone for how the buyer views the rest of the home. If they feel a strong “Welcome Home!” message from the time they approach the home, they are much more favorable to the rest of the home. I’ve put together some basic tips for achieving great curb appeal for your home.

1. The front door has to give the ‘Welcome Home’ message loud and clear. A fresh coat of paint is a must, new door knobs and hardware, if the old ones are worn, and a new kick plate if appropriate. Studies show that red is a favorite color, if it fits in with the style and colors of the home and the neighborhood. Be sure to check with the covenants or homeowner association guidelines if applicable.

Create a focal point at the front door by adding a wreath of flowers, or Red Doorplanters or potted flowers. Adding a cozy chair or bench is a nice touch if there is room. Hanging planters of flowers are a nice touch if you don’t have room on the ground. Just remember not to go overboard with a cluttered entrance. The entrance should have enough room for at least a couple of people to stand side-by-side. A crowded entrance doesn’t say “welcome home”.

2. Wooden trim must be repaired of wood rot and freshly painted. Buyers will spot wood rot or old peeling paint right away, and suspect that the home might have other deferred maintenance issues. Maintaining and repairing the outside as well as the inside of your home during the time you own it will keep you from the last minute repairs that can be inconvenient as well as more expensive.

3. Overgrown plantings can also hint at lack of maintenance to many buyers. Trim bushes and trees and put a layer of new mulch on beds. If you can’t plant some colorful flowers, put some potted flowers near the doorway. Colorful flowers are friendly and welcoming. Looking for some inspiration? Check out this group Pinterest board:

Curb Appeal

Follow The Highland Group’s board Curb Appeal on Pinterest.

4. Renting a power washer for a day can take care of a lot of problems. Power washing mold and algae off of outdoor surfaces is important, as mold shouts deferred maintenance to most buyers. Power wash dirt build-up on driveways, walkways, stoops, porches, siding and decks, making a clean, sparkling impression.

Make sure the windows are clean, inside and out. When showing your home, you want as much natural light as possible to enter. You also don’t want buyers being distracted by dirt-filtered light…anyone who has dogs…you know what I mean!

5. Paint faded shutters to make a clean fresh look. Re-think windows that are without shutters, keeping symmetry in mind. Staining or painting siding may be necessary if the house is faded and dingy.

Address repairs in siding and roof shingles. If you have repairs that will need to be done, attending to them before you list the house will eliminate negatives in the buyer’s mind and may even net you more in an offer. Most buyers have a number in mind, and then they start subtracting with each item they see that needs repair. It’s always a good strategy to give them as few negative items as possible from the start.

6. Putting new black top on the driveway can sharpen up the approach to the house. Taking care of cracks in the cement and walkways is also a good investment of time and energy.

Mailbox7. It may sound like a small thing, but a ratty-looking mailbox will really stand out once you’ve done all the other sprucing up. Home supply stores carry lots of types so that you should be able to find one that fits your home’s style for a reasonable cost.

image curtesy of   of Babble.com

8. Make grass as lush as possible, as soon as possible. Start using a product like Scott’s Weed and Feed right away, so your lawn will be in great shape. And it may go without saying, but keep the lawn mowed when you have your home on the market.

9. Make sure your house is easy to show. Put the lockbox in a prominent place and make sure walkways are clear. When you have a scheduled showing, make sure there is room in the driveway or front of house.

10. Keep the entrance well-lit for night-time showings. After you’ve spent all this effort on your curb appeal, you don’t want buyers to miss it in the dark. You also don’t want any accidents.  Inspect your entrance lighting and replace if necessary.

More Recommended Reading on Preparing Your Home for Sale:

Elbow Grease Pays Off

Outside presentation is important…first impressions can often make a big difference in how the buyer views the inside of your home. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on any of these projects, in fact you probably shouldn’t. Just consider a little elbow grease as a good investment. Most of the outdoor sprucing can take place over a weekend. All of this effort will pay off when you grab a buyer’s interest before they even walk through the front door.

Make sure you don’t overdo anything, including paint colors, flowers, and outdoor furniture. You don’t want to overwhelm your visitors, you just want to make them feel welcome. Welcome enough to want to stay!


Contact Chris Highland for our Seller’s Marketing Plan

The Highland Group with eXp Realty
410-777-5714 – Broker
301-401-5119 – Cell
8923 Fingerboard Rd
Frederick Maryland 21704

10 Steps to Great Curb Appeal
Great Curb Appeal Welcomes Buyers


Article Name
10 Ways Elbow Grease is the Secret to Great Curb Appeal
With the Spring officially upon us, if you're thinking about selling your home, it's time to give some attention to outside. In most cases, all you need is a little elbow grease to make a big difference. Here are 10 steps to great curb appeal:


  1. […] Curb appeal is another thing all homes can address.  Having just recently come through a cold winter it is easy to see where the grass has gone bare in patches, certain plants may have died or some other weather related issue has taken some of the shine off of your house.  Improving these curb appeal related issues help buyers get drawn into a property because they want to see more.  If instead what they see is something comparable to a minefield mixed with a field of weeds then the buyers will be turned off, or worse they will come in expecting to get a bargain deal on the house.  If you are wanting to sell your house as a bargain deal then it may be fine to leave things as is.  But if your goal is to try and get the best amount from the sale of your home, then addressing curb appeal should be on the top of your list.  For more tips on how to improve your curb appeal check out this Listoic piece entitled “17 Easy and Cheap Curb Appeal Ideas Anyone Can Do” and also this piece written by Realtor Karen Highland “10 Ways Elbow Grease is the Secret to Great Curb Appeal“. […]

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