Small Changes, Big Rewards
Springtime is here, and that means more and more ‘for sale’ signs will be sprouting up in the greater St. Louis area, along with the crocuses we’ve missed all winter. Below are some expert tips for sellers who want to boost their homes’ curb appeal—and most projects won’t even take up the whole afternoon!
1 Give an instant update to your home with fresh address numbers. They’re easy to find online or at your local hardware store.
2 Apply a fresh coat of paint to your front door, or try a whole new color. Shades of blue, gray, green or black will make your home look current.
3 Roll up your hoses! Wayward hoses look like clutter, which can make your yard seem neglected.
4 Wash the windows and window sills and let in the light. Brighter homes tend to sell faster, so open those shades! Keeping curtains wide and blinds apart will create an inviting and open feel starting outside and extending into your living spaces.
5 Nothing is easier and more welcoming than a clean, new mat outside the front door.
6 Clean up and clear out unnecessary debris. Patio furniture should be clean, up-to-date and sparse. Better yet, adding comfortable and inviting seating to your porch can make a potential buyer want to cozy right up to your home. Meanwhile, bicycles should be kept in the garage or basement, and garage items, including lawn care equipment and car parts, should be kept out of sight.
7 Close the garage door, and while you’re at it, clean it and give it a fresh coat of paint if needed, paying special attention to any trim or windows that need a touch-up.
8 Add a fresh, new mailbox or make sure the current one is clean, straight, steady and inviting.
9 Make sure all outdoor lighting has working light bulbs. Curb appeal is as important in the evening as it is in the daytime.
10 Review your roof. Do you have missing shingles? Are your gutters cluttered? Potential buyers are keeping an eye on these things, and you should, too. A buyer doesn’t want to have to replace a roof right away, and if yours looks like it might be a problem, it could shut a sale down quickly.
— Jill Butler, owner, and Sarah Bernard, agent, RedKey Realty Leaders
1 Sweep or power wash driveways, sidewalks and awnings. Even the house will look better if you power wash the dirt off, especially if it’s white!
2 Keep your grass cut and healthy by applying fertilizer and weed control products. Keep it watered in the summer.
3 Plant colorful annuals. If you don’t have space for flowers, use pots on the porch or next to the driveway. Get creative, but keep it simple.
4 Keep shrub beds free of weeds.
5 Put down new mulch at least once a year to keep it looking fresh.
6 Plant colorful flowering trees such as crabapples or trees with nice fall foliage like maples.
7 Fertilize shrubs, especially evergreen and flowering shrubs like azaleas. Their leaves tend to yellow if you don’t.
8 Add landscape lighting to establish focal points at night. More lights also mean better security.
9 Keep gutters clear of leaves and debris. If they get clogged, it could cause damage to the gutters and possibly run over into shrub beds and wash out mulch.
10 Keep gophers and moles in check by applying grub control to your lawn and shrub beds or wherever you see the tunnels. Rodents eat grubs, so if there are no grubs, there will be no rodents.
11 Keep trash cans and other items out of sight.
— Pat Cubbage, nursery and office manager, Garden Oasis