Larry Weltman: Why Curb Appeal Still Reigns Supreme
Despite a growing number of home buyers using the internet to power their home buying search, curb appeal and exterior attractiveness are still among the top selling factors when it comes to showcasing a home for sale.
It’s no secret we live in a highly visual society. Today, the average home buyer will sift through dozens of homes online before ever setting foot in one. In order to compete in the digital market, a home needs to be inviting and appealing both inside and out.
While a potential buyer may be enticed by beautifully staged photos, if they drive up to the property and are not impressed, they are likely to develop a negative impression of the home and may opt to skip a tour.
According to a 2013 Bankrate survey, 71 percent of home buyers were influenced by the exterior appearance of a home. To get buyers out of car and into the house, taking the time to make a home aesthetically appealing is crucial. Seeding new grass and planting flowers, painting the front door, mulching, weeding and cleaning up the yard can drastically improve a home’s curb appeal.
Curb appeal extends far beyond making a home’s exterior visually inviting. Investing in making a home appealing from the curb can increase the value and improve the selling amount. Things as simple as a well manicured lawn and attractive landscaping can add to a home’s value in the buyer’s mind.
For clients who are reluctant, it’s important to explain that even investing minimally can enhance appeal vastly. Routinely cutting the grass, trimming weeds and collecting trash and debris can go miles toward making a positive impact. As well as doing things like adding a fresh coat of paint on the porch, replacing a broken railing or steps and swapping out a broken screen door.
It’s also important to remember that when potential buyers walk up to a home, they are looking for signs that will indicate how well the home has been maintained and taken care of. They are also looking for information about the person who currently owns the home.
“If the exterior of the home is well-maintained, the lawn is well manicured, and the façade of the home gives proof that the homeowner has pride in the aesthetics of their property, it is likely that a potential buyer will walk away with a good impression of the home and the home seller,” notes real estate blogger Rachel Wilbur.
Lastly, curb appeal also includes things like the roof, eaves troughs, fences, driveways, sidewalks, walkways and exterior lighting. These features are much more important than mere aesthetic value -- they speak to the structural integrity, as well as the safety and security of the home.
Convincing home sellers to spend extra money on curb appeal may be challenging, but the overall results are well worth the additional money and effort.