Curb Appeal: Inexpensive Fixes to Raise the Profile of Your Home

In real estate, like so many other things, people shop with their eyes. Buyers can often decide if they like a property just by the listing photographs. Many people would be turned off by a house that doesn't have good curb appeal. If the photographs show a messy and cluttered house, obvious deferred maintenance, or just plain dated finishings, a prospective buyer may never even bother to come see the property. Cosmetic work on a home is often not as expensive as you might think, and even a small investment can pay off significantly when it comes time to sell. Here's a few tips on inexpensively improving curb appeal. Clients of mine recently purchased a home. As listed, it was cluttered, outdated and dowdy. After they moved in, they put in about $30,000 of renovations. After their efforts, the value of the home may have risen by as much as $100,000 -- a return of more than 300%

When scrolling through listings, buyers may skim past a place with a bland or dated exterior. A nice pop of color and removal of the faux stone fa├žade modernized the look of this home.

A living room that is cluttered, contains photographs of strangers, and carpet that is 10 years past its prime will entice few people. Tearing out the carpet, refinishing the floor, adding fresh paint, and creating a focal point really changes the room, and even makes it seem bigger.

Everyone wants to know what the kitchen looks like, but buyer can't see past the clutter to determine whether it suits their needs. Painting the existing cabinets, and adding new tile and counters really changes the room. Of course, new appliances don't hurt! Now the room looks modern and clean.