Increasing the Curb Appeal of Your home for Resale

This is a time in American history when being frugal and cutting expense is critical. A lot of people are downsizing, and moving to homes that are easier for them to afford. Preparing the home for sale is crucial - you want to increase curb appeal yet keep the cost of doing so to a minimum. Here, we discuss ways of accomplishing this.

What Is Curb Appeal?

According to Greater Lansing Home Search, curb appeal is "Attractiveness of a home from the street to a prospective buyer. You can never have too much of this." Curb appeal is a well-taken care of lawn, good landscaping, no trash in the yard and good lighting if viewed at night. Many of these things can be done with little investment involved.

Where To Begin

  • The first thing a prospective buyer sees is the home from the street. Is your driveway blemished and cracked? Do weeds grow up between the expansion joints of the pad? If so, spend time cleaning the expansion joints. A power washer works well here. If cracks in the drive are very pronounced, consider having it sealed. The expense is worth it in increasing curb appeal.
  • Experts agree that landscaping is essential in curb appeal. Landscaping should be well cared for, with shrubs and trees – especially evergreens – pruned and shaped. In some cases, it might be important to remove landscaping to enhance the view of your home. Often, large evergreens that grow quickly block the view of your home, thus decreasing curb appeal. Here is a good example. I sold my home in the country 3 years ago. In the yard in front of the house were two large evergreens that blocked the view of the home from the road. The house was on the market for a year without an offer. A realtor suggested I remove these trees. I did so, and the house sold after 2 weeks.
  • Once you have feet on the ground, consider the first things your prospective buyer will see. When they walk to the front door, what do they see? Is the window caulking in need of repair, or possibly covered in mold? Are the window frames, if wood, peeling paint? You may walk by these things every day, and never notice, but a prospective buyer will have his eye out for these things. Re-caulking windows and touching up window frames is easy and inexpensive.
  • The front door is the next important aspect. Be sure kick plates are polished and free of heel marks. Replace tarnished door knobs or handles. The door can be spruced up by a coat of paint if needed.
  • Insure that all lighting is in good working order, and that the entranceway is well lit. Adding inexpensive lighting goes a long way in helping here.
  • It doesn't need to cost a fortune to prepare a home for market. Make sure to do these things before listing. Simple changes can mean the difference between a sale and your home staying on the market for a long time.

Alden Smith is an award winning author and regular contributor to He writes on a variety of subjects and excels in research.