Alluring, or ho-hum: how’s your curb appeal? When you are ready to sell your home, be sure to pay close attention to the exterior and strive for that wow factor. You want your home to standout and shine!

Prospective buyers driving past your property will make snap judgments on whether they want to slow down and see your home, or simply drive away. If the exterior is poorly maintained, with uncut grass, peeling paint on the windows, a dowdy door, or sinking eaves troughs, they’ll assume the inside is just as uncared for. But if a buyer sees an attractive, appealing façade with a nice-looking lawn to boot, they’re going to want to see more – much more.

Beckon buyers up to your front door by painting it in a contrasting colour to the rest of your house. Dark jewel tones of red, blue or green will add a little drama. Consider embellishing the door further with an ornate knocker, polished-metal kickplate or a sumptuous seasonal wreath. Replace plain doorknob hardware with something more attractive.

If your light fixtures and house numbers are looking dull, add a fresh coat of paint to make them look like new. Brass accessories should shine or you may want to refinish them. On a cool, dull day leave lights on: warm lighting creates a cozy ambiance.

Outside your door, planters or urns in resin or cast iron add appeal and interest. In the fall, fill them with colourful chrysanthemums that will last through to the first frost. When signs of winter appear, consider using tall evergreens or dogwood.

Need a new mailbox? An imaginative mailbox adds character to your front door, whether it is a whimsical wood box made to look like a country cottage or a wrought iron creation with the antique look of yesteryear.

If you have pets (especially dogs), clean up any waste and ensure there are no lingering pet odours. Consider taking Fido for a walk if you’re going to show your home. Not all prospective buyers are animal lovers, and a barking dog could intimidate them. Also, be sure the lawn and/or landscaping is in pristine condition.

Buy a new Welcome mat! It’s simple but effective. When prospective buyers step from the impressive outside of your house to the inside, and see clean, clutter free rooms, they’ll be better able to picture themselves living in it. They’ll hopefully feel right at home, and you will have succeeded in creating a memorable first impression.