When it comes to getting your home to sell in a timely fashion at a price you are satisfied with, ‘curb appeal’ makes all the difference. While we have been taught that you can’t judge a book by its cover (or at least you shouldn’t), when it comes to homes, it is all about the aesthetics. That is the premise behind curb appeal – quite literally, its appeal from the curb’s eye view.
When a potential buyer pulls up to your home, they want to experience that instant “wow factor.” This certainly does not mean your home has to be a mansion or even close to it. After all, the folks coming to see your property likely already know a little about what to expect. They have seen your listing online or via some other media already, and that is what lured them to take a look in person. But photos can be deceiving (particularly in this day and age), so the in-person perspective means so much more than a set of photos that may have been altered or made to look more appealing than the home actually is. Photoshop isn’t just for humans — homes get the treatment too.
Curb appeal has everything to do with proper maintenance and cleanliness, and an overall welcoming feeling. Unsightly cracks in the paint, overgrown shrubbery, debris scattered about, creaky stairs, and other unwelcoming features give potential buyers an uneasy and unhappy feeling. It makes them think that the home is not up to par, perhaps in poor condition, or simply uncared for. Why would they choose this property as their future residence when the next one down on their list looks far better from first glance? With an exterior that is substandard or an eyesore, one can only wonder what is going on inside.
If you are putting your home on the market, focusing on curb appeal is a smart idea. And you may need to spend some money to spruce things up to standard. There is no need to go overboard with all the bells and whistles, but you do need to fix anything that is broken, replace anything that is missing or worn, make sure everything is safe and secure, and maintain the property as far as tossing trash, tending to the front lawn, and general maintenance. Put the kids’ toys neatly away in the garage, clean up after Fido does his “business,” and do not leave overstuffed recycling bins or trash bags full of leaves right at the entryway when you know you will be having people coming by to view the house. While you may not want to spend money to fix up a home that you are moving out of, you will not sell at the price you are aiming for when the place does not look fresh and clean.
If you are unsure if you need to make any updates to your home that require you to spend some cash, talk to your realtor and get their take. He or she knows what is important to buyers and what you can do that is simple yet a smart investment. They can also recommend local contractors who will get your home ready for sale at a reasonable price in a short timeframe. Take this professional advice to heart; they know what they are doing and how it will benefit you in the long run. And if this means holding off an extra few weeks before listing your home, it is definitely worth the wait. People may be eager to see the place once they get word that you are planning to sell, but you want to put your best foot forward, so to speak. The “big reveal” will be so much more alluring for potential buyers than seeing a work in progress because some people just can’t picture how a home will look once it is fixed up. In this case, you have lost a potential buyer just like that. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression, and neither does your home.
Curb appeal is the stepping stone to getting your house sold. And in most cases, it does not take much to give your home that extra sparkle that will get it sold faster and at a higher price. Remember, your realtor has your best interest in mind, so listen when they suggest some fix-ups that will do wonders. If you aren’t working with a realtor, take the advice in this blog and give your home a once-over. You’ll know what looks less-than-appealing. If it sticks out like a sore thumb, it’s time to tend to the issue before you try to sell. Once you’ve “made over” your home, it’s showtime! Your place will look picture-perfect, no Photoshop required.
Contact us at Crager Realty if you’re considering putting your home on the market or wondering what others might think of your home’s curb appeal.