If you’re looking to put your house on the market, it’s especially important to make a good first impression with prospective buyers. That means making sure the outside of your home looks appealing.

If you’re looking to put your house on the market, it’s especially important to make a good first impression with prospective buyers. That means making sure the outside of your home looks appealing.

“When a buyer has a lot of houses to choose from, you need to make sure yours stands out,” says Diann Patton, a California-based consumer real estate specialist for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Here are five easy, inexpensive things Patton says you can do to increase your home’s curb appeal.

1. Put in elbow grease

Make sure your front lawn is clean and green. Mow the lawn, weed the garden and trim any unruly shrubs. Patton says she’s often surprised at homeowners who have their houses on the market but don’t properly maintain their lawns.

2. Add some color

Bursts of color really make your home pop as prospective buyers drive up. You don’t need to do any digging or planting; buy potted annuals and put them on your walkway or front porch.

3. Paint the siding

Any chipping or peeling paint has to be taken care of. Think about repainting the exterior to freshen it up. Patton says most homeowners don’t have to hire painters but can handle the work themselves. Think neutral colors, though front doors can be painted in funky shades for an intriguing look.

4. Power wash

Dirt is a big turnoff for buyers, so make sure your house is grunge-free. Power wash the sidewalks, garage door and front porch. Make sure buyers can see the beauty of any stonework or woodwork that is part of your property.

5. Clean the windows

Clean windows can make all the difference in your home’s appearance, especially once buyers are on the inside looking out. Make sure you clean the outside as well as the inside for a crystal-clear look.

Bonus tip

If you’re willing to spend a little more money, Patton says, you should check that your home’s roof, gutters and garage doors are all in working order and look good from the street, then make necessary improvements.

GateHouse News Service