It is officially Spring in Michigan! The snow is (hopefully) gone, plants are starting to sprout up through the dirt, and the sunshine is getting people excited for Summer. This is the busiest time of the year in Real Estate. People have been mulling over the idea of moving over the winter, and now that they are done hibernating in the cold temperatures, it's time to make a move!
First impressions are everything, especially in real estate. It's easy to get carried away in making sure your home is clean and decluttered (which shouldn't be ignored!) without paying much attention to the exterior of your home. The exterior of your home will be the first thing buyers see, both in person and when they are looking at your listing online. Here are 6 easy tips to sprucing up your curb appeal for spring, whether you're selling or just want to feel better about driving up to your house everyday! All of these tips are something you can do yourself over one weekend without having to use a professional! Easy, quick, and cheap? I'm sold!
1. Power wash your exterior
You may be surprised how much dirt, grime, and cobwebs accumulate on your house over the span of a year. This is such an easy way to give your home a refresh for the summer months. Make sure you use a setting that is powerful enough to get the dirt off, but not too powerful that it will chip paint or ruin your siding. If you don't own a power washer, you can usually find them to rent for a day at a rental company or your local home improvement store. [estimated cost: $75 for a one day rental]
2. Clean up your porch.
When buyers are waiting for their agent to get the lockbox open, they are spending a solid 30 seconds looking around the exterior of your home. They are paying attention to the door, windows, siding, etc. This is the first impression of your home! Don't put a bad taste in their mouth of exterior work they may have to complete before they even step foot inside! Add a couple of potted plants at your door, or add a faux plant. Also, buy a cute doormat! I especially like this one from Target's Hearth & Hand Line. [estimate cost: $30-$50]
3. Clean your exterior lights
Take a rag and wipe off any dust, dirt or cobwebs from your exterior light fixtures. Also, replace the bulb with a good wattage LED outdoor light. If your exterior fixtures are dated, either purchase new ones or update your existing with a nice coat of spray paint. Rustoleum has great spray paint that holds up well to the elements. You can't go wrong with a Matte Black or their Oil Rubbed Bronze. Not great at electrics? Just tape up some plastic to protect your siding or brick and spray the light while it's on. [estimated cost: $10-40]
4. Update your house numbers
Does your address numbers need a revamp? It is so easy to do! Use large numbers for a statement and put them in a place that is easy to see from the street. The address may look great on the home, but from the street, you can't see it because it's directly behind your large tree or in a place where your car is normally parked! Stand at the road and look at your home to see where is the best place. There are many options for house numbers. If you're worried about drilling into your brick or siding, you can also order an address plate that goes into your landscaping. Here are two of my favorites. [estimated cost: $30-$110]
5. Paint your front door.
The impact a fresh coat of paint can make is remarkable. Purchase a gallon of outdoor paint from your local hardware store. Bold colors are very trendy and sets your house apart from your neighbors. Choose a color that will compliment the exterior of your home. Get a couple of paint swatches before committing to a color and see how it looks. Dress it up with a nice wreath and you've got yourself an inviting front entrance! [estimated cost: $30-$50]
6. Clean your Exterior Windows.
This is a project that you may not realize is needed until after it's finished. You will notice a world of difference both on the exterior and interior of your home. Your home will look much tidier from the outside, and will feel brighter with more natural light from the inside. In all honesty, this is something that after several attempts, I believe should be left to the professionals. You can find professional window cleaners for $2 a pane, which is pretty affordable. I have not found a way to clean exterior windows quite like the pro's, and it's okay to wave the white flag and hire someone. If that's not in your budget, I have used this product that hook directly to your hose and does the job. [estimated cost: $10-$100]