Affordable Curb Appeal: The Secret to Getting Drive-By’s To Come Inside

 By Vincent Parrucci

Licensed Real Estate Agent/Realtor and Professional Real Estate Consultant

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This saying is true for so many aspects of life, including the selling of a house. If you’re going to have a house for sale, it’s worth it to take pains to make its first impression as strong as possible.

Fortunately, making a house look ready-to-buy, doesn’t mean you must break your back or your bank account. Here are some simple, affordable projects that can be done in a single weekend:

Warm Up the Front Porch

There’s an emotional component that goes into preparing a house for sale—one that’s truly “inviting.” Often, the key factor is whether prospective buyers can easily picture themselves and their family enjoying an afternoon or evening in the place. Think about whether investing in a few pieces of attractive, comfortable-looking outdoor furniture that you could place on your front porch (or other outdoor space) could help buyers picture themselves enjoying a leisurely after-dinner conversation…and whether a comfy indoor/outdoor rug and some outdoor decorative pillows might complete the picture.  During the holiday season, some simple but tasteful holiday decorations will do just fine.

Invest in Simple Landscaping

Even just a few flower pots or window planters will invariably work to cheer up an otherwise ‘just okay’ exterior. When a prospective buyer drives up to a house for sale, a few large pots along the driveway and/or porch—sometimes with the addition of a couple of inexpensive window boxes—can make a real difference. Fill them with easy-to-care-for flowers in the spring and summer time or mums in the fall.

Trim Up and Clean Up!

You don’t necessarily have to paint the whole exterior before you list your house for sale, but it is a good idea to spruce it up by painting (or replacing) the front door, shutters, and trim. It’s a quick, affordable way to give the entire house a facelift without spending a ton of money on painters and paint!

 Update Exterior Lighting

For prospective buyers whose first look at your house takes place in an evening drive-by, exterior lighting plays a leading role. If your lighting setup is more than ten years old, you may be able to do a quick transformation by replacing outdated fixtures with stylish new ones. If twilight showings are likely, consider adding a lighted path from driveway to door.

Pay Attention to the Details

Potential buyers may be searching for the address, so a mailbox with old, missing house numbers can sabotage an entire showing. A new mailbox with bright, shiny numbers or fresh coat of paint will waylay that possibility. During the winter season keep your sidewalk and driveway clear of snow and ice.

Once those drive-by’s start wanting to come inside, be sure to pick up your stuff and clear out the clutter.  If you house looks disorganized and your yard has toys and tools scattered throughout then your prospective buyers are probably going to get sense that the house is too small for you and may have the perception that your house will be too small for them.

To learn more about what sells and what doesn’t in the housing market, contact Vincent Parrucci,

Licensed Real Estate Agent and Professional Real Estate Consultant, at, call (724) 612-3770 or visit

 In addition to being a Licensed Real Estate Agent/Realtor and Professional Real Estate Consultant, Vincent H. Parrucci is author of “Smart Buy, Strong Sale: The Consumer’s Guide to Buying and Selling Your Next Home” available through His extensive experience includes VP of Mellon Bank, VP of Allegheny Financial Group, Real Estate investor, mentor and coach to thousands on investment real estate and flipping of houses and property.