When it comes to selling your house in Washington D.C., first impressions count. So, it makes sense that curb appeal can affect the price you get for your home. Or if you sell it at all.
It’s important to note that adding curb appeal to your home will only result in a 3-5% increase in its value, so don’t go overboard in your attempts to impress buyers.
That said, the Washington DC housing market is experiencing a major upswing.
House prices in the area are currently at a record high, up 40% since 2009 and they continue to rise. The median home price in Washington D.C. is currently $555,000, an increase of 8% from last year.
If you want to get on the seller’s market bandwagon in the area, you need to move quickly. Here are some cost-effective tips for appealing to prospective buyers and getting them past the first step faster.
1. Garden Maintenance
Nobody likes a garden that looks like it’s going to take months to bring under control. A tidy well-maintained garden implies that your home is well-looked after too.
Some of the best ways to spruce it up quickly include trimming the hedges, cutting off low hanging tree branches, edging the flower beds and getting rid of weeds. A neatly mowed lawn is a joy to behold.
2. Sweat the Small Stuff
While you’re in tidying up mode. Take a look around the exterior of your house for minor fixes that are long overdue.
Repair or replace burned out lightbulbs, chipped paint, and ripped screens. All these small annoyances will really stand out once you’ve completed all your other exterior improvements.
3. Color Adds Curb Appeal
Re-arranging your landscaping and putting in new plants can be an expensive endeavor. Potted plants, window boxes, and hanging baskets are cheaper alternatives to add an instant pop of color.
4. Lure them in with a Pathway
A path serves as an invitation to your home. You don’t need to splurge on expensive earthworks to put in a fancy stone or brick one either.
Attractive flat stones, pavers or sawn-off pieces of logs will work just as well. Lighting the way with solar lamps along the way adds the final touch.
5. Outdoor Furniture
A small seating area in a garden nook makes your home look lived in. Too much outdoor furniture looks cluttered though, so find a happy medium that suits your landscaping.
Whichever type of outdoor seating you decide on, make sure it’s clean and in good repair.
6. Front Door Fixes
For unknown reasons, front doors have a huge impact on the appearance and saleability of your house. Repainting the front door black can add over $6,000 dollars to the sticker price of a home.
If you’re not crazy about black, choose a color that matches the siding or brickwork on your home. Either way, a fresh coat of paint on your front door lifts the outward appearance of your home and creates a welcoming entryway.
7. Decorate Your Door
If you have an overhang over your front door, consider adding an attractive wreath arrangement to the door. It’s a small touch but it contributes in a big way if you want to create a welcoming, homely feel.
8. Improve Your Lighting
Another way to add an instant lift to your house is by adding lighting to your entrance. Nobody likes a dark and dreary entryway.
If you already have lighting at your front door, consider replacing the fixtures with more modern ones. Or at least remove the cover, clean it and dust off any cobwebs that have accumulated over the years.
9. Double Up at Your Doorway
On the subject of lighting, two is always better than one. Rather than one overhead light in the center of the door, place two identical fixtures on either side.
Symmetry sells houses by creating a neat and orderly appearance. Other ways you can match things up include placing identical pot plants either side of your porch and garage.
10. A Mailbox Makeover
Let’s face it, nobody really thinks about their mailbox much. Yet this small feature is one of the first things a buyer will see.
Consider replacing your old mailbox with a more contemporary model. Otherwise, you can scrap it and install a wall-mounted mailbox.
11. Do the Numbers
Replacing the numbers on the side of your house is quick, easy, and affordable. It’s also one of the quickest ways to modernize the exterior of your home.
Be sure to choose a metal that matches the hardware on your front door. You could even go all out and have a numbered plaque made if that suits the overall look of your home.
12. Clear the Gutters
Broken gutters overflowing with leaves and debris are an unsightly and dangerous mess. While you should keep your gutters free of obstacles, give them a once over every time you have buyers coming to view your house.
Likewise, cleaning the outside of your gutters will instantly freshen up the look of your home.
13. Clean the Outside of Your House
In the same way, power-washing the exterior of your house can make the paint job look good as new. Power-washing will remove ingrained stains and splashes to reveal a sparkling new facade.
You can hire a power-washer from your nearest DIY store, or get a handyman to do the job for you. Don’t forget to include your garage door in the deal.
14. Pep up Your Garage Door
Replacing your garage door is an expensive undertaking. Depending on the type of door you have, you can make it look good as new with a fresh coat of paint or a new layer of wood stain instead.
15. Disguise Ugly Features
Unsightly but important external attachments like electrical boxes can spoil the look that you’re working to achieve. Fortunately, it’s easy to hide these necessary evils with a lick of paint.
Choose a color that closely matches the outside of your house to help it blend in. Don’t forget about any exterior cabling running to and from the box.
The Next Step
Once you’ve got your home all spruced up and ready to go, read these photography tips on how to show off this new curb appeal. Then, contact a reputable realtor to help you sell your house quickly and stress-free.
We’ve got all the best tips for buying and selling houses in DC and nearby, get in touch for advice and information to guide you every step of the way.