How to Boost Your Curb Appeal

by Gema Smith 12/01/2019

Photo by Javani LLC via Shutterstock

Before you ever place your home on the market, start working on curb appeal. What’s curb appeal? It’s the first thing that makes people want to take a second look when they drive by. If they’re house shopping or just dreaming for the future, a home with curb appeal will bring them back once it has a “For Sale” sign in the yard.

Where Do You Start?

  • Fix the small stuff: The crooked shutter, sagging fence, loose bricks in the walkway or cracks in the stucco trigger the subconscious to wonder what else is wrong. Start your curb appeal efforts by making sure the basics are in top shape.
  • Water the lawn and keep it mowed. Trim the edges too. Rake up leaves and branches, and bag them for removal. Even if your landscaping is simple, if it’s well-kept it catches the eye.
  • Weed the flowerbeds and along the fences. Prune the overgrown bushes and trees too. Sweep away spider webs and debris from corners and gutters.
  • Wash down the exterior surfaces of the house and wash the windows, so they sparkle.

Now that you’ve completed the basics, move on to the more intricate — and costly — items. These include painting the front door a bold, brilliant hue, and while you’re at it, paint the house trim. Even if you can’t paint the entire house, freshening the door and window trim gives your house the “cared for” feeling that buyers want.

Change out the bulbs in the carriage lights and keep them brightly lit. Do the same with the porch lights. As the seasons change, homebuyers may be seeing your home in the early evening, so illuminate pathways with solar lights or place lights at the base of trees, bushes or architectural details of your home.

If your gutters sag, call out a service technician and get them realigned or repaired. Do the same with the downspouts. If they are dented or smashed on the ends, replace them, so they don’t detract from your home.

If you have time to replant your flower beds, add seasonal blooming flowers or colorful foliage to attract the eye. Even if you can’t replant your beds, set out pots of colorful flowers in the front of your home.

If the front of your home has a long driveway or walkway, consider concrete acid stain to give it a beautiful, new surface. And, if the door at the end of that driveway is dented, droopy or bulges, get it replaced. The R.O.I. is worth it.

About the Author
Author

Gema Smith

Gema S. Smith has been an influential pioneer in the luxury real estate industry for over 30 years. With a reputation for providing first-class service and garnering impeccable results for her clients, Gema’s accomplishments have earned her mentions in San Jose Magazine as well as two State of California Senate Certificates of Recognition. 

Unapologetically persistent, tenacious in her negotiation and passionate about developing genuine trust with her clients, Gema brings her best-in-class service and award-winning approach to The Agency, with a focus on the high-end market of Silicon Valley. Previously, Gema served as a Broker Associate with Intero Real Estate Services in San Jose, where she was a consistent top producer and recognized as a Top Listing and Sales agent for the company’s 15 corporate offices. Knowing that every buyer and seller has their own unique story to tell, Gema is proud to play a role in her clients’ ongoing narrative and represent their best interests in what is often the biggest transaction of their lives. 

Gema has been an active member of the real estate community since 1987, getting her start in the loan business before obtaining her real estate and broker’s licenses. In 2002, she opened a real estate brokerage and loan company which she ran successfully until 2008, when she chose to focus her efforts on real estate sales full-time. Gema is a long-time member of the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors (SCCAOR) and California Association of Realtors (CAR), as well as a Certified REO & SHORT SALE Specialist with The Five Star Institute. She is also a two-time Santa Clara County Chapter President of NHORA (National Hispanic Organization of Real Estate Associates) and currently sits on the NHORA National Board of Directors. 

A passionate philanthropist, Gema sits on the Board of Directors for the Jose Valdes Math Institute. Her commitment and dedication to the advancement of educational opportunities to underserved communities defines her character. In her spare time, Gema enjoys gourmet cooking, entertaining family and friends, wine tasting, reading, jogging and traveling.