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By Myra Hotchkiss

Jaw-dropping curb appeal on a shoestring budget

Staging the inside of a home for sale requires thought, but staging the outside is easier. Home seekers often cannot wait to see the inside of a house. They want to see if the house will fit their lifestyle. When they walk into a well-appointed yard and see the outside of a house, the anticipation intensifies.

If the home does not make them want to walk in, then something must be done. Homeowners on a budget can pull this off, too. All it requires is a little paint, a lawnmower, gardening shears, some flowers and a little elbow grease.


A splash of color on a house perks people up. It conveys a sense of adventure and of personality. Most homeowners go with red, bright blue or bright yellow. These are warm, happy colors that catch the eye. A can of paint only costs around $25, but the return on the investment is priceless.


Nothing says "home" like flowers. They are bright and colorful, aromatic and beautiful. Home seekers love to watch bees lazily buzz over beautifully colored flowers. Home centers in stores like Walmart, Target and other big-box stores sell every kind of bloom known to man – and then some. The tiny square pots only cost around $2-$3, so stocking up on lovely blossoms is not too expensive.

If homeowners selling their homes have the know-how, they can construct window boxes for the front windows. When they're filled with bright, beautiful blooms, the sight will enchant home seekers. Flower beds lining the walkway, flower pots on the steps to the front porch, and flower beds all around the house are a lovely way to highlight the home's nice features.

Lawn mower and gardening shears

Neatness counts. No one is comfortable walking into an overgrown yard. Walkways almost over-run by long grasses and weeds are unattractive to home seekers. Get out the lawnmower to cut the grass. Then trim areas close to the house, along the walkway, driveway and around the mailbox. Trim back any bushes. Weed the flower beds. If tree branches are hanging over the roof, cut them back. The falling leaves will clog the gutters in the fall.

A little elbow grease

Homeowners do not need to hire out a power washer. They can simply use their garden hose with the sprayer on its most powerful setting to wash the house. Being careful not to get water beneath the siding, this will cleanse the house of dirt and dust. Homeowners will be surprised how sparkling clean the siding will be. Home seekers notice these things. Wash the windows. People notice when the sun reflects off shiny clean windows. When they see their reflection, it makes them wonder what is inside the windows.

Light fixtures

Flea markets, yard sales, second-hand stores or antique stores are excellent places to find lighting fixtures with personality. For just a few dollars, they can be scrubbed up and polished. Hung at the front and next to the garage doors, these new fixtures will add pizzazz to the house.

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