Curb Appeal Checklist

The importance of making a good first impression cannot be over-emphasized. Everything the buyer sees about your house before they reach the driveway has an impact, either negative or positive. Do a little homework before putting your house on the market and you will be rewarded with happy buyers.

If you are able to do the work yourself, that's great. A thorough cleaning and trimming can go a long way toward making a good first impression of a home's exterior.

I have also staged many listings for sellers who did not have the time or ability to do this work: meaning that I supervised the preparation of my client's house for the real estate market by using all my contacts in the construction trades. My clients were happy to pay for the work that needed to be done, and their home showed much better.

Read the following tips to prepare your house for market.

General outdoor checklist:

  • Inspect the outside ground.
  • Remove any building materials, scrap wood, or discarded household items from the property.
  • Store garbage cans in the garage.

  • Check the home from the roof line down.

    • Is the roof free and clear from obstructions and moss?
    • Are the gutters clear and neatly hung?
    • Are the windows clean and free from obstructions (such as overgrown bushes or trees)?
    • Are bushes, trees and shrubs neatly pruned?
    • What does the roof look like around the chimney? Any discoloration?

  • Inspect the condition of the paint or siding.

    • Is it time to power wash the siding?
    • Are paint touch-ups needed?
    • Is the front door in good shape?

  • Examine your flower beds to see if they need an upgrade.

    • Are plants neatly pruned?
    • Is the bed free and clear of weeds?
    • Is the bed properly mulched?
    • Are flowers in bloom?

  • Keep the lawn neatly groomed. This means:

    • Free from weeds
    • Free from grass clippings
    • Neatly edged

For vacation home owners:

Pay special attention if your property is a vacation home in Watauga, Avery, or Ashe County.  A vacation home may need more work to "spruce it up" than the home you live in every day.


  • Remove fall or winter debris.
  • Trim shrubs back and remove broken limbs from trees.
  • Put fresh mulch around the yard.

Driveway and drainage:

  • Are there any drainage problems that need to be remedied?
  • How does your driveway look?
    • Does it need regrading, re-ditching and a load of gravel?
    • Does the asphalt need refreshing? 

Decks, windows, and outdoor spaces:

  • Does your deck or your house need pressure washing to remove mildew?
  • How do your window screens look? Clean or torn and dirty? 

Entryway and front door:

  • Walk the path to your front door and see what you notice.
  • Make sure the approach to your house is in tip-top shape.  
  • Use flowers, garden accessories and outdoor furniture to accent your home's entry.

What buyers really want:

Buyers want to see evidence that they can enjoy beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain surroundings from your home.  Show areas of rest and relaxation. Pay attention to lovely landscaping. Showcase an ability to entertain out-of-doors, and your buyers will see themselves in your home.

PO Box 2045
Blowing Rock, NC 28605