Say you’re trying to sell your home.
You’ve paid for an array of renovations, upgraded your appliances, and found a high-performing realtor. In other words, you’ve put plenty of work into receiving the best possible offer for your home so you can turn a tidy profit.
Then imagine that, despite all the work you’ve put in, you go and leave your front yard completely un-maintained for weeks. The grass is brown and dead. Your driveway is cracked and withered. Maybe a tree – struck by lightning – is strewn across your lawn.
The above scene would turn off most potential buyers at first sight, and all the hard work you’d put into your home would be for nothing! Not everyone judges a book by its cover, but the average home buyer is going to see the neglect and assume your home is just as bad on the inside.
This tells you the importance of curb appeal when it comes to the perceived value of your home both inside and out.
What Exactly Is “Curb Appeal”?
As you probably know, real estate agents use the term “curb appeal” to describe how your home looks when potential buyers initially see it. The cold, hard reality is that people will judge your home based on first impressions – especially in a buyer’s market.
Question is, what are the contributing factors to somebody’s first impression of your house?
There are broader aspects, such as landscaping, flower beds, and the exterior finish of your home. However, the tiniest details can make a world of difference. The appearance of your front door, porch, street-facing windows and even something as small as your house numbers and mailbox play a role in the overall impression of your property’s value.
By increasing your curb appeal, you’ll create that initial interest that gets a potential buyer’s foot in the door (often literally.) From there, they can be wowed by the wonders found inside your abode.
Why is Curb Appeal So Important?
You’re like anyone else in that you have an inner pragmatist, and selling your home comes down to dollars and cents. After all, the more you get out of the sale of your previous home, the better you can make your next, a custom home fit your unique “dream home” vision!
It’s then worth noting that studies performed by Michigan State University show that when there’s an effort put into curb appeal, it can increase a home’s value by 5% to 11%. Curb appeal can also sell a home faster.
We’ve already discussed how curb appeal accounts for your potential buyers’ first impression of your home. Something else to consider is that you don’t know how long someone might wait outside your property.
A potential buyer might arrive early to talk to their realtor. In this case, they have an abundance of time to analyze the front of your property, up and down. Suddenly, they notice things like if your mailbox is crooked or if there are cracks in your driveway.
Plus, fully leveraging your curb appeal generates additional interest in your home. There’s always the chance that people, only half-thinking about buying, could drive by a house with excellent curb appeal. Suddenly, they could be inspired to schedule a viewing before making a big-time offer!
Taking pains to ensure your curb appeal entices your target market will also get you offers closer to (and exceeding) your asking price. People will want a house that looks beautiful on the inside and out. Meaning, they’ll be willing to shell out some considerable cash to live in their dream home.
A Few Tips for Improving Curb Appeal
Realistically, improving curb appeal – and the various facets involved – requires its own article.
But here are a few simple tips to get you started:
- Clean up your front gardens: Unmaintained trees, bushes and shrubs are known curb appeal killers.
- Use planters: You want your front maintained, but not to look bare! Add planters to provide well-manicured tall-standing greenery (e.g., boxwoods or junipers)
- A pressure washer is your best friend: Remove dirt from siding instantaneously with this handy little tool. Pressure washers also immediately clean up driveways, walkways, patios, and decks, so they appear brand new.
- Add life to your walkway: Dull or rundown walkways won’t resonate with potential buyers. Consider redoing your walkway with flat flagstones for a quick, inexpensive fix.
- Add a new coat of exterior paint. A professional paint job will do wonders for your curb appeal. This can be quite expensive, so only paint if there’s room in your budget.
Although we’ve only scratched the surface here, it’s clear how crucial curb appeal is to you receiving the best return when selling your home!