Five Fall Curb Appeal Improvements

According to the according the National Association of REALTORS®, who notes that the sale of existing homes rose in August, it looks like fall may be a prime time for those looking to sell their houses before the end of 2012.

And as lovely as your home may be, there are always things you can do to take it to the next level, especially when it comes to curb appeal. Fitting in a few simple exterior home improvements can add value to your home before the weather turns cold, helping to snag those end-of-season real estate browsers. So what upgrades can you make that are easy, cost-effective and will make potential buyers “fall” in love with your home this season? Here are a few tips:

Front door décor – The front door leaves a lasting first impression of your house. While completely replacing the front door is an option, simply sanding and repainting your existing door can make a big difference and save on costs. For a little extra: Add a nice fall foliage wreath, or a doorknocker to accentuate your home’s entrance.

Sync hardware – Mismatched exterior hardware can make your home appear disheveled and create a non-cohesive aesthetic. By streamlining your house numbers, lock, door handle and exterior light fixtures with matching finishes, you can give your home a consistent, put-together look in less than a day without a large investment. For a little extra: Upgrade your lock with a high-end deadbolt with cover plate for added curb appeal and security.

Make-over your mailbox – Sitting at the end of the driveway, the mailbox is often forgotten about when it comes to your outdoor décor. Making sure your mailbox complements your look and feel is yet another way to catch the eye of a potential buyer. If you don’t live in an area with strict rules, spruce up your standard letter holder with trim, new paint or fancy finish (and steer clear of novelty sport or hobby mailboxes). For a little extra: Add a trellis behind the mailbox for extra landscaping and a pop of color.

Great greenery – A well maintained lawn can tie together the overall look of the outside of your house, presenting a clean and sleek front to accompany your home’s entrance. With fall being a transition time for many plants, adding mums or ornamental grasses in hearty autumn colors to complement changing leaves can bring depth to your yard. For a little extra: Add reusable window boxes and porch containers filled with gourds, cornstalks and leaves to create an autumn feel.

Light the way – A well-designed walkway leading to your front door can make your home seem even more warm and inviting. Make sure the path is well lit by installing outdoor lighting that not only provides illumination and value, but also security. For those without a walkway, installing a lamppost or lantern at the end of our driveway is a good option. For a little extra: Incorporate solar lights along your front door walkway for an easy and cost-effective makeover that is also energy efficient.

Preparing your home for sale, especially as the busy summer season is ending, can seem stressful, but with a few quick, easy and cost-effective improvements you can increase your home’s curb appeal no matter the season.