What is curb appeal and why is it important? That is a question you may ask yourself. Curb appeal is essentially the attractiveness of your home’s exterior. How important is this really some will ask? It is of the utmost importance. Realtors can tell you, along with multiple studies that have been done, that a buyer will not get out of their car if they do not find the home’s curb appeal well-kept and visually attractive–that is, if they visit your property at all after previewing it online. With the technology evolving as it has and many apps and websites such as Zillow that allow people to shop online it is important to make that first impression a grand one. A lot of potential buyers are turned off from viewing your property if those initial pictures are not satisfactory. Your home’s curb appeal is a critical component in the marketing and selling of your home.
Curb appeal forms potential buyers’ first impressions of your home. Curb appeal sets the overall tone for what they can expect for your entire home. You may have a beautiful home on the inside, however, if the outside is lackluster most will not even proceed to look. Buyers associate the conditions of the exterior and the landscaping with what they will find on the interior. You curb appeal must be inviting and entice these potential buyers to view the rest of your home. This is a buyer’s market and in this type of market your curb appeal is the difference between a home that sells very quickly, and most times for the asking price or even above, versus a home that sits on the market for months and might eventually sell, but usually under asking price. This can cause buyers to think there might be issues with the home because it has not sold yet and they will steer clear of your home.
The first step in knowing if you have great curb appeal is to assess any problem areas. Start with the ones you think to yourself this would look better if I did…..blank. Make a list of any repairs you may need to tend to. Do not leave even the littlest thing undone. Make it neat and tidy and leave nothing for the potential buyers to see as a negative. These are a few tips that you and your realtor if you have one can do to help you with evaluating your curb appeal:
- Stand across the street from your home in order to view the full front of your home. Check for any painting, trimming, grooming, repairs or things that need replaced.
- Look at your neighbors homes compared to yours. You do not have to “keep up with the Jones'” per se, but you need to make sure your curb appeal is comparable or better.
- Walk a path you feel your potential buyer will take upon arriving at your home to view it. Check to see if you need any landscaping needs such as raking, edging, weeding, pruning, and trash removal. Make sure any hoses, sprinklers, trash cans and children’s toys are hidden from sight.
- Look through your windows to note interior views that detract from your home’s curb appeal.
- Make sure your home’s walkway entrance is tidy and brings the buyer in.
- Do these evaluations in the morning and the evening time to see if there are any changes that need to be made. Seeing your homes at different times a day can reveal possible trouble areas.
Once you have identified and dealt with any trouble areas you can turn your focus to things on your list that enhance your property and curb appeal. Even if you are working with a tight budget you can greatly enhance your home’s visual appeal by focusing on a few key areas.
- Adding COLOR. With seasonal colorful plants to your existing planters and flower beds.
- Updating home address numbers, matching them to existing hardware on the exterior of the home.
- Updating your mailbox.
- Upgrading your front door. Preferably with glass inserts as these are generally more appealing or a trendy door.
- Adding a new welcome mat and planters with various plants and flowers near or around the entrance.
- Landscape lighting is a plus for lighting your path to the entrance of your home.
PHOTOGRAPHY!! It is important to take the best photos of the interior and exterior of your home. You can take the photo yourself if you are savvy enough with a good digital camera,your realtor or you can hire a photographer. Fantastic photos of your home will increase your chances of a successful sale. The National Association of Realtors says that 70% of home buyers are viewing the homes for the first time online. Most will skip real estate listings with no photo or poor photo quality. They will also skip listings that only have a few pictures or with too many pictures of the same area and not others. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, then what are multiple pictures worth? Here are a few tips for yourself, realtor or photographer:
- Lawn maintenance is a must. Make sure the yard is well mowed, trimmed and edged.
- Remove all your vehicles, children’s toys, pets, and any other unsightly things .
- Get shots from multiple angles.
- Choose angles that show your property in the best light and that do not look cluttered.
- Include as much as the landscaping and lawn as possible.
- Do close-ups and far away shots. Include angles that have snippets of the neighbors homes or the neighborhood. This can give a buyer the idea of the area before even driving to your home.
These are a compilation of ideas from articles and realtors in the Virginia area.