The Subtle Art and Alluring Science of Curb Appeal


Usually, there are more than a few renovations and updates you need to make when you are preparing to sell your home. The purple walls of the kids’ rooms need to be painted in more neutral tones; your master bathroom probably needs some new tile in the shower, and the kitchen could do with some newer appliances and light fixtures. However, no potential buyers will set foot inside to see your home’s transformation unless you understand the importance of curb appeal.

Regardless of what the salesperson says about the interior and engine, you wouldn’t even consider buying a car that looks dinged and dirty on the outside - so why would you expect a homebuyer to make a similar decision with a much larger investment? Your home’s front yard is its first impression, and you should work hard to make that impression a good one. Here are all the best pro tips about improving curb appeal and selling your house as soon as possible.

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

Everyone knows of a house with a front yard that is closer to a remote jungle than a residential outdoor space. While letting nature take its course with your yard might seem appealing, it won’t look appealing to potential buyers. Knee-high grass, tangles of vines, and untrimmed shrubs and trees are much too hectic, and they tend to hide the best aspects of your home from visitors.

Your first goal in creating curb appeal should be to simplify your yard. This means clearing it of cutter and debris, cutting back wild and untamed plant life, and reducing the features in your yard to a minimum. If you have let your outdoor spaces run free, you might need to search the web for “lawn care services near me” and other professional yardwork help.

Create Balance

When many homeowners hear the need for “balance” in their yards, they immediately replace the word with “symmetry.” In pursuit of this seeming ideal, plenty of homeowners try to perfectly match the two sides of their front yard in efforts to attract potential buyers. Balance and symmetry are not entirely synonymous. While some yards might benefit from symmetry, few houses can achieve the look without appearing garishly artificial or insincere. Instead, you should strive balance between the elements of your exterior. You should consider the height, width, and color of plants and structures in your yard, ensuring that no feature seems out of place. Then, you will achieve balance.

Light It Up

Not many homebuyers enjoy taking tours at nighttime, but sometimes it happens. When winter hours force darkness early - or you have a particularly diligent buyer - you should expect some visits to your property after sunset. Potential buyers won’t be interested in a home they can’t see.

Considering that your outdoor spaces are usually lit by the sun all day long, you probably don’t place priority on exterior lighting. Yet, outdoor lights help people feel safe - and more importantly, they can highlight the most attractive aspects of your yard and home. Even if you don’t add dramatic lighting to your home’s exterior, you should have functional illumination around pathways, steps, patios, and any elements visitors might run into.

Pick One Palette

Nature offers a beautiful range of colors to decorate your yard, and exterior paint options have expanded dramatically in recent years. If you are trying to sell your home, you can’t go too wild with your color palette. More than five different colors around your home is too many; here are a few tips for keeping yourself accountable to a single exterior palette:

  • Plan around hard-to-change elements. Changing the roof and hardscaping of your home is a massive endeavor. Therefore, these should stay in place while you alter the color of other, more malleable features.
  • Consider your home’s architectural style. You shouldn’t impose bright pastels on a Federal-style home, and Craftsman bungalows look dull in neutrals. The style and color must complement one another to produce a positive effect.
  • Choose a three-shade paint palette. A typical exterior scheme makes use of three primary shades: the dominating field color, the bright accent color, and the neutral trim color. It’s important to consider popular colors as well as hues that mesh with your existing landscape features.

Add Distinction

Finally, you don’t want your property to look like every other home on the block - or worse, every other home on the market. Using the color and structure of your yard, you should include distinctive elements that make your home seem enticingly unique. This doesn’t mean installing a hulking metal sculpture or painting everything in shades of chartreuse; rather, standing out can be as easy as adding artful planters with seasonal blooms. As long as visitors are wowed as soon as they catch sight of your home, you have done curb appeal right.

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