Toronto, and pretty much all of Ontario for that matter, is a sellers’ market. Demand is high, housing stock is low, and competition is cut-throat – and that’s putting it mildly. If you’re selling your home, you have the upper hand. Though, you should still do what you can to increase your investment value – and your overall selling price. So, here are some of my home exterior tips to attract more buyers – and offers!

According to a recent Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) survey, only 2% of homebuyers said a home’s exterior and landscaping didn’t factor into their buying decision. So, that’s a whopping 98% of people who consider a home’s curb appeal when shopping the market. Interesting, right?

Curb appeal is all about creating a desirable and inviting exterior. In a nutshell, to catch someone’s eye and make that first positive impression from the curb. Decades ago, most home-hunters would pile into their car every Saturday and Sunday. Then, from 1 to 4 pm, they’d drive around looking for open houses. When something caught their eye, it was a must-see. Now, that’s curb appeal.

Today, curb appeal is more about attracting buyers online with great listings’ photos. Whether we’re talking in person or online, your home’s exterior is the first impression. Therefore, it’s a key factor in their decision to take a closer look or, perhaps, move on to a slightly nicer listing.

Home Exterior's Porch
Create a welcoming front porch.

Some Home Exterior Tips to Attract More Buyers – and Offers!

Paint Your Home Exterior

Depending on your home exterior’s condition, this could be a big or a small job. Though, all things considered, it’s the most cost-effective way to freshen up your home exterior. When it comes to choosing colours, don’t be too trendy. As we all know, trends come and go. Instead, opt for longevity and choose something in line with the neighbourhood aesthetic. Also, consider what’s happening next door. Avoid duplicating your neighbours’ colour schemes, which can make homes look odd side-by-side. Anything that’s peeling or appears discoloured will benefit from a fresh coat. For example, your front door and porch, shutters, window trim and garage.

Entrance Area Spruce Up

Create an instant stylish welcome to the porch area with a new mailbox, light fixture and house numbers. Plus, make a seasonal vignette with planters flanking the door and walkway leading to the front door and porch.

Enhance Curb Appeal with Landscaping

Landscaping upgrades increase property value.

When assessing your home’s curb appeal, don’t discount the importance of the yard. Outdoor space has become even more critical in the wake of the pandemic, which has prompted many homebuyers to look for homes with outdoor amenities. For instance, manicured gardens, patios and decks have become huge selling features. Especially in some inner-city neighbourhoods, where access to green space is limited.

Furthermore, landscaping is an upgrade that immediately increases your property value. Plus, that value increases as your trees grow. During the warmer months, ensure the lawn is mown, flowers planted, bushes and trees trimmed. Consider planting some hearty, cold-weather plants to bring life and detail to that bleak, wintery scene. Add outdoor lighting to highlight different areas and unique features.

Improve Curb Appeal with a Driveway Upgrade

Nothing ages a home at first glance like a cracked driveway, broken front steps or displaced patio stones. If the exterior is uncared for, potential buyers may assume interior elements have not been well maintained. Furthermore, don’t risk deterring buyers or tempting them to lower their offers in anticipation of repairs. Correct these issues before putting your home on the market.

Curb appeal is a critical part of the home selling process, and paying a little attention to your home’s exterior can go a long way to attracting more interested buyers and higher offers. Especially now, with in-person showings limited and more house-hunting being conducted online or from the street, curb appeal can be just the thing to tip the scales in your favour.

By Heather Hadden, Principal at Hadden Homes | Exterior landscape design by Samantha Kleinknecht | Photography by Alex Lukey | Produced by RENO & DÉCOR

aunched in 1990, RENO & DECOR is Canada’s Home Idea Book, inspiring readers with the latest in tips and trends for their decorating and renovating.

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