Many times, a homebuyer is inspired to take a more serious look at a home on the market when driving by it.This is why it’s important that your home exudes ‘charm’ from the outside.

Keep in mind that these days, a ‘drive-by’ may be online. When choosing photos of your home for listing services (such as MLS), don’t skimp on the outside shots. Potential homebuyers’ first impressions are a reality of the home sale market, so it’s best to prepare yourself with some great ideas to improve your home’s appearance.

Here are some of the best ways to help make your home stand out to drive-by homebuyers:


Bright colors. Painting your entry door, trim, shutters, etc., makes a great first impression of your home’s exterior. Consider adding colorful plants and/or flowers in strategic places, such as the corners of the garage and end of the driveway, that further accent your home. You may also want to add a seasonal flag or banner on your porch to further capture a potential homebuyer’s eye.

The little things. Have you ever not been able to find a number on a house? It’s frustrating.  If you haven’t already, you should consider installing a new house number in a visible place such as next to the door or on the curb. Updating the exterior lighting fixtures can make a big difference for nighttime visibility and safety. And finally, don’t forget to take a serious look at the mailbox since a well-maintained mailbox can also make a good impression.

Repairs/Maintenance. Make sure every part of your house that’s visible from the street looks neat and orderly, This includes gutters (no leaves hanging over, no sagging) and the roof. Shingles showing obvious wear or with lichens/moss growing on them indicate a lack of proper maintenance. New sealant on the driveway is an economical way to improve the overall look of your home and make a good impression.

Cute and cozy sells. An inviting front porch will grab attention. Keep it clean and free of clutter including bikes, skateboards, and toys. Add a table and chairs to make visitors feel welcome. Flowers and plants also add to the charm. Touches such as these will help your potential homebuyers imagine themselves happily sitting out front while the kids play in the yard or just watching the world go by.

The yard. Take time to neatly trim up any bushes, mow the lawn, edge around the sidewalk/driveway, and add mulch to gardens and beds. Reseed any bare spots in the lawn and rake and remove leaves and twigs to give the lawn a fresh look. Consider adding updated outdoor lighting around landscaped areas, near the entrance, and along the walkway.

Keep it open. Open shades, curtains and blinds and, if the weather allows, the windows. Be sure to wash the outside of the windows to add extra sparkle and shine to your house from the street.

We place a lot of weight on first impressions for good reason. We make judgments based on what we see and feel within a few seconds -- whether we realize it or not. Keep the tips above in mind when preparing your home for sale and you’ll easily catch the drive-by homebuyer’s eye and make a great first impression.

Related resources

diy network: 6 Ways To Get Instant Curb Appeal For Less Than $100

HGTV: 10 Curb Appeal Ideas From The Pros