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Budget Friendly Curb Appeal Fixes

If you've decided to put your house on the market, you should know that every little thing counts if you're hoping to get the best price for your home. While most sellers will go to great lengths to ensure that their house is scrubbed, staged, and even smells like homemade cookies, many will overlook the details of the exterior of the home. Usually a seller will finish the big "to-dos" like power washing and painting, or keeping the lawn mowed. Sometimes, though, it's those details to the homes exterior that increases its curb appeal, and compels a buyer to get out of the car and take a peek inside. The good news is that these outdoor fixes don't have to break the bank, and will give immediate positive results. If you're getting ready to put up the "For Sale" sign, make sure these items make it to your fix-it list before you do so.

A Numbers Game A fresh set of house numbers can do wonders to enhance the overall style of your home. A material that matches the other exterior features of your home can be a choice that will bring-it-all-together. A bold design choice with finish, font, or size shouldn't be underestimated, though, as it can create a wow factor that other exterior features will not. Depending on your budget you could spend a couple of bucks at a big-box home improvement store, or upwards of $20 or more at a specialty shop.

Through Wind, Rain, Sleet or Snow While it's true that the mailman will go through all sorts of weather to get the mail to you, when you're getting your house ready for sale, your mailbox shouldn't look like it has. Often the mailbox is placed at the end of the driveway and is the first thing that a potential buyer will see from a distance as they are driving up to your house. Think of the mailbox as the ambassador to your house. Paint it to give it a face-lift, or replace the post or the mailbox itself if it's had one-to-many run ins with the town's plow truck.

Knock! Knock! While you may enter your home through the kitchen door, or through the garage, this probably won't be how potential buyers enter when your house is on the market. When showing homes, many Buyer's Agents will enter through the front door with a prospective buyer. With that said, a general rule of thumb would be that there should be no peeling paint or exposed untreated wood present on the exterior of your home. This goes for the front door, too, which is subject to frequent use that can impact the finish. Freshen up the look with a coat of paint of the door's current color, or enliven the entire exterior by painting the door a brighter hue. While you're at it, repaint the trim around the windows and other features for even more of a "wow" factor.

Scrub-a-Dub If you haven't power washed, you should. A good gentle scrub will take off the grunge and grime that can make siding look dingy and dull. If you have a deck? Hit that too. 

Lighten Up After an initial daytime viewing, buyers often drive by the "home of their dreams" at night. A well-lit residence will increase desire for many buyers. Outdoor lighting, especially landscape lighting, can generate ambiance and drama. Put a spotlight on a landscape feature and line the walkways. Turn on the porch light. (You'll want buyers to notice that freshly painted door even when it's dark outside). This improvement can be very reasonable priced, with basic LED landscape lights running you about $50.

Gutters If your gutters are overflowing with leaves, or there are weeds growing out of them, it's a top turnoff for potential buyers. While it can be a messy task that can be accomplished in an afternoon with a ladder and some heavy duty gloves, a professional could do it for you at a reasonable price.

Go Green If you don't have a green thumb, you can fake it with some basic landscaping projects that pack a punch. A few bags of mulch and brightly-colored flowers will do wonders for the flower beds. Trimming the hedges also does a world of wonders for giving the yard a more manicured appearance. These basic tasks are worth the time and energy, and depending on how much mulch and how any flats of flowers you buy, can be an affordable way to complete your mini-makeover.

You only get one chance to make a great first impression when you list your house, and sometimes the devil is in the details when it comes to curb appeal. Be sure to include these budget friendly fixes on your to-do list as you prep your house for market; you'll be glad you did.