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Exterior updates that attract buyers

In today’s competitive real estate market, the more sellers can do to make their home stand out and be noticed, the better, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.  

“If sellers want to improve their chance of selling their home, they need to make sure that the home grabs the buyer’s attention from first glance,” he notes.


Goslett says that homeowners who want to increase the resale value of their property must maintain the exterior and keep it in pristine condition, but this does not necessarily have to leave a dent in the pocket. While certain improvements may require the assistance of a professional contractor, most exterior updates are inexpensive and can be completed by the homeowner themselves. Goslett gives a few pointers for homeowners to consider when looking to improve the exterior appearance of the home:

Keep it clean

This is one improvement where the homeowner will get a 100% return on investment. It won’t cost anything aside from a few rubbish bags and some sweat, but the impact will be creating the correct  impression to a potential buyer. Refuse lying around the garden will create a negative impression and distract the buyer from the features the home has to offer. If the exterior of the home is clean and tidy, a buyer will see that the homeowner takes pride in their home and will see that the home is well maintained. Rake up leaves and remove rubbish or materials that don’t belong there.

Light it up

Make the home welcoming by illuminating the outside space with exterior lighting. If the home already has exterior lighting but the fixtures are dated and need replacing, replace them with new contemporary designs that bring the home into a modern era and give it a fresh look.  A wide variety of finishes and styles are available to add character to the home while the lights are on, or during day light hours.

Update the house numbers

There is no reason why the house numbers and postbox can’t be functional while still adding to the overall look of the home. It might only be a relatively small change, but it can have a big impact and is a great way to add some personal style to the exterior of the home. The key to choosing the right house number is a legible font in a material and finish that complements the style of the home.  Placing is also important for visibility to help buyers find the property easily.

A landscaped garden

The appeal of a home will increase greatly if the garden is established, well-maintained and landscaped. Make sure the lawn is mowed, the hedges and shrubs are trimmed and all weeds have been pulled out. If the garden requires more, a professional landscaper can assist in the planning and execution of more complex garden improvements.

Pave the way

Make sure that driveway paving is in good condition by filling any cracks or replacing broken bricks. Remove any weeds that may be growing through the paving. If it is a concrete driveway, clean away any strains and reseal it on a regular basis.

A new coat

Fill any small cracks in the walls and give the home a fresh coat of paint to breathe new life into its look. There is no comparison between peeling and bubbling old paint and fresh paint. Painting or updating garage doors will also add value and greatly improve the appeal of the home. A garage door can make up as much as 30% of the exterior of the home, so it is a large portion of what the buyer will see first.

Get a handle on it

A great way to spruce up the look of a home’s exterior is to replace the front door. However, this can be a costly exercise depending on the size or style of the door required.  A cheaper and just as effective alternative is to just replace the door handle. This is often the most important accent on the door and just by replacing the handle the entire door can have a new look and feel, especially if the handle is outdated and tarnished. With attention to detail going a long way, check all exterior fixtures and replace them if need be, so that they are functional and attractive.

“If two homes of a similar value are compared, a buyer’s decision will often be swayed by a home’s aesthetic appeal. The home’s curb value is very important as this will be the buyer’s first impression of the property, and as the saying goes, first impressions last, so make them count,” Goslett concludes.


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