8 smart moves to boost your curb appeal

Focus on the entrance

"The most important thing a homeowner should focus on is the entry way," says Katie Wethman, a Realtor with Keller Williams in Washington, D.C.

Wash it down thoroughly, get rid of any cobwebs and add some pots with colorful flowers. Sellers want to "create the right impression in an area where buyers are lingering while agents fumble with the lockboxes and keys," she says.

Wethman says that good lighting is important for evening showings.

Consider replacing outdated light fixtures. At a minimum, clean the existing ones.

Agents also suggest that sellers make sure the doorbell works, put a fresh coat of paint and new hardware on the front door, paint the mailbox and add new house numbers.

The path to your front door should be clearly defined, free of debris and wide enough to walk up comfortably. Replace your worn-out welcome mat with a brand-new one, and sweep the porch before showings.