HGTV host offers tips for boosting your home’s curb appeal

Ask the Expert
Clearing your front yard of dead plants is an easy way to boost your home's curb appeal. Adobe Stock

First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to selling your home.

Getting your house ready for home buyers can seem like a daunting task, so we asked Chip Wade, an HGTV home expert and Liberty Mutual consultant, for help.

The exterior of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see online or when they arrive at your home, “so, if you can’t get past the first impression, then none of the rest of the house actually matters too much,” said Wade, a contractor, designer, and star of the show “Elbow Room.”

The first and most affordable step you can take is to put the time into removing trash and dead plants in your yard. These types of eyesores, Wade mentioned, “set the tone” for the prospective buyer on the quality of the rest of the house.

Getting rid of dirt and grime is another way to freshen your home’s look. You can rent or buy a pressure washer to clean the outside of your home, driveway, and walkways. “It just can blast off years and years of age and just refresh everything. It is really a no-brainer,” Wade said.

Making a potential buyer feel at home is essential to the process, and this can be achieved by creating a clear path to the entryway, Wade said, noting that landscaping or adding new pathways are easy solutions.

The front door is one place you should spend a portion of your curb appeal budget, he added. “The type of door really can elevate that feeling of quality and security of the entire property.”

Around the front of your house you also want to make sure smaller details are taken care of, Wade added. This includes painting the mailbox, railings, and door trim; confirming that the house number is visible from the street; and ensuring that the entry is well-lighted.

Preparing the inside of your home comes with similar rules, beginning with a deep clean — a “scrubbing the walls type of clean,” Wade said. Having a clean home will send the message that you really take care of it, he said.

Wade recommends dipping into your budget to get rid of clutter and anything that is bulky or worn down, even if you have to rent storage.


“Having two little chairs and a coffee table in a room is sometimes sufficient to just set the stage,” Wade said. The whole home does not need to be staged, but setting the tone for the possibilities of a room in smaller ways is key, he said.

Remember that less is more and that clean is king, he said.

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