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The Broomfielder

Broomfield Area Real Estate: Enhancing Curb Appeal on a Budget

May 14, 2019 10:05AM

By Elizabeth Buckingham

What you’ve heard for so long really is true: first impressions matter. And they matter even more when it comes to selling a house in a competitive market like the Denver metro area. If you’re selling your home this spring, a few simple upgrades can boost your curb appeal – and you don’t have to spend thousands to do it!

Curb appeal isn’t just fancy industry jargon; as local Realtor Jen Allen, owner of AIM Realty said, “It’s a potential buyer’s absolute first impression of your home, and you want that first impression to be a good one.” Because so much home searching is now done online first, it’s essential that your house look great both in photos and in person – and sprucing up your exterior can go a long way towards impressing buyers. Allen said that many sellers will spend a fortune improving the interior of their home but ignore the exterior, and this is a false economy as it may cause potential buyers to pass on the home without even scheduling a showing. 

If you have the cash, and if your exterior paint looks markedly worse than your neighbors’, definitely consider having the exterior professionally painted. (An FHA loan may even require it.) If painting the exterior isn’t in the budget, Ms. Allen suggests that power washing can work wonders. “Power washing gets that winter dust off, and helps remove cobwebs and dead leaves to freshen the appearance,” she says. Power washers can often be rented inexpensively from home improvement stores, or a neighbor might be willing to loan you one. (Read the directions first, and never let children handle power washers.) Don’t use a power washer on windows, screens or sealants, but do wash your interior and exterior windows to add sparkle to your home. Repair and repaint any shutters or other exterior finishes that might need a touch-up.

“Taking good care of your lawn is hugely important when trying to sell a home,” said Allen. Clean up dead leaves and spent branches from last year, and tidy perennial beds. Plant bright, colorful spring flowers – and then don’t forget to water them! Be sure to deadhead flowering plants and bushes regularly, especially during spring’s quick growing season, to keep everything looking fresh. Make sure the lawn is mowed and watered as needed, and that dead spots are attended to, and pull all weeds. Trim overgrown trees and bushes, especially those near the front walkway or other access points. If you have a xeriscaped yard, put down new mulch; this has immediate impact without costing a fortune. And of course, animal waste should be cleaned up regularly.

If your exterior light fixtures are particularly dated, they might imply that the interior is dated as well. Invest a few hundred dollars in modern fixtures; this simple expense offers a huge return on investment, according to Allen. Replace out-of-fashion brass house numbers with simple, elegant and easy-to-read black numbers. If your mailbox has seen better days, get a new one (check city postal regulations first). Purchase or make colorful, attractive seasonal wreaths – think fresh herbs, willow branches or pine cones – to make your front entrance cheerful and welcoming. If you’re lucky enough to have a front porch or other outdoor living space, put simple outdoor furniture there with bright, eye-catching pillows and other weather-resistant soft furnishings. Add pots of spring tulips, daffodils or other seasonal flowers and plants to keep things looking fresh and bright.

Don’t forget to tidy up! Trash and recycling containers should be neatly stored out of sight, and both kid and pet toys should be picked up regularly. Make sure the sidewalk, gutters, and public areas near your home are free of plastic bags, cigarette butts, and other trash, too. 

Spending money on a home’s exterior shows pride of ownership, and it demonstrates to buyers that the owners have taken care of all aspects of the home. As the metro area reverts back to a buyers’ market, it’s important to show your home at its best. Learn more about how to increase your home’s curb appeal by visiting, or contact Jen Allen directly at 303-596-8886.