Have you ever judged a book by its cover? Or, have you, in a frenzied state at the movie store, with no time to kill, grabbed what turned out to be a very bad movie because the cover was, well, pretty. Although many of us might like to think we are above such biased judgment calls, in all likelihood, most all of us have judged something according to what has been presented on the outside. This phenomenon, holds true for prospective buyers looking at houses, as well. A large percentage of home buyers will decide whether or not they want to view a home, based on its curb appeal- the outside attractiveness that can hook a buyers attention.
Consider that with the advent and now prolific use of the internet everywhere and within the world of real estate, buyers are presented with a wide scope of choice and information. The information that they put the bulk of their faith in, statistically, are photos. So, as well as having good quality photos of your house, consider the importance of curb appeal as one of the first elements that will peak interest in your property. Secondly, consider that if interest is not peaked a first time, there is little, to no chance, that the buyer in question will choose to view your property at all. Like a shopper bombarded with a million product choices in the super market, something with an appealing package may catch their eye, over the product that has superior quality. We do make judgments based on packaging, especially under stress.
So, after that little diatribe, you are hopefully convinced of the value of curb appeal when selling your home. Now, we can get into the nitty gritty details on how you can create an appealing curb. There are some questions to ask yourself. Better yet, ask yourself, and then ask a friend to give you their opinion. Of course, don't let their answer disturb your friendship-an honest response may help you sell and perhaps fetch top dollar for your property.
1. What is the first impression of your house and yard?
2. Look at specific features and make a list of the good ones.
3. Look again, and make a list of the worst exterior features.
Enhancing curb appeal, without a major overhaul is based on the enhancement of the good stuff and the minimization or improvement of what is not-so-good.
Begin first with what is challenging- in this case those features that are not so attractive. But, before jumping into elements that may involve some project work, start first with anything that needs a good-old-fashioned clean up. Perhaps some of those negative features, just need a coat of paint or a pressure wash. Here are some ideas.
- Clean gutters and windows.
- Kill mold and mildew on the roof, house, sidewalks and driveway.
- Paint the exterior of your house an attractive color. Consult your surrounding neighborhood to see what works.
- Pressure wash dirty siding and dingy decks.
- Edge sidewalks.
- Remove vegetation growing between concrete or bricks.
- Trim trees or plant limbs that are touching or near your home. Greenery should showcase your home, not hide it.
- Attend to all sides of your house, including the rear. Buyers do look everywhere!
Once you have generally cleaned up, look again and consider some landscaping decisions. As with interior home staging, the attractiveness of an un-cluttered interior holds true for the exterior of a home as well. Begin first with removing what landscaping elements seem to be cluttering others that needs to shine. Most buyers, have a hard time visualizing changes. But take note that buyers who can visualize necessary changes may well come to you with an undesirably low offer.Your own foresight and curb appeal work will attract buyers, and fend off low offers.
Here are some tips to consider for appealing landscaping:
- Shrubs generally work best when they anchor the corners of a house.
- A tree should function for protection or as an accent. Trees are most appealing when they to not disturb the line of sight.
- Frame the greeting area or front door with flowering plants and low shrubs.
- Stone and rock and can be used cosmetically to add a look of durability to your home.
In creating curb appeal, always consider the importance of the entranceway. Visual attractiveness is based on creating a focal point, and that point is usually the entranceway of a house. Door color should match the accent color of your home. A door that is colorful can be friendly and inviting, but make sure it is not shockingly bright. A second focal point is good, when it serves to lead the eye along a path to the entranceway. A garden bench or arbor are good secondary focal points.
What we have outlined in this article are smaller, more manageable projects you can do yourself to enhance the curb appeal of your home. If it seems like your home requires more than you can manage yourself, hire a professional who can write up a detailed. plan. Either way, do not neglect the power of packaging as you prepare your house for a competitive market.
If you would like the chance to work with me or one of my fellow real estate investor coaches and our advanced training programs, give us a call anytime to see if Dean's Real Estate Success Academy and our customized curriculum is a fit for you. Call us at 1-877-219-1474 ext. 125