The Importance of Curb Appeal
Home Selling Fact: Curb Appeal Deserves Top Priority
A large percentage of home buyers decide whether or not to look inside a house based on its curb appeal--the view they see when they drive by or arrive for a showing. You can help make sure they come inside your home by spending some time to freshen up its exterior appearance.
First, You Have to Get Detached
It's difficult to look at our own house in the same way that potential home buyers do. When we become accustomed to the way something looks and functions, we cannot see its faults. Decide right now to stop thinking of the property as a home. It's a house-a commodity you want to sell for the highest dollar possible.
Curb Appeal Exercise
The next time you come home, stop across the street or far enough down the driveway to get a good view of the house and its surroundings.
View the property from the same position as a home buyer who is doing a drive-by.
Evening Appeal is Important
Do the curb appeal exercise again at dusk or just after dark, because it's not unusual for potential buyers to drive by houses in the evening.
Lighting is Always a Plus
Don't Forget the Rear View
Buyers doing a drive by will try their best to see your back yard. If it's visible from another street or from someone's driveway, it should be a part of your curb appeal efforts.
Curb Appeal Starters
Start with these basic curb appeal tasks:
There are times that adding elements to your landscaping can help curb appeal, but there are also times when removing something is more effective.
Bad Landscaping Can Delay a Sale
We had a listing for a large brick house with white columns in front. Tall evergreens, planted in front of each column, had grown taller than the roof. They obscured the columns and windows and made it difficult to see the front of the house.
We suggested that the owner remove them. She trimmed them back, but it didn't do the trick-they were unattractive and still kept potential buyers from seeing the true character of the house.
I sold the house to a couple who could see past the trees. One of their first tasks after closing was to yank them out of the ground, instantly boosting the home's curb appeal.
The Moral of the Story
Most buyers cannot visualize changes, and often won't take a second look at a house if the first isn't appealing to them. Those who can visualize changes, and are prepared to make them, expect YOU to reduce the price of the house to compensate for the work.
The seller was comfortable in the house and couldn't understand why leaving the trees in place made a difference. She forgot that you have to show buyers the best aspects of a property-you cannot expect them to imagine improvements on their own.
More Curb Appeal Ideas
If you brainstorm, you'll find that there's a solution to most problems-one that lets you stay within your budget. The trick is to find the spots where improvements are needed, then follow through to complete the tasks as best you can.