When selling your house, it’s often a combination of all the “little things” that make or break the offers you receive. And while it’s tempting to focus on sweeping initiatives, sometimes you’re better off making things pretty by focusing on the obvious elements.

The Value of Good Curb Appeal

According to McGraw Realtors, “One of the biggest problems many DIY remodelers run into is ‘over improving’ the property. The new roof, siding, kitchen, and master bath are great. They do add value to the home and make it more desirable to potential buyers, but sometimes all those improvements still won’t overcome a low appraisal.”

So rather than throw a bunch of time and money into something that you may or may not recoup value on, why not invest in something that’s less expensive, yet certain to provide a small boost in value?

We’re talking about curb appeal, of course.

According to the National Association of Realtors, homes with high curb appeal tend to sell for an average of 7 percent more than similar houses that have a less inviting exterior. In slower real estate markets with a greater inventory of listed properties, that premium rises to a whopping 14 percent.

6 Tips to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal Prior to Listing

The best part about boosting curb appeal is that it doesn’t require a massive investment. You can make small tweaks and get pretty astonishing results. Here are a few of our favorite suggestions:

  1. Pressure Wash the Driveway

Your driveway does more than offer a place to park. It also has a significant impact on curb appeal. And if it’s been a while since you last power washed your driveway, it’s unintentionally detracting from your home’s visual appeal.

Power washing your driveway will instantly freshen up your home and make it look brand new. It shows prospective buyers that you take care of your home and amplifies other areas of your property. Don’t believe it? Check out these before and after pictures.

  1. Install Planters on the Porch

Something as simple as two symmetrical planters on either side of the front door can liven up your home’s entrance and make it seem more inviting. If you have the space, large planters with bright flowers like hydrangeas are great. (Don’t use plastic containers here. Spend a little extra and get some ceramic or terra-cotta pots. People can tell the difference.)

  1. Paint the Front Door

If you have a dark colored front door, consider giving it a fresh makeover by including a lighter pastel color. A light blue, light green, or even a lavender can give your home a warmer appearance. (This is definitely a DIY project. You should be able to knock it out in a single afternoon.)

  1. Replace the Garage Door

Garage door replacements are consistently rated the highest ROI home improvement project you can invest in. When selecting a garage door, go with something that complements the existing architecture and design. (This is especially important if the garage is front facing.)

  1. Upgrade Your House Number

Your home’s house numbers aren’t something you think much about, but they provide yet another opportunity to boost curb appeal. Consider replacing old, faded numbers with something larger and more vibrant. Here are a few ideas that incorporate elements like wall planters, mosaics, greenery, and lighting.

  1. Hire a Professional Landscaping Crew

The day before listing your property, you should have a professional landscaping crew spend four to eight hours cleaning up your landscaping. This includes mowing the lawn, edging, pulling weeds, trimming shrubs, putting down mulch and/or pinestraw, and dealing with any other unsightly elements that need to be addressed.

A good landscaper will cost you a few hundred dollars for the day, but this is money that you’ll easily recoup when the offers start rolling in. This is one task that you shouldn’t hesitate to hire out!

Maximize Your Home’s Value

You’re not going to double your home’s value with these curb appeal improvements, but you can certainly have an impact. If you’re unsure of how to proceed, ask your real estate agent for a few suggestions. A local agent understands the market and will be able to point you in the right direction.