Perhaps, for a home in a country setting, it should be called roadside appeal. Or, front lane appeal. Whatever you call it, dressing up your home’s exterior prior to putting it on the market is essential for attracting the most buyers – and for getting the selling price you want. Here are a few ways, some large, some small, that can make your country home a for-sale showpiece.
We’re starting big first. Unless your home was fully repainted with within the past two years, inspect the exterior thoroughly to find touch-ups that you can do yourself, or to determine if it needs a full paint job by a professional. You will easily recapture the cost of painting in your selling price. Also, if your property includes outbuildings like a barn, stables or tool shed, they deserve a fresh coat of paint, too. In fact, because these buildings are utilitarian and probably don’t get an aesthetic makeover very often, they will likely need more attention than the house itself.
Color draws the eye, and you can add that special “pop” without breaking the bank. Container plants are an economical way to dress up a porch, front walkway, or even the entrance to your driveway. Decide if you want to take the containers with you when you move, or if you’ll leave them for the buyers as a housewarming gift (that is, if they expressed a liking for them). Planting a few seasonal, colorful perennials in existing beds is also a good idea, and will only cost you the price of a few flats of flowers from the local nursery and a couple of hours on a weekend afternoon. Never mind the season, either – in winter, ornamental cabbages, pansies or nandina shrubs bring color against gray skies and white snow cover. And don’t forget to trim existing shrubbery and do a thorough weeding. Adding colorfully planted window boxes is also a big curb appeal booster, and is quintessentially country.
Lavish the Lawn
This is just as important as the plantings surrounding your home. Whether you do it yourself or have a professional service come in, feed and fertilize your lawn well in advance of putting your home up for sale, to allow the treatment to make the grass thick and green, and to eliminate any weed infiltration. If your home is on the market during the warmer months, keep the lawn mowed (and generously watered) at all times. A trick to keeping a lawn manicured without it getting scorched by summer heat is to set your mower height slightly higher than normal. This way the lawn will always be a uniform height, but will remain robust enough to withstand July and August temperatures.
Do a Mailbox Makeover
How often do most of us really consider our mailboxes? And yet, it’s one of the first things on your property that people see, even when driving past. A new mailbox and post are relatively inexpensive at any hardware or home improvement store, and don’t leave without buying a flat of colorful flowers to plant around the post, or some climbing ivy with colorful, variegated leaves.
Have Some Front Door Fun
A fresh coat of paint, some new hardware, perhaps new accent lights and some container plants on the porch or front steps are easy ways to make your front door more inviting. You may even want to consider a unique color for the door, even if that color is not part of the home’s existing scheme (within reason, of course…probably best to stay away from fluorescent green). But a bright yellow door against gray or white siding gives a New England feel; a deep indigo blue in a shiny enamel finish looks stunning against white siding, pale stucco or red brick. If your home’s siding is naturally stained shake shingles, contrast the wood tone with a deep burnt orange front door, or one painted in in a soft, seafoam green. Both lend an early 20th century Craftsman touch. A seasonal wreath on the door is always a plus, too.
Let There Be Light
Especially if you have a long front drive or lane, solar powered, short post lamps placed at intervals on one or both sides of the drive add subtle style without the need to engage an electrician. Just be sure to choose a design style that fits your house, and is as close to the style of existing exterior lighting as possible.
These are just a few ideas for how to spruce up the exterior and landscaping of your home prior to showing it to prospective buyers. Always remember to keep things simple and subtle. Adding color with flowers and planting vessels is one thing, but you don’t want a kaleidoscope effect once you’re done. That said, it’s a good idea to choose flowers and other plantings along a color theme that works well with the exterior of your home.
Of course, selling your home is about more than curb appeal – it’s important to choose the right sales professional. When you’re ready to list your property, phone Thomas & Talbot at 540.687.6500.