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Hispanic man painting houseWe’ve made it through the dog days of summer. During this season, after months of researching properties online, buyers are taking to the streets in search of their next home. Real estate agents are plastering a sea of “Open House” and “For Sale” signs across every neighborhood they cover, all with the hopes of driving attention back to their listings.

During this rush, curb appeal should be of the utmost importance to your clients, especially during the summer months when buyers want to take advantage of the outdoor spaces. However, the aesthetic appeal of this space is not the only benefit of these functional outdoor areas. Certain projects, when done correctly, can also raise the overall value of your seller’s home.

Here are four simple outdoor projects to recommend to your clients to raise the value of their home and help get it off the market faster.

1. Clean the Exterior
Before considering bigger and more expensive projects, advise your clients to do a thorough deep cleaning of their home’s exterior. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, washing a house can add $10,000 to $15,000 to the sale price of some properties. Wash the inside and outside of windows, pressure wash the entire exterior and treat any stains on the sidewalks or driveway.

2. Add a Coat of Paint
Once your clients have given the exterior a scrub down, it’s time to add paint. A fresh coat of exterior paint can transform the appearance of a house. However, it can be relatively expensive to repaint an entire home. If your clients are looking for a less-costly approach, advise them to touch up the shutters and trim. This will not only make the home more appealing to buyers looking from the street, but it will give appraisers another reason why this property is a better value than the one down the street.

3. Freshen the Landscaping
A well-groomed lawn, fresh mulch and trimmed bushes can completely change the look of any home. In fact, according to a Clemson University study, an improved exterior landscape can add 6-7 percent to a home’s value. If your client’s landscape is lacking, suggest that they add native plants to spruce up the area. Not only are native plants visually appealing, they could also reduce the maintenance costs for potential buyers. You could also suggest seeding or sodding any bald patches in the grass.

To add even more extravagance, consider adding features like a fountain, small ponds or a backyard fire pit to transform the yard into an outdoor oasis. These types of projects can really help a property stick out from the competition because they make the home that much more unique.

4. Decorate the Front Entrance
The front entrance is the first thing a person notices when walking up to a home. The entrance should make a strong first impression, leaving potential buyers thinking about the property even after they’ve left. In order to do this, clients should make this area as welcoming as possible. Potted plants, new light fixtures and house numbers, or even a new coat of paint on the front door will create a focal point to capture the eyes of potential buyers.

Outdoor spaces may not show up in the square footage listing, but buyers will definitely be looking for them when touring homes during the remainder of the summer. Once your sellers have perfected their home’s exterior, consider the best way to advertise the property.’s new Local Ads offers a gigantic, scrolling banner ad at the top of search results, showcasing your listings. With 90 percent of pageviews coming from visitors who are actively searching for their next home, Local Ads offers a way to capture those active consumers.