6 Outdoor Home Improvements To Make Before Selling

Fall is a wonderful time of year. Aside from spring, the warm days and cool nights make it ideal to usher in the changing of the seasons. In real estate  fall is probably my second favorite time of year to sell a house. 

Real estate sales are like seasons, some are better than others but I can assure you that there are home buyers looking every day for that house that would like to buy. While it is a constant debate, regarding the best time to sell, if you have a great product there is nothing wrong with fall.

As we look towards Halloween here are 6 outdoor home improvements to make before selling this Fall. Not only will you increase the your traffic and interest,  you’ll sell faster and at the price you want to sell for.

Home buyers are looking for a home that is in move in ready condition, they want one that will be easy  to maintain, and one that they can move into with the confidence that the house has no major issues. .

Home Improvement #1. Clean the Exterior

Make it immaculate. I am talking about walking the entire yard and picking up every scrap of paper, every twig and branch and yeas every abandoned garden tool that was left in the yard. It needs to be spotless. You want the neighbors to start talking and asking why you weren’t this kind of neighbor before you decided to sell.

Look at the exterior with an open mind… think about what drew you to your house when you first bought it and focus in on the thinks that you have taken for granted and make them shine again. You want buyers to think that your home was given extra attention so clean it up.

Pressure wash the walls, weed the paths and flowerbeds, wash the windows, replace the missing downspouts. These might seem like small items, but to buyers you need to paint the picture for them because they will have a huge effect.

Home Improvement #2. Pour Concrete Walkways and Patios (Replace a Driveway)

As you walk and visualize your yard, look at the concrete walkways, driveway and patio. Ask yourself, what would you want? Did you know that the hardscape of a house, the concrete, will offer the biggest return on investment. I have bought hundreds of houses and I can tell you that NEW cement to replace cracked and heaving sidewalks, patios and driveways caused by tree roots, water intrusion and just years of exposure is one of the best improvements for return on investment.

Other articles written by writers and bloggers on home improvements are not in the business of buying and fixing houses so they have no clue what sells. Real estate agents will recommend some of it, but I am here to tell you to make it new. Make it a priority. Sure it can cost upwards of$10,000 to $25,000 depending on the size of the house but it will make your house unforgettable to homebuyers. If there is space for an RV, consider pouring the pad… sound risky? Not from my perspective because if you do everything outline in the article your house will be the one that every other house has to compete against.

Home Improvement #3. Landscaping

landscape Home Improvements To Make Before Selling This SummerNext, think about landscaping. You don’t have to be extravagant but put in some time to make your home’s exterior look really good. Trim the shrubs, Weed the flowerbeds.

Turn the soil in the garden and plant flowers, put mulch around each shrub and tree, apply a weed killer and fertilizer to encourage grass growth.

Maybe plant a new Japanese Maple or two. Again, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a big impact. Lowes and Home Depot have seasonal flowers available all year.

Home Improvement #4. Paint The Exterior

Home Inspections Gone Terribly WrongIt doesn’t matter how long you have owned your home. Look at it with a critical eye and know that the easiest home improvement that you can make is to paint. It doesn’t matter whether you have wood or Stucco, think earth tones. Think warm and inviting. Think what buyers want to see. Your house can be pretty if you let it and get out of the way. Then paint trim around the doors and windows so they are part of the updates. Paint the front door and the Garage door.

New paint can be quickly applied on a weekend. It will have a tremendous drive by appeal to encourage buyers to take a look at your home.

Home Improvement #5. Create Living Spaces

As you are surveying for old and tired patios and sidewalks, think outdoor living spaces. Home buyers today want to be able to envision a BBQ with friends and family that extend to all reaches of the house. Bring the indoors our and the outdoors in by creating that space.

Think outside the box and if there is a master bedroom and family room that have access to the yard, expand that space and add a smaller deck to your backyard. For the cost it will just make your backyard seem so much more inviting and ready for family barbecues.

Some homeowners might balk at the expense but if it’s the difference between selling now versus selling later, it just might be worth it!

Home Improvement #6. Fix or Replace the Fencing

Did you know that aside from knowing that the roof will not leak in the winter, most buyers want their home to be safe, private and secure. Unlike 30 years ago, we just dont know our neighbors. That may be part of the problem, but I have learned the hard way that until we do, it is better to be safe and secure. That means good fencing and gates that work. More importantly it means gates that lock.

What it really means to me is new fencing in the fronts with new gates and hardware. That is the minimum. It gives buyers a new and fresh impression of your house and assures them of peace of mind. Trust me when I say that when a buyer crosses security off their checklist either physically or mentally it’s a great thing.

Regardless of the cost, if you live in a residential neighborhood you always have at least one neighbor to as many as 4.  Regardless of the number, call the neighbors and offer to split the cost of the fence. Offer to pay for all of the labor if they split the material cost… or visa versa. Collecting something for the effort is better than nothing. But whatever happens dont overlook this home improvement because buyers take mental picture when they look at houses and this one might just be worth a 100 words.

It is ironic that new fencing is always overlooked by sellers but the buyers notice it right away. If you fix or replace the fencing and split the cost with neighbors it could end up being the most cost effective improvement that you ever made.


The fall is still a great time to sell a house and you can always help to speed up the process by making these outdoor home improvements to to house before selling.  You’ll be glad you did!

My name is Peter Westbrook and I am a cash home buyer in Sacramento, Stockton and Modesto. There is no shortage on improvements that you can make to a home. It’s what I do for a living as a real estate investor. I have to make those right choices and what I have shared today has always returned a profit.

I understand that not all houses or homeowners are the same and some have more improvement capability than others. Sometimes the cost of the improvements are overwhelming and there is no budget to take care of that. I talk to a lot of homeowners that want to sell without spending thousands of dollars.

If you dont want to deal with the cost of repairs and updates give me a call, you might be able to sell faster and spend less time, effort and money on these improvements.  You can sell directly to me. I am a cash home buyer that pays fair market value minus the cost of repairs and some holding cost? We’ll give you a fair all-cash offer to compare. Click here now and fill out form or call our office at (209)481-7780

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Peter Westbrook

Peter Westbrook is a local Cash Home Buyer / Real Estate Investor in Stockton, Sacramento and Modesto CA and Tulsa Oklahoma. He has written numerous real estate articles that have been published here and by other blog and news outlets. Peter has appeared on several local and national news reports regarding the state of the Stockton and Sacramento Real Estate Markets.

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