The Importance of ‘Curb Appeal’
Do you remember the first time you shopped for or purchased a home? If so, think back to that moment. What did you first notice? Do you remember certain aspects of the home’s appearance, or perhaps some unique landscape feature? Was it an immediate instinct that you had found your new home or you were blown away by the way the home made you feel?
The concept of ‘curb appeal’ – that is, how your home appears when viewed from the curb – is an important one, especially when selling your home. Below we’ll share why.
Give a Strong First Impression
The first impression that your home gives is one that will last. If your paint is fading or chipped, your siding is damaged, your roof is in disrepair or your gutters are hanging loose, what do you expect a potential buyer to think? It’s safe to assume that if you can’t be bothered to pull the weeds in the garden or rake up the leaves that there may be other maintenance issues lurking.
Remember, your goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible and for the best price. If your house looks like it’s in perfect shape from the outside, potential buyers will want to explore further. There are various things that you can change to increase your property’s curb appeal and you do not need to “break the bank.” We will explore these options shortly.
Curb appeal provides your photographer and your real estate agent with everything they will need to photograph and market your home in the best way possible. Over 95% of home sales begin online. If your photos don’t impress, you won’t be able to entice buyers to see your home.
Good photographs of your home encourage engagement and increase the likelihood of people to act. Having a nicely landscaped lawn, maybe some porch planters and some nice outdoor lighting can go a long way to make your property stand out. Especially at a time when the market has a higher level of availability, anything that you can do to make that buyer stop scrolling and click on your property the better.
A professional photographer will be the icing on the curb appeal cake. A professional photographer will know the best lighting and angles to use when shooting pictures of your home and this can help lead buyers virtually and physically to it.
Return On Investment
Cleaning up the outside of your home won’t break the bank and is one of the highest returns on investment of all home improvement projects. Even if you need to hire help, you will likely recoup your costs once your home is sold and increase your chances of selling your home for more money and in less time than if left undone.
Homes are generally valued based on the interior condition and their features, which makes it difficult for financial institutions to measure exactly how much value curb appeal adds. However, on average homes with curb appeal such as landscaped yards sell for 7% more than similar homes with not as attractive exteriors or unattractive front yards.
Appeal To Drive-By Buyers
You may not be aware, but many potential home buyers won’t bother connecting with your real estate agent or showing up to your open house events if they weren’t impressed by their initial drive-by. Some might peer into your backyard or take a quick look around the lot as well. It’s critical that your home appears in peak condition at all times during the sales process. If your curb appeal declines, you may end up losing out on a potential sale.
Set Your Home Apart From The Neighbours
Contrast is another reason why focusing on your home’s curb appeal is important. Potential home buyers will be comparing your house with others on the same street and in the neighbourhood. If yours is the best-looking home on the block, it’s more likely to sell for a higher price than if it looks like the runt of the litter.
Provide Ease Of Mind
The idea of having little to no maintenance or upgrading to do after moving in is very appealing to buyers. There may be other changes a buyer has in mind for your property and you want to avoid adding to the list of work to do by keeping the outside of your home maintained.
Ideas to Help Boost Curb Appeal
1. Focus on the Front Door
The front door is the main focal point of curb appeal. This is what they look at when they wonder what is behind the door. Therefore, if your front door is grubby and dishevelled then you are not helping entice those buyers to step through the door. If you have the funds then a new front door will give you a return investment, but you do not need to go that far if you don’t have the spare income. Paint will help make that front door “pop” If you have a door that is paintable then add a splash of fresh colour and shine up that metal hardware.
A beautiful and freshly maintained yard can promote a sense of tranquillity. If you are not “green-thumbed” and you have the funds then hire a local landscaper. As we discussed earlier landscaped yards sell for around 7% higher than non-landscaped yards. At a minimum keep your lawn neatly maintained, pull up those weeds, rake up those leaves, trim those edges and maybe bring some colour by adding some flowers. Flowers add a sense of colour and diversity to the front of your home. If flower beds aren’t practical then why not add some potted plants to your porch or driveway area?
3. Invest in Stylish House Numbers
Updating your house numbers is a quick and painless way to improve the outside appearance of your home. There are many different designs to choose from and you can look for a more modern design. Perhaps look at numbering with backlights to really make them pop when the sun goes down.
4. Update Outdoor Light Fixtures
It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to update your outdoor lighting. If you already have a light fixture in place then you can look to purchase a more modern fitment to change it to. Outdoor lighting will really enhance the appearance of the home for anyone driving by after dark. Maybe you have a nice fixture but you have a bulb that barely shows any light? Invest in a new bright bulb and really get that fixture looking the best it can be.
Painting the exterior of your home is the best way to drastically change your home’s curb appeal. This is a job that is best left for professionals, but if you are a competent painter then you can really save yourself some money here. Not everyone can afford to paint their whole house, but why not just the front of the house? You can paint your wood, brick, stucco and even fibre cement siding. This paint will also act as a barrier against weather etc.
Other ideas to boost curb appeal are to wash those windows down, clean those gutters and keep the kid’s bikes and toys stored in the garage rather than strewn across the driveway.
When you’re ready to list your home for sale, our professional real estate team will be happy to share some more curb appeal tips. Give us a call at your convenience – we look forward to connecting with you.
If you are interested in reading about more ways to help prepare your home to sell, you can check out our blog post: How to Prepare Your Home To Sell.
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RE/MAX Hallmark Chay Realty Inc. Brokerage