May 21, 2020

Pretty up the front porch for late-summer sales

When the coronavirus crisis eases later this summer, there appear to be plenty of buyers ready to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and the stability that comes with them.

If you’re like 75% of homeowners planning to sell this year, you’ve already taken down your listing until stay-at-home orders are fully relaxed – probably sometime this summer.

Take advantage in the interim for a few inexpensive Do-it-Yourself (DIY) porch projects that can improve your chances when the late summer surge begins.

When shoppers begin braving actual home visits again, your front porch creates a powerful first impression. Make entryway improvements to impress and add instant extra enjoyment to your home. It’s a win-win.

First up, consider new outdoor lighting. A new porch light, or even just a new cover, can perk up a doorway in a few minutes time. With the rise in online shopping and front-door delivery, increased porch lighting is an aesthetic enhancement and a safety improvement, too.

There’s nothing quite like a fresh coat of paint to refresh a dowdy doorway. Even if you just paint the front door, it can add personality and make the home seem cheery.

Plus, if you end up hating the color, paint is cheap—so you can just try again.

For those who have a physical porch with actual square footage, you might celebrate the end of quarantine with new porch furniture. It might be a little more expensive than lights and paint, but it can do wonders for your outlook and signals you are ready to greet visitors again.

If you have a greener thumb, make a little more show of it with porch railing planters. Put your prize petunias on display, gain garden space and ensure privacy. It’s like America sprouted. Paint the planters to match an accent color or to contrast the colors of your porch. You can still play if you’re no gardener. Just Google “hardy plants that are easy to maintain.”

Swings aren’t just for the kids. In fact, just the sight of a porch swing will have buyers remembering simpler times. And they’re so comfy and inviting! For the aspiring handyperson, there are easy-to-challenging swing-building kits at both online and brick-and-mortar retailers.

Don't forget the holidays. It's never too early to cook up some new porch-related Halloween decorations. With 2020 "abbreviated," it might take until late autumn to scare up the right buyer for your home.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) expects pent-up demand will accelerate as more states re-open fully in time for late summer. Thousands of prospective homebuyers are already returning to the market. Be ready!