You know what they say: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. In today’s competitive housing market, your home could be sold before the “for sale” sign makes its way to your front lawn — but that first impression could still impact the kind of offers that come in. Why not take a few simple steps to wow potential buyers and make your house feel like it’s the one before they even step inside?

Perk up the porch and entryway

When someone is walking into your home during an open house — or even just deciding whether or not it’s worth a visit in the first place — the front door, porch, and entryway will be one of the first places they look. Add a little character to your entryway with these three tips:

  1. Make a statement. A bright pop of colour in the right place can take your home décor game to new heights. Give your front door and doorframe a fresh coat of paint that complements the rest of your property — and don’t forget to polish any metal doorknobs and fixtures.
  2. Dress it up. Your front entryway should reflect your personal style and give potential buyers some idea of what to expect from the rest of the house. Choose a wreath or area rug (or both!) that gives them a little taste of your home’s interior décor, and have fun with other porch accessories like lanterns and potted plants.
  3. Make it cozy. If you have furniture on your porch, like a chair or table, treat it like you would your indoor furniture. Consider throwing a decorative cushion on the chair and set a potted plant or vase of fresh flowers on the table.

When your house is on the market, give your front door a fresh coat of paint that complements the rest of your property. A pop of colour in the right place can take your home décor game to new heights.

Give the yard a good sprucing

While a “master bedroom with garden views” sounds beautiful, boasting about the garden only works when the garden is worth boasting about. Keep your lawn nicely trimmed and use these tips to spruce up the rest of your yard:

  1. Clean up your garden beds. Clip away any excess growth or dead leaves, pull the weeds, and add extra mulch or a new layer of soil to give the earth a richer feel. If your garden has a stone or brick border, clean it and reposition any pieces that are out of place — or better yet, consider replacing the border if it’s looking a little less “shabby chic” and a little more “old and tired.”
  2. Don’t be afraid of potted plants. If cleaning up your garden beds was as much as your green thumb could handle, consider purchasing some potted plants from your local nursery instead of planting new flowers. The right potted plants or ready-made container gardens could add a little extra life to your landscape.
  3. Light it up. Adding some solar-powered lanterns around the borders of your garden or walkway can add another dimension to your landscape and brighten up your property — just in case a potential homebuyer happens to drive through the neighbourhood when it’s dark outside.
  4. Keep it clean. To freshen up the rest of your property, clean all of your windows and consider pressure-washing any siding, patios, decks, and walkways. While you’re at it, clean your eavestroughs and downspouts too.

Add solar-powered lanterns around your garden or walkway to brighten up your property when it’s on the market — just in case a potential buyer happens to drive by when it’s dark outside.

While adding a little extra curb appeal can help you get more value out of your own house when you sell it, there’s more to think about if you’re also planning on purchasing a new home. When you’re on the hunt, be sure to look out for things that could impact your home insurance, and reach out to your group’s licensed insurance broker if you have any questions about insuring your new home.

Know someone who’s planning on putting their house on the market this season? Share these tips on Facebook or Twitter.