Upon first glance, you want your house to have a wow factor--one that makes buyers excited because it really stands out as the nicest one on the block. Even if you do not intend to bring your house from zero to hero, all real estate agents will tell you that at a minimum, it shouldn't turn off a vast majority of buyers.
For years, buyers have formed their first impressions of homes while standing in the street or sitting in the car, just beyond the curb. This is where the term “curb appeal” comes into play.
Today, curb appeal still matters, but in a much different way. Almost all buyers form their very first impressions from a home's online photos. The internet has it's positive and negative impacts when it comes to first impressions.
For sellers, the focus is often on improvements on the interior of the house. While the work you do in the kitchen or the fixtures in the bathroom may be impressive, you do not want to ignore your exterior. Even just a little bit of extra work on the exterior will maximize your property's value.
These are the reasons why it is so important to dedicate some time and energy to the curb appeal of your home.
It is the Very First Thing Buyers See
A buyer will pull up to your house and get their first real, in person, look at the property. This is a big moment! Buyers step out of the car and immediately start assessing the landscaping. From the garden to the paved walkway to the front door, you want to set a flaming first impression. This impression will affect how the buyers perceive the rest of the property. If their first impression is weak, that is likely to be the tone for the rest of the home's tour.
Exterior Conditions Send Messages About Maintenance
If the home looks like a haunted house, buyers are going to be very wary of what other kinds of (spooky) maintenance issues are lurking on the inside. Problems instantly translate to dollar signs, which induces high levels of buyer stress. Money and anxiety are the two things home buyers do not want to deal with. If there problems (especially ones that are quite large just about every buyer will erase your home off their list and turn to the competition.
Aesthetics Are Deal Breaker
As annoying as it sounds, many home buyers will not bother taking the time to see the inside of the home if they are not impressed with the curb appeal. An unimpressive exterior...where is the hook in that? Make sure your home stands out in comparison to the neighborhood. A dull or damage exterior will hinder your sale.
Make Your Home Stand Out
Speaking of boring--a bland or lousy curb appeal is not memorable, which will make it harder for your home to stand out. If your property has a beautiful green lawn, colorful landscaping, and freshly painted exterior, it is going to pop. Your home is instantly set apart from all of the other listings, especially from all that other listings that are not putting much effort into it.
Add Value to Your Home
Which do you think seems more valuable to a buyer: a house that has been well taken care of? Or one with maintenance issues?
Small details reduced the perceived value of property just as much as more substantial details. Things that are as small as dead patches of grass or old gutters are enough to be a turn-off. Buyers look at everything as they are approaching the front door. If the curb appeal has many issues, they will not go unnoticed. Any problems will register as value crushers. No seller wants that!
Dedicating time and putting money into interior renovations is important, but it will all be for nothing if the exterior of the house is a disaster. If you get the buyer to feel like the house is their home before they even walk in, you're ahead of the game.
There are loads of ways to improve the curb appeal of your home. Some improvements are quite small, like cleaning leaves out of the gutters or hosing the driveway. Other elements may be more costly than you imagined, but they can have a massive impact on your sales price. If you are trying to decide which items should be updated, ask a real estate agent for advice. Or, have a friend to drive by the house and tell you the first thing they think of when they pull up. Their opinion will give you an honest assessment and a starting point for your work.
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