Across the North Fork, the arrival of spring brings bunches of daffodils, trees bursting with green buds and the dusting off of rakes, wheelbarrows and paintbrushes by homeowners looking to clean up their front porches and spruce up their landscaping.
That’s especially true for those with homes on the market. That’s because having curb appeal – the outside attractiveness of a home as seen from the street – isn’t just about looking pretty. As the first view prospective buyers get of your property, a clean, tidy exterior can result in a higher sales price for your home. A recent study found that homes with a high curb appeal sold for an average of seven percent more than similar properties with a less-desirable exterior. And in slow markets with more inventory that number can jump as high as 14 percent.
It makes sense. If broken siding, chipped door paint or a spotty lawn are the first things a buyer sees when touring a property, they may pass on a sale if it means having to tackle these projects upon moving into the home.
Even those not looking to immediately sell can benefit from a spring clean as a close inspection of a home’s roof, siding and trim might mean getting ahead of potential problems down the road.
The good news: Most near sales-related improvements are relatively inexpensive, and don’t take long to complete, said Thomas McCloskey, licensed associate real estate broker, Douglas Elliman. He recommended a soft wash of the house and roof, plus having your windows cleaned inside and out.
If you’re considering “a fresh coat of paint for the front door, go for something vibrant,” he said. “Add some plants or potted plants around the front entrance. Just make everything look neat, clean and cheery.”
Other fixes might include replacing outdated or broken light fixtures, a corroded mailbox, house numbers or your garage door. Check for water stains near gutters and potentially rotting deck areas.
A lot of these projects can be tackled over a weekend. New or tidied landscaping especially can act as a quick makeover and can often be completed in days – even by homeowners themselves.
“A thorough spring clean-up would include mulching, reseeding, trimming and replacing plantings where needed,” said Bridget Elkin, licensed real estate salesperson, Compass. And depending on where you live, creative landscaping can provide added privacy. These features might include green hedges or shrubs, fencing or raised beds. While you might need to hire a professional company to carry out the project, it’s likely to increase the value of your home.
“Well-designed landscaping to improve privacy is always helpful,” said Elkin. “When a home and location can justify the added expense, stylish outdoor lighting and more enhanced landscaping can create a wow factor for potential buyers and can lead to a higher return on investment.”