Major Curb Appeal Mistakes That’ll Scare Away Potential Home Buyers

A large number of buyers (as many as 75%) drive by a property after seeing the listing online, making curb appeal an essential component to getting potential buyers in the door (and making offers). If you’re selling your home, you want it looking its best at all times, from all angles – not just before the open house. Don’t blow it by overlooking these major curb appeal mistakes. They could be the difference between a bidding war and an empty open house.


Bold Colours

Bold colours can be fun for sure, but when it comes to curb appeal they can do more harm than good. When you’re selling a home you want to appeal to as many people as possible, and a striking colour will not do.


Outdated Fixtures

Door hardware, house numbers, mailboxes and light fixtures should all look stylish and up to date. These items are like the jewellery of a home’s exterior, and anything that looks dated or damaged will give a poor first impression. These items are relatively inexpensive in the grand scheme of things, so it’s worth spending a few bucks for an update.


Quirky Lawn Ornaments

As much as you may like lawn flamingos or garden gnomes, they’re not for everyone. Just like it’s important to remove overly personal items from inside your home, get these quirky accents off the lawn before potential buyers start coming around. What’s cute to you may be very off-putting to someone else.


Peeling Paint

Peeling paint is never good, whether it’s on the siding, the trim, the porch or the fence. It will immediately tell potential buyers that not only has the exterior not been well maintained, but also it’s a signal that they’ll have a lot of maintenance work to do once they move in. Not good.


Missing or Damaged Roof Shingles

Most people don’t think about the roof when they think about curb appeal, but it’s a huge factor. People who drive up to the house for the first time will notice damage to the roof right away — and it will scare them. A damaged roof means potential leaks, and it can be a deal breaker. Some people will try to negotiate a lower price, but for some it will be such a turnoff that they won’t even put in an offer. Do yourself a favour and get the roof fixed before you list.


Over-Landscaping Your Yard

If your lawn is already landscaped, fine, don’t remove anything. But if your lawn is fairly simple and you want to improve upon it, don’t think landscaping is the answer. Where you might see a showcase of beautiful plants and foliage, a potential buyer will see work. Maintenance work is a turnoff, so simplicity is key.


High Maintenance Plants

Just like over-landscaping can be a problem, so can plants that are high maintenance. People who aren’t that familiar with gardening won’t necessarily see the difference between those that are easy to care for and those that aren’t, but they will notice if there are lots of leafy plants and trees that will require lots of raking in the fall. They’ll also notice if there are tons of different flower species that will require different care. Again, there’s no need to remove anything if it’s existing, but avoid planting anything that requires work right before you list.



Garbage cans, lawn tools, kids toys and bikes should all be put away and not be left out for people to see. These normal articles of everyday life can clutter up front lawns and driveways, making them look messy and unappealing. Buyers are very visual, and even these simple items can skew their perception of the home.


Dead Plants

Dead plants are depressing, and they do nothing to help your curb appeal. Anything with dead, dried out leaves or broken branches has got to go. Keep things fresh and healthy to create a good first impression.


A Home With Too Much Personality

Individuality is great, but you still want to stay in sync with the neighbours when it comes to colours and styles. When you venture too far style-wise your house will stick out like a sore thumb. This can mean anything from the roof colour, to the trim, to the windows and doors. Make sure every element works together and is complimented by the other homes around it.

Courtesy of HGTV

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