Selling your home is no easy feat -- and trying to speed up the process can be even harder. In 2018, the typical home spent between 65 and 93 days on the market. In other words, it could take anywhere from two to three months (or more) to sell your home under the best of circumstances.
That said, there are some things you can do to speed up the process. Since 85% of the nation's homes were built before 1980 and are in need of improvements, some carefully chosen upgrades can help seal the deal and convince buyers to make an offer more quickly. And in some cases, it's best to work from the outside in.
After all, curb appeal can have a big impact on your ability to sell your home. Since these are the first features that prospective homebuyers see, you have an incredible opportunity to get them emotionally invested from the moment they pull up to your property. Even better is the fact that you don't have to spend a fortune, waste several weeks, or hire the professionals to improve your curb appeal. Here are just a few easy and affordable DIY ideas to make your home stand out from the start.
Paint the Front Door
Your front door instantly communicates to a prospective buyer. If your door looks boring or uninviting, you won't be doing yourself any favors. While a state-of-the-art upgrade can pay off, you can actually give your door a less expensive makeover by giving it a fresh coat of paint. Deep reds and pale yellows can be incredibly charming, but neutrals can also do the trick if you aren't looking to take a risk. Make sure the hue you choose coordinates with the style of your home. If you're stuck on what color to choose, scour some Pinterest boards for inspiration.
Declutter the Yard
An overgrown lawn covered in debris isn't a welcoming sight to anyone. Make sure to take care of your grass and mow it regularly to the recommended height. A common code violation is having weeds exceeding 12 inches in height on property lawns, so keeping up with your lawn maintenance can please both your neighbors and prospective buyers. Take care to remove fallen branches, rake up leaves and sticks, trim back trees, and water plants around the yard. Of course, you'll also want to remove any toys, tacky lawn ornaments, or elements that detract from your home's visual appeal.
Refresh Your Mailbox or House Numbers
It might surprise you, but swapping out your old mailbox or house numbers can make a substantial difference. Be sure your house numbers have a matte finish and offer a good color contrast with the house so that they're clearly visible from the street. If your mailbox has seen better days, replace it with something new or cover the base in some way. You might only need to replace the box itself, rather than the whole post, which is a relatively easy fix. Although these are small details, it's best not to give buyers anything negative to fixate on upon their arrival.
Stage Your Front Stoop
Whether you have a wrap-around porch or a couple of small steps leading up to your front door, you'll want to stage this area to make it look welcoming and charming. That might mean replacing the outdoor lighting, adding some potted plants, including a seating area, using a wreath, painting the trim, replacing the doorbell, or washing any windows included in your front door. You should also make sure there's a clear and inviting pathway from the street to your front steps. Even if there isn't much room in this area, you can make visitors want to come inside if you get a little creative.
While there's never a guarantee that your home will sell within a matter of days, improving your curb appeal can entice potential buyers and convince them that they should move in as soon as possible. And with these DIY tips in mind, you can make these upgrades quickly and well within your budget.