As if putting your home on the market isn't stressful enough, when we finally uncover every little aspect that it takes to sell your home effectively, talk of curb appeal invariably comes up. Curb appeal is one of those terms that many real estate agents rely on to maximize the effectiveness of a property, as the name suggests, from the curb. It can sound incredibly intimidating to make sure that every single component is up to scratch. So with that in mind, let's demystify curb appeal and what you can do make it as effective as possible.
Outside Opinion: The Delicate Art Of Curb Appeal
The Importance Of First Impressions
Arguably, the most important part of curb appeal is the first impression your property makes to a potential buyer. It can be difficult to put ourselves in the mind of the buyer, but this is where a simple exercise comes in handy:
Take the opportunity to go outside your property, front and back, and just look at it. Don't think about what you've done (or not done) to the property, just ask yourself: does it look good?
You have a few seconds to make a good impression on anybody passing by that sees the “for sale” sign, and in those few seconds, you need to plant the seed. You need to ensure the property looks good, and you have to tell a little story. People need to look at the house in the context of the neighborhood and decide whether they want to look inside. Going around the outside of your property, make a mental note of your first impression, but also be ruthless. Look at not only the best features of the house, but the worst. Will these bad features have a negative impact on anybody passing by? If you want to sell your home, and do it as quickly and painlessly as possible, you need to look at it from another perspective. At this point, we can choose to ignore the big issues that we see because we want to get rid of the home as quickly as possible. But this could make a big difference, as far as our future profit is concerned.
Fixing The Landscape
When looking at your curb appeal, what makes a big deal is the exterior landscape. Outside the property, front and back, fixing the landscape and the overall shape of the hedges and plants, or lack thereof, will provide that little extra imagery to entice someone into the property. When you look at the landscape, it's not just the greenery outside, but look from the roof of the house all the way down to the sidewalk. Are there things that don't seem to work very well? If you've got a property that's a mish-mash of styles, this could communicate to the outside that the people inside the property haven't been doing their utmost on the maintenance side, which means that there would be a lot more work to be done, and they won't look at the property because it's too much of an effort. You need to maximize your curb appeal to get as much interest as humanly possible. The big misconception of improving the landscape and exterior of the property is that it costs a lot of money, and therefore, a lot more has to be added to the property. This isn't always the case. Instead, you could find that removing a few items from the outside makes a bigger impression. Again, examine the property and see if there is too much going on, especially if you have a lot of pointless exterior accessories. If you've got a beautiful cascading roof, do you necessarily need high shrubbery as well? Simplicity is more effective. And while we can't peer into the minds of any potential buyer, if we add too much to the property, this could set off a signal in the buyer that you're trying to hide something. Instead, look at the house and work at improving what is already there. When you're in the position that you have to sell up, and you've got a tight timeframe, there is no point in undertaking extreme renovation, because this isn't cost-effective. So what can we do?
It is the small details that will work together to communicate that this is a house that is looked after, and the small details are deceptively simple. And with curb appeal, when making that initial impression, it's all about providing that lick of paint and putting across the impression that the house is well maintained. When under a tight timescale, getting a few extra hands on board is the best way to improve the general upkeep. You can easily hire a siding and painting company to add a lick of paint to the walls that can make it look brand new. In essence, it is all about giving your house that makeover. These are things you can do inside over time, but when we're talking about first impressions, we have to be extremely picky and actively look for faults in the property, because many buyers want to be 1000% sure that this is the place for them. We can't please everyone, and we have no control over buyers’ motivations, but what we do have control over is the house. When we're selling up, we need to provide an angle, and now, the overriding factor for a lot of buyers is that it needs minimal work. People are so busy now that they want to move in, unpack and get on with their lives. This is worth thinking about.
Curb appeal is something everyone has an opinion on, but if you want to boil it down to its bare essentials, the exterior of the property needs to look presentable, but it needs to show to anybody coming by that it is looked after, as well as the house working in the wider context of the neighborhood. We can spend time, effort, and money frantically overhauling the house and turning it into a luxury palace, but when the rest of the houses in the street are nowhere near that quality, this can be another thing that sets off alarm bells in a customer. Curb appeal is the delicate art to get inside the mind of the buyer.
The Small Details (That Add Up To A Very Big Deal)