What's The Deal With Curb Appeal In The Real Estate Market?

Curb Appeal Real Estate Market Deb Olender

In the process of selling your home and getting it on the Real Estate Market, you’re likely thinking about what you can do with the interior to boost its sale price. But what some sellers forget is that the exterior can be almost as important because it is the first impression your home makes on potential buyers. If you think this is just a gimmick, looking at the stats may change how you view it. In a past article from the CBC interviewing home renovator, Scott McGillivray and design duo, Steven and Chris, making changes to the exterior of your home can increase your home’s overall value. So what should you be doing to the exterior to see increased dollar value and increased curb appeal?

Start With The Basics—Especially On A Small Budget!

To give your home an extra bit of curb appeal, don’t think that you need to start by spending a large amount of money. In fact, start off with the basics to see some changes with minimal amounts of money spent. One simple way to boost the curb appeal in your home is to clear away any unnecessary items hanging around outside. Your kids’ toys, extra snow shovels, and even unused planters can be an eyesore when it comes to creating curb appeal and selling your home.

Once you’ve cleared the unnecessary bits and pieces from around your house, the next step is to freshen up what you already have, right in the front entryway into your home. It’s not always necessary to fully replace your front door, but it does make a world of a difference to refresh the paint job on it. This also holds true for any window shutters on the front of your home, and even your garage door. And don’t feel limited to repaint in the same colour that you currently have. If you want to make your front entrance pop, think about using a bold colour that will complement the rest of your home’s exterior.

And speaking of front entrances, make sure that the smaller features are given some attention as well. If you have a rusty old mailbox, barely visible house numbers, a hard to use doorknob, an old doorbell, poor lighting, make sure to spend a little money and give these features a facelift. Although it may seem like nothing to you as a current homeowner, these details are important to potential buyers when they think about what their home will look like on the outside.

Create Livable Outdoor Space

If you have a bit more of a budget to spend, definitely think about making the outdoor spaces around your house more livable. Although Canadians don’t get to spend too much time enjoying a patio or porch, many homebuyers will appreciate the option to soak up the sunlight and nice weather when the opportunity strikes. If you have a front porch in your entryway, be sure to clean it and give it a fresh look. This can be a new coat of paint, small chairs, or even some flowerpot stands.

If you have space in your backyard, adding in a deck can do wonders to your home’s value. Traditionally, decks have been built using treated planks of wood, but they’ve come a long way since then. They can now be made of composite materials, which gives the deck a lasting power, which is extremely important for the next homeowners because it means they’ll spend less time doing maintenance on the deck. There is a price difference between the materials, and of course your deck size will determine the overall cost, but it does create a Return On Investment (ROI) for your home, especially if it is done well. Make sure to stage your deck accordingly to sell. If it is a small deck, don’t try to overload it with a giant patio set. Look at your deck’s space and choose furniture based on that.

And if you want to give your home the look of privacy, be sure to update the fencing in your backyard. No matter how old or new your home is your fencing will reflect the time period it was built and the housing bylaws. If you want to give your fence a new life, make sure to wash off any dirt and grime, replace missing links or boards, and make sure it is solidly into the ground. If you have the budget for it, or if you have neighbours that are interested in sharing the cost for the benefit of both your homes, replacing your fence altogether can create a new look for your backyard.

Make Sure Its Functional and a Little Bit Fun

Above all, you need to make sure the exterior of your home is functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. For those with a garage, make sure the garage door is working so potential homebuyers are not burdened with fixing it. If your garage door is seriously out of date, replacing it may be the best option for your ROI. And while you’re at it, be sure to declutter your garage in case interested buyers want to see the depth of space they’ll have to work with.

For those without a garage, the driveway is likely the largest feature that takes over the front exterior of your home. If you have kept up with maintenance, then your driveway shouldn’t need too much extra work—perhaps a fresh coat of concrete sealant or asphalt paint. But if your driveway is old and cracking, take the opportunity to replace your driveway. Driveways have come a long way in terms of design. Instead of concrete, you can now get interlocking stones, bricks, cobblestone, and even recycled glass. The cost for each type of driveway will vary, so keep in mind the cost of material and how large your driveway is when choosing the driveway material.

Another feature of the exterior you may have overlooked, is the siding. No matter what type of siding you have, make sure that it is clean and isn’t falling apart. It can be tricky to fully replace a siding of a home, but it does make a huge difference when homebuyers are taking a look at the things they’ll need to do if they choose to purchase the home. It could be a complete turn off if your siding looks old or is falling apart.

What Really Helps With Curb Appeal?

And if you’re really hoping to step up your curb appeal against Real Estate Market competitors, the smaller details that make your home fun and visually pleasing, are the ones to go for. Flower boxes, some landscaping, lighting fixtures and unique touches are what make a home stand out in the housing market.

You don’t necessarily want to look like a greenhouse on the street, nor do you want to have zero style. Find a happy medium between the two by choosing features that go well with the overall exterior of your home and the area that you live in. For example, if you have a home near the lake, maybe it’s a good idea to play with tones of blue for the smaller finishes, flowers that you can find near the water, and maybe even install a small fountain in the front of your home. Again, whatever you choose make sure you don’t go overboard. By leaving a little bit for potential homebuyers to decide in terms of decoration, you’re giving them just enough to appreciate the home, and leaving them enough to put their own spin on it.

Determining just how much your home will increase in value all depends on the neighbourhood you live in and quality of exterior renovations you make. To discuss more about the value of your current home and ways you can increase your curb appeal to sell, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me, Deb Olender. I’ve been dealing with the Real Estate Market for a number of years, helping to get homes on sale in Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge.