You never get a second chance to make a first impression. So goes a popular expression. We usually form our impression of people within the first few seconds of meeting them, so it’s just as likely we do the same with houses.

Which is why you can never overlook curb appeal. Its influence on a home buyer’s choice makes it a significant factor affecting the value not only of a specific property but also of its neighborhood.

So whether or not you’re planning to sell your house in a year or two, it pays to keep resale value top of mind and ensure your property is always in shape to impress the market.

Here are 6 ways to do just that:

1. Make your front door stand out.

Not only does your front door need to be sturdy, it also needs to be visually appealing to give you a great sense of home and pride every time you walk up to your house. It can’t be a sagging, water-stained affair with peeling and faded paint.

Color is big when it comes to front doors: the 2018 Zillow Paint Color Analysis established that homes with black or charcoal front doors fetch $6,271 more than expected. Not into black?  Give your home’s façade a pop of color with a red, yellow, blue, or green door.

2. Make sure your windows are always in good repair.

Make sure the glass (glazing) is clean and the woodwork or ironwork for the sashes, grilles, and frames is in good condition. If you have shutters, they should look freshly painted; and slatted shutters shouldn’t have any missing slats.

3. Keep your walls and cladding free of dust and other debris.

Regardless of material (metal, stone, wood, tile, etc.), these should be well maintained: no huge chinks and stains, no cracks, no missing bricks or tiles.

Washing cladding to remove organic debris (which increases moisture retention) should be done with nonpressurized water to prevent any damage to sealant joints, masonry mortar joints (brick wall) and cladding finishes.

If your walls and cladding are painted, be sure to repaint or give them a fresh coat of paint as soon as they start looking dull.

4. Spruce up your front yard and garden.

Before taking on any ambitious landscaping projects, start with a thorough weeding and cleanup and soil preparation. Then find the plants that will keep your front yard looking vibrant and alive at different times of year. Meanwhile, other materials like stone, gravel, and clay (terra cotta bricks) can help define form and sections while adding water features (we’re not talking sprinklers) creates a calming effect, which is a lovely feeling to get before even walking into the house.

5. Be diligent with your walkway and driveway maintenance.

These often fall victim to neglect, as evidenced by cracks. They are also among the very first things someone sees from street.

For concrete driveways, be sure to seal any cracks as soon as they appear, especially when winter is approaching, to prevent any damage cause by ice that seeps in.

Any stains left by oil, grease, gasoline, etc., should be removed as soon as you possible—with a power washer as well as with chemicals. Baking soda, clay cat litter, sand, or cornstarch can be used for cover stains that are still wet.

6. Replace your roof on schedule.

Your roof is often how people pick out your house, and that association can be a lasting one: the Stone house is the one with the sleek charcoal-gray zinc roof.

Roof replacement can come at a considerable cost, but what it gives you is peace of mind: fixing leaks before they can do serious damage to other parts of the house means cost savings in the long run.

Know the life span of your roof and ensure regular checks. An asphalt shingle roof can last between 15 to 20 years, while metal and tile roofs can keep you sheltered for well over 50 years. In addition to professional inspections, the National Roofing Contractors Association recommends you do a self-check at least twice a year or after every major weather event to ensure there are no loose shingles or clogged gutters.

Generally, an asphalt or composite shingle roof and a wooden shingle roof should be professionally checked around every three years, while a tile roof can go for five years between inspections.

Planning on selling?

We can help you get the best resale value for your house, as well as help you find your next home at the best price.

Contact Team Clancy and tell us what you have in mind.