According to two real estate agents.

victorian home with big lawn
Credit: Getty / Jon Lovette

If you're getting ready for an open house, you're in for a lot of cleaning, organizing, and decluttering around your home. But what about the impression prospective buyers get when they pull up to the house for the first time? Curb appeal matters, and it has an impact on how buyers feel long before they step through your entryway. That's why we spoke with several real estate experts to discover a few easy ways homeowners can boost their yard's curb appeal before an open house—here's what they had to say.

Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

"One of the best things you can do is add a fresh coat of paint," explains real estate agent Allison Chiaramonte of Warburg Realty. "Make sure that the paint color is even and new—no chips, cracks, or dents. I'm a big fan of lighter colors, but the most important thing is paint with a little bit of sheen, so it will reflect light."

Tidy Up Outside

Lorenzo Sanchez of Keller Williams Realty notes that your lawn should be manicured and your garden beds tidy. "Pick up flowers from your local nursery and line them along the walkway or place them in flowerpots or planters near the entryway," he says. "Clean away any debris, hose down the entryway, clear away any cobwebs, and wipe down the exterior windows." Chiaramonte says to pay extra attention to anything green (including any space in the backyard, as well), since "brown, dying plants send the wrong message—so make sure that your current plants look their best." And, as we head into fall, make sure leaves have been (mostly) cleared, she notes: "If there are a few leaves, that's fine, but the lawn should be tidied up."

Dress Up Your Entrance

As a potential buyer makes their way to your front door, you'll want to help them feel welcome and at home. That's where your entry point—a porch or a front step, for example—comes in. Paint your door an appealing, bold color, suggests Sanchez; Chiaramonte says to prioritize this if your door is chipping or peeling. "Additionally, you can swap your handles or light sconces," notes Sanchez, adding that setting up a lounge vignette on a porch is helpful, as well. A new doormat, says Chiaramonte, is another way to freshen up this area.

Consider COVID-19

That porch lounge will come in handy, especially if you're hosting an in-person open house during the pandemic. "You have to assume that more conversations about the house and more waiting time will be spent outdoors," explains Chiaramonte, noting that placing hand sanitizer, wipes, and masks on a table just outside the entrance is a thoughtful touch. "This makes the exterior of the house even more important. Potential buyers are going to spend more time there than they would pre-COVID."

Don't Forget About the Details

Sanchez recommends touching up painted numbers on your home, curb, or mailbox; or, consider adding some flair by swapping painted numbers with new metal, laser-cut, or mounted address numbers. "These minor updates and subtle design upgrades can add style and are clever ways to attract potential buyers while being budget-friendly," he says. As for a detail that's commonly overlooked? Your car, says Chiaramonte: "If you have cars, and they are not nice or new, you might not want them in front of the house."


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