Making the decision to sell a home is oftentimes scary, and with the abundance of properties on the market it can seem like you'll never find the right buyer.  However, there are ways to improve your home's appeal and increase the number of prospective buyers wanting to get their foot in the door, and it's not nearly as complicated as you might suspect!

Most prospective home buyers begin their search either by going online or simply driving around the neighborhoods they like and trying to find a for sale sign.  In either of these scenarios, the first thing they're going to see is how your home looks on the outside.  That's why it's so important to make sure your home stands out from the rest by upping the curb appeal!   

1.  Update the necessities!  It's always great to drive up to a home and see the house number displayed tastefully and prominently.  A new set of numbers is a super cheap fix, and can be done in minutes!  Choose large, bold numbers or letters that match the aesthetics of the home, and make sure that any of those drive by shoppers are able to identify exactly which home they want their realtor to set up a showing for.  The same idea applies to any lighting, mailboxes, or other fixtures on the outside of the home.  While these items seem small, and are easily overlooked after years of living in your home, for a new buyer a fancy wrought iron light fixture or tasteful brick mailbox can be the tipping point between your home and the one down the block!

2.  Decorate that porch!  For many homeowners, the front porch is a nice, quiet place from which they can check out the goings on in the neighborhood, watch the children play in the yard, or entertain guests.  When selling your home, make sure you don't miss out on this valuable space as a selling point!  Arrange a nice patio set and surround it with a variety of potted plants or flowers.  If you have the room, hang a rustic porch swing and cover it with inviting pillows. Remember that symmetry is always appealing to the eye, so adding a second potted plant, chair, or fixture to either side of the entryway will catch attention in an understated way.

3.  Beautify your walkway!  If you have a nice walkway leading from the street or driveway, up the wow factor by adding some interesting lighting.  There are many different options that do not require extensive electrical wiring, such as stand alone solar powered lights.  With a wide variety of styles and finishes, you can choose what will match your home the best without adding a cent to your utility costs.  These have the added benefit of portability, so the new home owner would be able to pull them up and move them wherever they'd prefer in just seconds. And if you don't have a predefined walkway, simply purchase some paving stones and make one yourself!

4.  Paint, Paint, and Paint some more!  Front door looking drab?  Paint it!  Concrete driveway or sidewalks showing some wear?  Paint it!  You get the idea.  There's virtually no surface that can't be improved by a nice coat of paint, hiding any slight imperfections or discoloration while providing a barrier preventing that wear and tear from escalating in the future.  Make sure you purchase the product appropriate to the surface you want covered to ensure maximum efficiency and prevent uneven application.  Red is an eye catching color when used sparingly, but you may prefer to stick with neutral colors that appeal to nearly every prospective buyer. 

5.  Fence it!  Who doesn't love the idea of a white picket fence?  While not as inexpensive as some of the other tips on the list, short fences, arbors, or garden gates are definitely an investment that will see a return for you.  Besides defining and separating your private space from that of the street or sidewalk, a low fence can actually make your front yard look bigger! Arbors and gates provide a sweet cottage feel, and can make a buyer feel a sense of home before they even step into your front door.

6. Landscape it up!  Take a trip out to your local hardware store and pick up some easily planted annual flowers.  Or, take the quicker route and choose some beautiful potted plants to place strategically throughout the front space.  Make sure that if you have a front lawn, the grass is mowed and healthy looking.  If there is no large open space, accentuate what room you do have by setting up a potted herb garden, or by adding window boxes with brightly colored flowers to the street facing windows.  

Remember that the more people enjoy the look of the outside of your home, the more eager they will be to want to come inside.  Create a space your prospective buyers can see themselves coming home to, and you'll already be a step ahead of the competition before the customer even walks in the front door!  With just a little bit of time and effort, your home can become the most appealing on the block!