When I first started out in real estate, I participated in training with my former manager about how to properly execute a successful open house. A lot of the training was surrounded around what to do on the inside of the home. Things like decorating with flowers, bring a sign in sheet, opening the blinds to allow natural light, how to greet and escort guest around the property, etc.
We didn’t cover much in regards to the outside except for signage. One negative thing about the house where this training was held, was the lack of curb appeal. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that your chances of selling your property faster increase when you amp up the curb appeal.
In this article, I’m going to explain exactly what curb appeal is and why it is important when selling your home. I will also go over some ways that I suggest to all of my clients how they can improve the curb appeal of their property.
What is Curb Appeal??
Curb appeal is the attractiveness of your home’s exterior when it is viewed from the street. In the real estate business, we often refer to curb appeal as the frosting on the cake (house). I often talk about it being like the appetizer.
If you are at your favorite restaurant and they have good appetizers, 95 percent of the time, the main course is going to be excellent! It’s the same with viewing a house. If you have nice curb appeal, then usually the house is going to be a beautiful site.
Why is Curb Appeal Important??
First impressions are so valuable in anything in life. Whether it is a date, job interview, or selling a home, first impressions can sometime make or break a deal. Initially homes are judged kind of like books, by the cover or outside. A nice curb appeal shows pride in ownership and entices curiosity as to what is on the inside.
Part of the marketing plan when selling a home is to take into consideration the drive-by/walking traffic. You want your home to be welcoming to those potential buyers that may pass through. Studies have shown that buyers associate the interior of the home with the exterior of the landscape. Like I said earlier, if the appetizer is not good then you don’t have much anticipation for the entrée. When I work with buyers, I will suggest getting to a property a few minutes before the scheduled appointment so you can have time to view the landscape/exterior of the property.
If you decide to put your house on the market, usually the objective is to get as much money as you can and sell it as quickly as possible. This requires a great real estate agent, like myself, and all the little things that can help go a long way. In a buyers market, curb appeal can be the difference between possibly selling the home fast for asking price, maybe a little more or having your home sit on the market. The longer it sits, the more you run the risk of a drop in price.
How To Ramp Up Curb Appeal
- Dress up the front door – The front door is the main focal point of curb appeal. This is what people focus on because their curiosity is to see what’s behind the door, inside the house. You want the front door to be attractive and stand out. Add a touch of paint or even add some color to the door to give it that “pop”. Make sure that you clean the door fixture using metal polish. Give the entrance a personal touch by adding a pretty wreath, maybe representing the season that you are in.
- Garden/Landscape – There is nothing like a beautiful, manicured lawn, at least in my opinion. Make sure that the grass is always cut, sidewalks are edged, and bushes are trimmed to keep the front yard appealing. If you haven’t done so, adding a nice bed plant to your yard can give it an extra flair of color. Try and keep everything looking nice and fresh. A beautiful yard can give off a sense of peace and tranquility. Makes the buyer feel right at home.
- Drive way – Please make sure that the driveway is kept as clean as possible. The drive way should not be a place to store run downed cars or kid’s bikes. When I used to do landscaping, we always made sure to pressure wash the driveway. Little things like this add to the total presentation.
- Windows – Please, please clean ALL windows. I can’t say enough how often I take my buyers through a property and when we go to look out the window, we see fingerprints, dried up paint or even cracked glass. Big no, no! This is very small and I have learned that buyers can be picky. If you can’t take care of something this small, what else around the house, that’s major that you have neglected.
- Painting – This is the must do for every house. I don’t care how beautiful the house is or how much of a fixer-upper the house might be, a fresh coat of paint is essential! No matter if it’s a mailbox, siding, trim, shutters, front door or fence, a fresh coat of paint is essential.
In the end, people place their homes on sale because they are ready to move on to the next chapter in their lives. Whether its upgrading to a bigger home, going through a divorce or selling because of the loss of a family member, people want to sell their homes as quick as possible for asking price. These tips can help with the selling of your home. Subscribe to my newsletter to find more tips about improving curb appeal.