Curb appeal has always
been a key component of selling a home. A well-manicured lawn, fresh
paint on the front door and a clean exterior — from siding to
windows to driveways and sidewalks — can immediately entice or repel
a prospective buyer.
the majority of buyers shopping for homes online before ever stepping
foot on a property, the trick for sellers is to capture that curb
appeal through photographs. Jim Hughes of Greenwell Realty and
Property Management in Andover, Minn., recommends homeowners hire a
professional photographer to help them capture their curb appeal to
lure in buyers.
“The quality of
the photograph is almost as important as the curb appeal itself,”
Hughes said. “We’ll see great pictures that are taken in dim light
or from bad angles all the time and they’ll get dismissed just as
quickly as those (homes) that are not well-prepared (in curb appeal).
That first glimpse might be the only shot you’ll get at the buyer
having interest in your home.”
Once you get that
prospective buyer on your property, how the home looks from the
outside and immediately upon entering is key to drawing in or turning
off a buyer, Hughes said.
“You want to
make darned sure your entryway is super clean,” Hughes said.
“People should feel comfortable walking in your house in their
(socks). The first impression is the main reason for that, but the
second reason is they’re really looking for a critical reason to
eliminate the house while their Realtor is (unlocking the door). At
that time, the buyer’s senses are overwhelmed. They’re absorbing
everything they see with a lot more detail than once they get
general exterior maintenance — cleaning cobwebs, clearing the yard
of any weeds, debris or decorative ornaments (think pink flamingos)
— homeowners looking to sell should repair cracked windows or
screens, fix small nuisances like a broken doorbell, and add fresh
mulch or stones to garden beds. Cleaning asphalt roofs of black
streaks, power washing siding and sidewalks, or sealcoating an asphalt
driveway, can all enhance the appearance of the home.
Adding a fresh coat of
paint is another cost-effective way to freshen up a home, inside or
out. If your home is older and in need of updates, kitchens and
bathrooms are the rooms that generate the most return on your
investment. Consider upgrading laminate countertops with quartz or
granite; changing out old light fixtures or replacing brass fixtures
with brushed nickel, said Robin Burrill an interior designer and CEO
of Curb Appeal Renovations in Keller, Texas.
Before embarking on any
remodeling project, though, it’s important to talk with your
contractor and real estate agent to make sure the project makes sense,
will generate the return you’re seeking and fits with the other
existing properties in your neighborhood.
“I think the most
important facet is making sure whatever you do, that the remodel looks
like it goes with the house,” Burrill said. “So many times,
we’ll see people do a room addition or an outdoor living space and
it doesn’t look like it goes with the home. A perfect example would
be a patio cover. They’ll do a shed roof or a flat roof for a patio
cover, whereas, if they had gone ahead and spent the money and went
with (a style) that fits that home, it would add so much to that curb
appeal and to the value of the home.”
Hiring a good real
estate professional can help you decide the right projects to get the
most out of your curb appeal. Hughes retains a professional home
stager on staff to help prepare his clients homes for sale.
“Good curb appeal is
like having an auction to sell everything you own,” Hughes said.
“If, on the day of the auction, you get a big rainstorm, you’re
not going to get much money for your items because the audience will
be smaller. Essentially, the same is true with curb appeal. If you do
a good job on curb appeal, you’ll have more buyers that are
interested. Though they might not make offers, you’ll have a larger
audience of buyers.”