Show Off Your Best Curb Appeal

Great curb appeal can get buyers to that front door of your listing. Do you have any simple tricks to getting stellar curb appeal? I’m looking for real estate and staging professionals who can share their tips for sprucing up the exteriors and how-to make it more inviting to buyers. Your insights will be used for an upcoming article in REALTOR(R) Magazine. If you have tips to share, please e-mail writer Melissa Dittmann Tracey at, and include your name and contact information. (If available, I’d love to see great photos too!)

Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

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  1. Key to sprucing up the exterior, landscaping! It is amazing what a fresh cut lawn and neatly trimmed shrubbery and bushes can add to the appeal of the home. Have some less desirable areas of your front yard! Don’t underestimate the power of barkdust in a particular area, neatly placed it can clean up the front yard and give the home a neater look!

    Assess the exterior of the home, could the home use a good power wash? A clean neat looking home on the outside leads buyers to believe the inside awaits even more greatness!

  2. You have narrowed your next home down to 3 houses in similar neighborhoods. You drive by each one multiple times and can’t decide which one you like the most. Finally, one night you are out doing some house stalking and see the second home lit up with an ambience of outdoor lighting. The walkway has a soft path glow, garden lights highlight bold plants and mature trees, and the entryway is highlighted with candle lit lanterns hanging on both sides of the entry door.

    The use of lighting to dress up your curb appeal is often overlooked because many people assume it must be professionally done and is expensive. This just isn’t the case. Hanging a couple wall anchors next to your entry door just requires a couple screws and candle lanterns. Solar powered lights don’t give off a lot of light but are perfect for creating a walkway and incredibly easy to install. Low voltage kits provide brighter lights if desired and can be set with a timer. They work off of a transformer which is plugged into an outdoor outlet. Low voltage kits are affordable and can be installed in an afternoon.

    So, if you are looking to send your Quad City home for sale screaming to the top of the market or just want to add a few highlights to your home, look into outdoor lighting to increase your curb appeal.

  3. To add to curb appeal, make sure everything is clean and in good repair. Clean debris and dirty marks from doors and trim, steps and walkways. Wash windows and shutters. Sweep driveway and walkway. Pull weeds and cut back overgrown plants. Remove dead brush and plants.

    Good landscaping is great, but if it is overgrown and the outside of the home is dirty and in poor repair, the landscaping won’t be remembered.

    This is especially important in the winter, when the landscaping may be under snow and only the mess and dirt show.

  4. Clean and well maintained appearance really helps the curb appeal. We had a rental house on the market for a while, and got the phone ringing with $50 worth of upgrades. We simply painted the front steps, added a hanging basket with some flowers, and put an American flag out in front of the house. The property was rented two days later.

  5. My Curb Appeal Project for this summer is to relay a Brick Landscaping wall I put in 12-13 years ago – It is a lot of work but when it is done it will make a world of difference to the curb appeal!

    All homeowners should realize that Curb appeal is best done every year – If you do it then your neighbors will to and together you will keep the appeal of the neighborhood for much longer.