First impressions are everything. When preparing to sell your home good curb appeal is invaluable. Everybody has heard the term “curb appeal”, but what exactly does it mean?

When you drive down any residential street take the time to quickly analyze the appearance of the homes. There will always be some that stand out, appearing much more attractive than others, and often there will be one or two that really look inferior. Usually the exterior appearance of a home provides a good indicator of what you will find on the inside.

Most people unconsciously make quick judgments. Usually you are either attracted to a property, or you think to yourself, “Gosh, who would want to live there?” Prospective buyers usually try to envision themselves living in the home they are viewing. Working on improving your homes curb appeal can greatly increase your home’s desirability and value.

Homeowner Associations within a Common Interest Development routinely work on improving the appearance of their whole neighborhood. Not only does this provide the owners with satisfaction, but it can greatly improve the value of each home.

There is no question that a fresh coat of paint probably does the most to enhance a property for the least amount of money. The colors you choose can be very important. Drive through nice neighborhoods and see which homes really stand out. These homescan provide you with color combination ideas. You might consider using three separate colors to accent certain details; for example, think about using an over all beige color for the home, paint window ledges and trim a white color, and finally use a third darker color to bring out the front door and shutters.

Many paint companies provide brochures with recommended color combinations ideas.

You should also take a hard look at your landscaping. Well cared for lawns, shrubs, and flower beds can make a huge difference. Improving your landscaping by cutting back bushes, and planting attractive flowers, can do wonders. Having a clean, well-kept yard is crucial.

You might also consider updating doors and windows. There is nothing like a beautiful front door with designer glass insets to set a home apart. New dual pane windows are excellent energy savers and can provide an updated look to your home. Shutters can often add charm and appeal to the outside appearance of certain style homes. Pay attention to detail. Look carefully at homes that really stand out. Then select ideas for your home from the most attractive examples you find.

Why wait until you’re thinking of selling your home to make these improvements? Do it now and enjoy them for yourself. You never get a second chance at making a good first impression.