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Do you ever drive down a street and notice a home that is nice but feels that it’s missing something from the outside?  That’s curb appeal.  Curb appeal is the ability of a home to be attractive from the sidewalk, street, or curb. If you want to sell your house, curb appeal could be just as important as the interior design and layout when it comes to getting the best possible price.

What is Curb Appeal?

Curb appeal refers to the exterior design and features of your home. It is the absolute first impression that your home gives to potential buyers. It is a “sneak peek” at the quality of the house that may be found on the inside. It also can determine whether a potential buyer wants to look inside or not.  Curb appeal goes beyond the architectural style of your home.  It encompasses various improvements made to the exterior of your home, including:

  • Landscaping, including the appearance of your lawn, plants, and trees
  • Lighting design
  • The color and quality of your exterior paint and siding
  • The quality of your roof
  • The style of your front door, and
  • Additional exterior features like a front or rear porch, water feature, pool, or fire pit.

Curb appeal plays a huge role in the value of your home for a few reasons – home viewings and appraisals are typically short. Viewers do not have very long to make an opinion. If you want to sell your home, curb appeal is the primary determinant of whether a prospective buyer inquires.

Why is Curb Appeal So Important?

Have you ever listed an older property for sale? Did your real estate agent insist on making improvements to the exterior? Did you take the time to wonder why? It’s an ingenious form of marketing designed to sell your home from the outside in. Curb appeal is appreciable when selling a home.  There are several reasons why you, as the seller, want to maximize the attractiveness of your home.

  1. It gives the first impression: Much like a job interview, the first impression speaks volumes and sets the tone for the rest of the deal in real estate. Most homebuyers begin their search for a new home on the internet. That said, pictures that highlight your home’s curb appeal are an absolute necessity. Eye-catching photos are what will get potential buyers interested.
  2. Curb appeal reflects the home’s maintenance: The condition of the exterior of your house implies that there may be several maintenance issues. Unmowed, patchy lawn, cracked driveway, peeling paint, or a damaged roof can turn a buyer away. Such curb appeal, or lack thereof, could mean spending additional money and fixing a home before moving in.
  3. It can be the deal breaker or maker for some prospective buyers: Often, the decision to check out the rest of the home starts and ends with curb appeal. If your home’s curb appeal is below neighborhood standards, prospective buyers may not consider the property. They are looking at how your home and property compare to others in the neighborhood.
  4. Great curb appeal grants a competitive advantage: Is your home in a neighborhood with similar houses? If so, curb appeal will make your home stand out. It will determine if your home gets attention from potential buyers. Things as simple as a well-watered lawn, beautiful landscaping, and a freshly painted exterior can set your home apart from other listings with a bland curb appeal.
  5. Improved curb appeal increases your home’s appraised value: Does your home’s exterior have that WOW factor? Buyers are looking for something enticing, inviting, and beautiful. Those things directly impact the property’s perceived value. When a property or home is in disarray, buyers see that as a justification for a lower price. Curb appeal gives the overall perception of a property’s potential and beauty. That can affect its market value and make your home sell faster.

Simple Ways to Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

If you are looking to sell your home, the last thing you want to do is spend money. Your real estate agent can offer suggestions on how to improve the exterior of your home.  And for those working on a budget, here are several budget-friendly ideas to enhance your home’s curb appeal without breaking the bank.

Spring clean from the outside in

Most of us don’t think of spring cleaning the outside of the house.  However, your home can benefit from regular deep cleaning. In the spring, devote a whole day to exterior cleaning projects. Scrub down your front door and trim, power wash the siding and walkways, and clean the windows.

Rake, Mow, Prune, and Weed

No need to go all in on expensive landscaping to improve your curb appeal. Sometimes it can be the simplest of things that make a big difference. Take the time to maintain what’s already there. Keep a regular landscaping maintenance schedule that covers all the basics and work on smaller tasks throughout the year.

Update Your Front Door

Your front door is the perfect place to add a pop of color to your exterior! But even if you keep it neutral, a fresh coat of paint on your front door can work wonders for that first impression. You can also add new hardware or a wreath for an understated look. A fresh, new doormat can also be a welcome addition.

Decorate and Declutter

A few simple decorations can go a long way in improving your home’s curb appeal. Adding too much may have the opposite effect and be a distraction. It’s all about finding that delicate balance. Add items and take items away until you hit the sweet spot. This includes everything from outdoor furniture to garden décor and seasonal decorations.

Add Window Boxes

Adding wooden planter boxes to your windows is a simple and charming update to any home. Once in place, plant flowers, herbs, or other greenery. You can even add fake plants if you don’t want to have to maintain them.

Clean Up Your Driveway

Repair any cracks in your driveway, or you can opt to have it resealed for an impactful improvement. Edging the lawn near the driveway with stones or plants and lighting along the pathways add a simple, inexpensive, modern look.  It also adds a tad bit of utility and functionality.

Bring In New Light Fixtures

Use your DIY skills to bring new life to your old fixtures. Spray paint those existing sconces on the front porch or near your garage. Add new lighting around your walkways and driveway. To avoid the worry with electrical lighting, opt for solar-powered ones.  Well-placed string lighting around your back porch or backyard can also be a welcome addition.

Curb appeal is going to vary from home to home and neighborhood to neighborhood. Don’t get caught up in “just making it look better.” Focus on the improvements that will bring you joy (and the promise of a good return on investment) and those that look great with your home’s surroundings. Boosting your curb appeal is a great way to create a WOW-worthy exterior. Some projects may be more costly than imagined, but they can significantly impact your home’s sale price. Improving your home’s overall curb appeal will be well worth it to attract those potential home buyers.  Let the team with the native knowledge help you get your home market ready! Contact Jim McInerney today!


Jim McInerney Real Estate is the region’s most innovative real estate company, representing spectacular properties and selective home buyers. Providing exceptional real estate services in a unique luxury market like Southern California is an endeavor we perform with professionalism, integrity, and a lifetime of local knowledge on behalf of our clients. For decades, we’ve been here to help clients either sell or find and acquire their dream home while sharing in the excitement and protecting them from the stressors of the process. Call us today; we’ve got the Native Knowledge you need!

7863 Girard Avenue, Suite 208

La Jolla, CA 92037

(858) 480-9945

[email protected]

DRE 01334502