If you’re thinking of selling your home sometime in the near future, you may be wary of having work done to the interior right now, as we all shelter in place. But you can still safely make exterior updates to get your home prepared your to go on the market, and help support tradespeople, landscapers, and handymen at the same time.
Keep in mind that you might need to purchase the supplies for whatever work you’re doing, and delivery times may be longer than you want. If you don’t want to step into a big-box store, you’ll be happy to know that Lowe’s and Home Depot are both now offering curbside pickup.
Here are some top tips to get the outside of your home in great shape.
Paint the house
A fresh coat of paint can make a home look brand new, and also give potential buyers a great first impression. If you’re planning to list sometime soon, think about the fact that your curb appeal is more important now than ever. In this time of quarantine, buyers definitely aren’t going to bother moving forward with a tour of the inside if the outside isn’t exceptional.
If your whole house doesn’t need painting, redoing or updating the trim can give it an updated look and a well-taken-care-of feel.
Clean it up
“A bucket of soapy water and a long-handled, soft-bristled brush can remove the dust and dirt that have splashed onto your wood, vinyl, metal, stucco, brick, and fiber cement siding,” said houselogic. “If you can’t spray off the dirt, scrub it off with a solution of 1/2 cup trisodium phosphate—TSP, available at grocery stores, hardware stores, and home improvement centers—dissolved in 1 gallon of water.”
Power wash the exterior
If even the TSP can’t wipe away the years of grime, get your hands on a power washer.
“According to the National Association of Realtors, you can expect to add $10,000 to $15,000 to the sales price after pressure washing exterior siding,” said Painters in Philly. “This is a significant number when you consider the average cost to pressure wash a house runs between $100 and $300.”
Redo your front door
Maybe it just needs a good scrubbing, or maybe a new color would give the front of your home the pop it needs to stand out. If you do need a whole new door, you’ll appreciate knowing that front door replacement consistently has one of the highest returns on investment (ROI).
Check your eaves and downspouts
Cobwebs, wasps nests, and grime may have collected here.
Stain your fence
This is something you can do yourself if you’re looking to pass the time, but do yourself a favor and rent or buy a sprayer for a professional look that will save you hours—and save your muscles from days of pain. According to HomeAdvisor, “The price of having a professional paint or stain your fence averages $2,000. Homeowners could pay anywhere between $750 to $4,250 depending on the condition, height and length of the fence. Costs average $3 to $17 per linear foot or $1 to $2.50 per square foot. The cost of paint or stain, before labor, is $240 to $600.”
Wash your windows
Having a professional come out to wash your windows is the best way to get them sparkling clean, but this is also a job you (or your teenagers!) can tackle. Here are a few tips for getting them looking great: use dishwashing liquid and buy a squeegee. Learn more here.
Attend to the landscaping
“A well-manicured lawn, fresh mulch, and pruned shrubs boost the curb appeal of any home,” said houselogic. “Replace overgrown bushes with leafy plants and colorful annuals. Surround bushes and trees with dark or reddish-brown bark mulch, which gives a rich feel to the yard. Put a crisp edge on garden beds, pull weeds and invasive vines, and plant a few geraniums in pots. Green up your grass with lawn food and water. Cover bare spots with seeds and sod, get rid of crab grass, and mow regularly. If you're selling anytime soon, any work you do now will reap benefits in your home's selling price, usually 100% or more according to the ‘Remodeling Impact Report’ from the National Association of REALTORS®.”
Have your roof checked
As you get closer to listing your home for sale, you’ll want to make sure your roof is in good shape. Getting it checked now during this slow time means you won’t have to wait in line should there be a rush later on.
If you live in a neighborhood that has an HOA, be sure to take the proper steps to get any approvals needed for the work you’re doing. The last thing you need right now are fines or work stoppages because you didn’t go through the proper channels.