Don’t judge a book by its cover. I am sure you have heard that one before. If not, just because the cover of the book doesn’t appeal to you doesn’t mean the content is not good. Usually it’s the converse. The book has a beautiful cover but it is a terrible book. That is why more times than not the cover is going to be attractive. They have to get you interested before you will even consider opening it up and checking to see if it is any good.

Likewise, how your house looks from the street, hence curb appeal, to a potential buyer who passes by often determines whether they will consider looking at the inside or continue on to the next house for sale.

I know. Certain architectural characteristics of your house cannot be changed. Without exorbitant cost you can’t make a ranch into a two story or a two story into a split-level…

However, make the best of what you have. Preparing a home for sale costs you time and perspiration. The payoff: you get the most money for your house faster. So do the things you do have control over.


You CAN keep the grass cut and neatly trimmed. When’s the last time you trimmed those shrubs (or bushes to some depending where you are from). Think about this, do you like the way your coworker looks when he/she neglects grooming? Kind of makes you look the other way. Neglect grooming your lawn and the buyers are going to look right past your home as well.cutting grass

Personally, I am not a yard guy. I have been cutting grass since I was six (mom had to start the mower for me). So I am tired of cutting grass, but it has to be done. But, is it necessary for my wife to plant trees and flowers that break up a great cutting pattern? I digress.

However, I’m thinking that if I can sell my house for top dollar and can use that money to (buy a bigger house, buy a beach condo, go on a trip around the world, you fill in the blank). Then it probably is worthwhile cutting and trimming grass and bushes—shrubs to some. Might even pay to plant a few of those pesky get in the way flowers around the mailbox. Most people will appreciate them even if you don’t.

So you did the lawn and thought you were done. Not so fast. Open your eyes and look. No, really look at the way your house looks from the street. Now everything looks good to you. Right? Then it probably doesn’t look good enough to catch buyers’ attention because almost all your competition looks “good.” You have to look better!

Clean & Paint

Curb appeal also involves cleaning and painting. Clean the windows. Exterior siding needs power washing to brighten up its appearance, and you  may as well do the driveway and sidewalk while you are at it. Fix the fence if boards are rotten, or badly warped. Paint or stain the fence or redo the finish. Paint the front door a nice color. Make your house pop!

It’s time to look at your house from the street again. How does that “book’s cover” look now? Is it inviting? You should be excited with the results of all your preparation and perspiration.

Now you actually stand a chance of selling your house. Congratulations, great curb appeal doesn’t guarantee the sale of your home, but it’s a great start. Positive curb appeal invites potential buyers to see if the inside lives up to the cover. Otherwise, it’s on to the next one on the long list of potential homes.