You’ve spent hours painting the rooms in your house neutral colors, de-cluttering the closets and making sure everything is beautiful and move-in ready. But you still aren’t getting any offers. Have you taken a good, long look at the outside of your house?

Whether you’re an Indiana property owner looking to sell or lease your home, you can’t ignore the importance of curb appeal. Curb appeal is the first impression of home buying—that immediate gut reaction you get when you look at a building. Because so many prospective buyers or renters drive by homes they’re considering before they ever call to book a showing, you could be losing out on solid prospects who can’t get past your home’s ugly exterior enough to see its lovable interior. Just like you make important judgments about people based on first impressions, they’re judging your home by your lawn, your walkways, even your driveway.

The first step to improving curb appeal is making sure the home looks well-cared for. This can be as simple as pruning back overgrown trees and giving those scraggly shrubs some shape. Make sure your street number is visible, not hidden by overgrowth, to make it easier for people to literally find your house. Make sure your lawn is neatly trimmed and free of trash, debris or excessive children’s toys. Remember, people want to imagine themselves living in your house. Consider adding a pot of flowers to the front step to add a welcoming, inviting touch.

Next, look at the exterior of your house itself. Is the paint in good repair, or is it flaking and peeling? Is the color something that most people would like, or is it a bright or just plain ugly color? How does it fit in with the houses around it—does it blend or stick out like a sore thumb? Make sure any interior lights are illuminated at night, without any broken or burned-out bulbs.

Finally, don’t neglect the driveway. Assuming prospects do book a showing, chances are good that the first thing they’ll see when they step out of the car is your driveway. Is it free from cracks, potholes and oil stains? You may want to consider a fresh seal coat for the asphalt, to give the driveway a shiny, cared-for appearance. If you have multiple cars that you keep in the driveway, consider moving them to a nearby street-parking location, if possible.

What the inside of your house looks like doesn’t matter if people never walk through the door. Whether you’re selling or leasing your Indiana home, let the experts at Polaris Real Estate make sure prospects are seeing the true beauty of your home.