Today’s home buyer often drives by a home before scheduling a showing.  Want to make sure they don’t cross your house off of their list?  Take a moment to really assess your home’s curb appeal.

Curb appeal isn’t only about selling your home.   A well-tended property is a pleasure to come home to.   A curved stone path up to a neat front porch bordered by colorful flowers draws you in and is a preview of what lies inside.

So what does it tell you about a house when you are greeted by last year’s leaves piled in the flower beds, a tangle of weeds and overgrown bushes?  Remember, you can only make a first impression once.

The answer doesn’t have to be expensive.  Although professional landscaping is always a plus – with a few DIY projects, you can have a big impact on how your home presents – probably in one weekend. To get started take a slow walk around your property with a pen and pad of paper.  Look at it with a critical eye and make a list of what you would like to accomplish. Here are a few ideas.

~   Cleaning is number one.  Remove all dead leaves and debris from the property.  Limit lawn ornaments and make sure they are in excellent condition.

~   Consider power washing the home’s exterior, decks, patios, sidewalks, etc.  If that’s not possible a good rinse off with a strong hose can work wonders as well.

~   Replace or “top-off” all mulched areas.  Cedar mulch looks great a and smells wonderful.

~   Evaluate the inside of your home’s window treatments.  How do they present from the curb?

~   Consider replacing your house numbers.   An inexpensive job that can have a large impact.

~   Consider replacing your mailbox or front porch light.  Coordinating these items has the best effect.

~   Install a new front door mat – and don’t scrimp, make it of high quality.

~    Lastly, add colorful annual flowers, in pots or in the flower beds.  It’s best to choose a color or two and stay with them for uniformity, then add a splash of multi-color in an area where you wish to draw the eye.  Maybe in the back of a yard which you want to appear larger.

Today’s home buyers are tired of the distressed properties of the last several years.  They are looking for a home to fall in love with.  You can start by getting them in the front door.

Jeanne Jordan, Realtor