Create Curb Appeal Without Scaring Away Buyers

house with excellent curb appeal
  • 1-50 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-500

Curb appeal is one of the most important aspects of getting your house ready to sell. If potential buyers drive up to your property and it is in need of updating or just in disarray, they will probably continue their search for a home elsewhere.

Many people think that pouring money into landscaping is the best way to attract potential buyers. However, all potential homeowners see is the work involved to keep up with these additions. The real key to achieving curb appeal is not in rebuilding and investing a fortune into your property, but to stand back and come up with a plan to enhance what is already there.

Let’s examine some of the ways you can attract the eye of the potential buyer.

1. Clean-up

Remove any clutter around the property; this will help buyers focus on the house. Be sure to clean the exterior of the home to give it a fresh look.

Also, clean all the windows, blinds, and window treatments. Remember, you can see the backside of the window treatments from outside the window of the home.

This phase of enhancing curb appeal is by far the least expensive but will benefit you tenfold.

2. Paint

A house's paint job is one of the first things a person will notice when seeing it for the first time. Most people will find basic colors appealing: white, taupe, blue, yellow, etc. So, as long as you haven’t painted your house to match your favorite football team, a touch-up should do the job.

house with painted trim and shutters

Check the caulking and trim around windows and doors to make sure it looks acceptable. Any areas that are peeling should be scraped or sanded and repainted.

The front door should be painted and decorated to give a welcome feeling because this is a focal point from the outside and also the first thing a buyer sees when entering your home.

3. Gutters

Inspect and clean out the gutters and downspouts around the home. Repair any that might be sagging or leaking. You will never know if a buyer will be looking at your home on a sunny day or in the middle of a rain storm. Nothing looks worse than a plugged gutter that is overflowing.

4. Landscaping


Not many of us are fortunate enough to have a lawn as green and lush as a golf course's. But, your lawn can definitely make or break the curb appeal of your home. The benefits of investing a little time and money into your lawn will pay off on the positive presentation of your home.

First, remove the dead thatch that covers most lawns in early spring and fertilize with a weed control to help fend off those dandelions. Spread a little grass seed in those bare spots and water it all in. Once everything is growing, the mowing and trimming come into play and are vital to achieve the desired curb appeal to attract buyers.

If you live in an area with frequent drought, consider lawn alternatives. No grass is better than dead grass.


Some homeowners just don't have a green thumb and don't care about shrubbery or flowers, so they have absolutely nothing in the line of landscaping on their properties. This can be beneficial when non-gardeners are looking at your home, as they won't be deterred by the high-maintenance of a large garden. However, doing nothing at all may be your preference, but it can also bore buyers.

decorated front door

A little color is always helpful in cultivating a positive first impression of your home. If you do not have much of a green thumb, try arranging some potted plants around the front of the property to add a little greenery and color. This is also a beneficial way to make your home look great without intimidating buyers with the added hassle of constant gardening. As an added bonus, you can move your potted plants with you to your new residence.

For the homeowner who already has flower gardens or plants, freshen up beds by weeding and adding some mulch to bare spots. Keep plants and bushes trimmed and manicured to enhance the look. Replace any missing stones or brick that may have been used as a border around your gardens. If a little color is needed in the garden areas, a potted plant may also work well for you.


In most cases, trees are a bonus in any landscaping theme and can add a tremendous amount to curb appeal. Newer areas usually do not have many large trees because they have not had adequate time to mature. Established areas usually have trees that have been growing for decades. If you are fortunate to have trees on your property, make sure that they are trimmed and have no dead branches ready to fall. If any tree is close to the house, check to see that no limbs are touching the house.

Don't plant any trees before selling, either from seeds or pre-grown. Shade is a coveted aspect of a home's landscaping, but if none already exists, let the buyer choose his or her own trees to add shade.

If you need to get your house ready for sale, take a minute, stand back, and look at your house as others will see it and come up with your plan to enhance the curb appeal of your property. Extravagant landscaping and yard features are more likely to scare buyers than enhance curb appeal. Instead of an overhaul, try taking this advice. Curb appeal can be accomplished by doing more clean up and touch up verses spending large sums of money to overhaul your property.