Curb appeal is the visual aspect of a home’s exterior as seen from the street. Studies have shown that a majority of prospective buyers will not exit their car if they don’t find a home’s curb appeal visually attractive. With an increasing number of buyers shopping online for homes, the listing photos alone could turn them off. Addressing a home’s curb appeal prior to the listing date is a critical component to positively marketing it.
Curb appeal forms a first impression and sets the tone for the entire home. Potential buyers determine whether or not a home feels welcoming based on its exterior, often without realizing it. In a buyer’s market, curb appeal can absolutely mean the difference between a quick sale for the list price and a home the sells below asking price after months on the market.
Boost a home’s curb appeal by identifying trouble areas. Take an honest inventory of repairs that need completed before the home is shown for the first time.
Stand across the street from your house to obtain the fullest view of the front, the driveway and the sides. Take note of any painting, repairs or replacements needed, as well as any overgrown bushes and trees.
Walk toward the house following the path a potential buyer would be most likely to take, paying special attention to anywhere landscaping is lacking: edging, raking, weeding, pruning and trash removal. Seek out items that should be removed or hidden from view, like hoses, sprinklers, trash cans, compost piles and yard toys.
Peek through windows at interior views that could detract from the home’s curb appeal.
Inspect the walkway entrance, noting cleaning, repair, painting and lighting needs.
Perform this same evaluation at different times of day and evening, keeping in mind that potential buyers will pass by a property on the way to and from work, or on a lunch break.
Keep your exterior improvements within the scale and proportion of the house and the neighborhood to prevent making your home from sticking out like a sore thumb. This includes landscaping, exterior remodeling, painting and outdoor furniture.
On a smaller, less expensive scale, adding new house numbers, potted plants and updated exterior light fixtures goes a long way toward dressing up an entryway.