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5 DIY Ways to Increase Curb Appeal and Attract Buyers on a Budget – Redfin Real-Time

Landscaping, lighting, power washing and more–5 curb appeal ideas from HGTV’s Chip Wade.


With its crisp air and lovely weather, spring is the optimal time to list your home. Assuming it’s primed and ready to be introduced to the public, that is.

In life and in home tours, first impressions are everything. Just as we embrace spring as a time to shed possessions that don’t bring us joy ala Marie Kondo, it’s also a time to spruce up homes both inside and out to help attract potential buyers.

Emphasis on ‘out’–exteriors are particularly important, says HGTV and DIY Network home expert and Liberty Mutual consultant, Chip Wade.

“In the springtime, we have what I call the swing vote of curb appeal. Homes with it hold a distinct advantage,” Chip said. “Public interest is focused on the exterior of a home and even an only okay property can explode with interest because of it. This can really flip the competition on its head.”

Chip, who has appeared on HGTV shows such as “Curb Appeal: The Block,” “Design Star,” and “Wise Buys,” spilled secrets and tips for easy spring DIY updates that will give your home curb appeal to attract buyers, without breaking the bank this spring.

1. Create a clearly defined entry path

“The front door is a moving target and not always right on the front of the house. We want to clearly identify and demystify the route our visitors take when they enter the property. If it’s walking down the driveway, make sure that is really clear with no searching around. Uncertainty of where to go creates a sense of confusion for visitors, which is the opposite of the reaction we want. Focus your budget first on making sure that entry point and the path to reach it is clear.”

2. Don’t neglect your mailbox

“The mailbox strongly relates to curb appeal. Updating it is one of the most cost effective ways to transform the first impression of your home in a big way. You can invest in a new one, or maybe all it needs is a fresh coat of paint or a marginal amount of landscaping. A mailbox with a pine straw bed and a nice clean edge next to your grass is a great first step with minimal effort.”

3. Focus on the front door

“Make sure the front door is representative of the quality you want your visitor to feel about the entire house. If you have a nice house but a hollow, flimsy front door with cheap hardware, the potential buyer sees and feels that first, setting a negative tone. If you have a really nice firm door with solid hardware, that can elevate the sense of quality about the entire house, even if it’s actually not as nice as some of the competition.”

4. Let there be light–especially outside

“The one thing that makes a home so much better is exterior lighting. A lot of people think outdoor lighting is difficult to install and only worth doing if you have a beautiful yard. Both of those things couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it’s an affordable, game-changing installation any DIY-er can do. Put in a simple, three-piece low-voltage system that plugs into any exterior outlet. You can do this for path lighting, uplighting and indirect lighting. 

Good lighting makes you want to spend time outdoors, is safer, and is also incredible for aesthetics. Just make sure you are getting bulbs that are all of the same color temperature. You’ll see a range between 2700 Kelvin to 5000 Kelvin. It doesn’t matter what you pick; warmer tones are lower numbers, but the same color temperature will make everything feel cohesive and look great.”

5. Discover the magic of power washing

“Spring cleaning doesn’t only refer to the inside of your house. Do a full cleansing of exteriors. If you’re not getting a pressure washer out once every spring, you’re wasting a golden opportunity to transform your property. Just about anything that might bring the feeling of a property down can be fixed with a pressure washer, from dirty sidewalks and siding, to cobwebs and mud splatters. If you don’t own one, rent it for $100 or buy a nice electric one that stays in the corner of your garage for $200. It’s a super versatile tool to wash exteriors, cars and kids toys.”


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