Helpful Tips for Adding Curb Appeal and Value

With many of today’s homebuyers starting their search on the Internet, it is more important than ever to spruce up your curb appeal. You only have a few seconds to grab their attention and get them to stop and take a closer look!  Also, curb appeal not only makes a good first impression, but it can impact the value of your house and shorten the time it takes to sell your house.

The following curb appeal tips offer the most value when your house is on the market:

- Wash the outside of the house

- Trim the shrubs and green up the yard

- Add a splash of color with flowers

- Add a fancy mailbox or house numbers

- Repair or clean the roof

- Put up a fence

- Paint the house

- Perform routine maintenance and cleaning

Inside Your House

Now that you've taken care of the outside of the house, its time to start working on the inside. There are a lot of little things that can be done to improve the inside, most are relatively inexpensive and can be done in short time. Your goal should be to create an atmosphere that suggests a clean, bright, spacious home. Eliminating clutter can really show your home at its best. Follow these simple steps to success!

Living Room

Have the carpets professionally cleaned (this applies to the entire house). If your walls are tired or dirty, or if the colors are not neutral you might consider a fresh coat of paint. Not only can it improve the look but it can give the room a smell of newness. Choose colors that are neutral and light. Clean the windows and drapes. Arrange furniture to create clear pathways. If you have a fireplace make sure that it is well swept. Clean any light fixtures and replace any broken outlet covers. Any plaster cracks should be repaired.

The Kitchen

The entire kitchen should look clean and fresh. To give your kitchen a "new" look, you might want to give it a fresh paint job. Clean out the cabinets and organize them to show off your space. Check your cabinet doors. If they're painted, you might want to give them a fresh coat of paint or maybe some new knobs. Make sure that all appliances are clean and in working order. Get rid of or pack away small kitchen appliances and items on the counters that are not in use to create an uncluttered look.


Make sure that the entire bathroom is sparkling clean and well lit. Missing or cracked tiles should be replaced. Dripping faucets should be fixed. Keep personal items out of sight.


The bedrooms should be clean and bright. Clean the windows and open the drapes. Remove any excess clutter. Personal items should be out of site. Large closets can be a big plus in a bedroom, but make sure that you organize yours to increase the perception of space. Once again, look at your walls and see if a paint job might improve the appearance.

Other Rooms

All carpets in the house should be professionally cleaned. Check your heating and cooling vents as well as baseboard heat for dust and dirt. Check corners at the ceiling and floorboards for dust. Make sure that there are no signs of pest infestation anywhere in the house. If pests are a problem call in an exterminator to take care of the problem before showing your house. Replace any broken outlet covers and clean out light fixtures. Get someone you know to come in as a "Buyer" and let them tell you their perceptions. They will be able to notice things that you've missed.

The Extras

There are a few extras that you can do to make your house appeal to the prospective buyer. Most cost very little and some may even sound a little silly, but they have proven to be effective selling tools.

  • Let the Sunshine in! Dark houses can be oppressive and are not inviting. Do everything that you can to ensure a bright sunny environment by making sure sure that your house is well lit, windows are clean and curtains and blinds are open! Replace any light bulbs that are out or at an inadequate wattage. Try to keep the colors of your rooms light and neutral.
  • The Scents of a Successful Sale. An unpleasant odor can really leave a bad impression. Fill your house with pleasant aromas. It might seem a little silly, but a pan of vanilla or Cinnamon and water placed in a warm oven or in the appropriate pot on a wood stove can create the homey illusion of baking cookies. In the bathroom, clean thoroughly with bleach or lemon scented products. Make sure that nothing is too over-powering. If you smoke, please consider refraining from smoking indoors and giving the entire house a fresh coat of paint or have it professionally deodorized. If you have a litter box in the house make sure it is fresh and clean for all showings.
  • Fresh flowers placed around the house can be a lovely touch.
  • Let them see the home not you! Prospective buyers do not want to be a bother. Try to be away from the home when the property is shown. If you are home when the salesperson comes to show, please allow the agent to take the potential buyer through your home. Graciously retire to the back yard or to another part of the house. If the prospect feels watched or intrusive, they will hurry through and not really "look" at your home.
  • The most important thing to remember, let your agent do the selling. The agent should be able to point out anything that needs to be repaired or replaced. If your house is currently vacant, you should make arrangements to have someone mow the lawn, clear snow and check over the house on a regular basis.