Buy an attractive seating group to place near your front door. A bistro table and pair of lightweight chairs can create a romantic atmosphere before your visitors have even stepped foot inside. Or use a bench flanked by potted plants to provide color as well as a place to drop the grocery bags while you fish for your keys.
A seating arrangement also implies a warm neighborhood atmosphere where homeowners greet each other from their front porches. If your stoop is too small for furniture, place a pair of Adirondack chairs in your front yard.
Estimated cost: $500
Replace plastic reflective address numbers with something more decorative. Match your house’s style with metal numerals, or scour the flea markets for something old and unique that will play up your home’s personality.
Consider places in your yard other than the mailbox for the numbers. Attach them to a retaining wall, or plant staked numbers on the edge of a flower bed.
Estimated cost: $50 to $200
Pick a limited palette of three or four colors that are closely related and paint the prominent rooms in your house. Avoid intense colors which can be off-putting to prospective buyers. Neutrals tend to have broad appeal, and you can introduce an accent color in small doses with pillows or a throw.
North-facing rooms, with their colder light, can benefit from a warmer paint color, such as a sunny yellow, while south-facing rooms can handle cool grays and blues without feeling drab.
Estimated cost: $1,200
Their appeal is universal because they project a cheerful attitude. Mix upright plants, mounding blooms, and trailing vines for texture.
Metal trough baskets are versatile and affordable, while wooden boxes can add architectural interest to the front of your house. Some boxes are even self-watering, which takes the hassle out of maintaining them if your eaves are deep.
Estimated cost: $200 per window
Create instant curb appeal by upgrading your mailbox to one that reflects the style of your home. The variety of styles and finishes available is enormous.
If your house is clad in stone, consider a masonry column to house an aluminum box. Or if you live in a cozy bungalow, go for a vintage look with a painted mailbox. Then put attractive plantings around the base of the post, with a mixture of ornamental grasses and vines that can climb the post.
Estimated cost: $300
According to Gerri Willis, author of Home Rich, attractive landscaping can add 6% to 7% to the value of your home.
Have a garden designer draw up a plan that you can install yourself.
Estimated cost: $1,200
Add crown molding to a room lacking trim. It will give the room an expensive feeling for as little as $3 a linear foot.
You can choose a simple design or something more intricate and formal to match your style. Crown molding can make a ho-hum room take on a luxurious atmosphere and elevate your house above the ordinary in a buyer’s mind. Paint it a glossy finish that matches any other trim in the room, such as window trim.
Estimated cost: $250
By Lydia Somerville, Senior Editor