Curb Appeal: Your Home's First Impression

What is Curb Appeal?

 

Curb appeal is the perceived attractiveness of your property and home to passersby and potential buyers when viewed from the street.  

Why Is Curb Appeal Important?

Curb appeal is your property's first impression. Often, it's the factor that determines whether a potential buyer is interested in viewing the inside of your home.

 

In today's world of online real estate listings, many buyers drive by a property they like online to decide if they want to schedule a viewing. Curb appeal matters: a lot!

We spoke with Steve Brown, broker/owner of Irongate Realtors and 2014 President of the National Association of Realtors, to find out what his experience has taught him about curb appeal and how a home's exterior affects property value.

 

Read the interview below:

In the 2016 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features, the National Association of Realtors reports that 96% of realtors suggested that sellers improve curb appeal before listing, and 75% suggested that sellers do a standard lawn care program before attempting to sell. Does your experience line up with those stats?

"No question — the first impression of a home is key to the marketability of the property, not to mention the value of the property.  If the 'curb' appeal is good, the buyer’s whole attitude shifts positively as they look at the house."

"No question — the first impression of a home is key to the marketability of the property, not to mention the value of the property.  If the 'curb' appeal is good, the buyer’s whole attitude shifts positively as they look at the house."

Can you think of a time that the landscaping/hardscape of a home had a definite impact on a buyer's purchasing choice- either positively or negatively? Can you describe it? 

"In every case, if the shrubbery is overgrown, the grass is uncut, the landscape beds full of weeds, the buyer immediately begins to discount the value of the property thinking that the overall condition of the property is poor. On the contrary, if the lawn and landscaped beds are well cared for, the buyer begins to have an expectation that the property has been well maintained and the buyer begins to see all the possibilities in the home."

What qualities of a home's exterior are most important to buyers when considering a home, generally speaking?

"First, the physical exterior of the home itself.  If the paint is peeling, if the windows look like they are in poor condition, if the garage door looks beaten, if the walk ways are crumbling, all of these issues influence the buyer’s estimation of the property value.  Secondly, if the lawn and landscaped beds are not well maintained, the buyer’s very notion of desirability lessens."

What are the most important things for homeowners to know about their home's exterior and property value, in your experience?

"The exterior of the property is the first impression a buyer has of your home.  If you want to maximize your dollar value, then you need to focus on sprucing up the outside."

Curb appeal is a way for you to manage the marketability of your home, and to make sure that you are getting the most out of your return on the investment of your property.

Additionally, your home's exterior is an opportunity for you to distinguish your property from others in the area. If you live in a subdivision with similar home constructions, your landscaping and hardscape features can make your property stand out from the crowd. 

Many thanks to Steve Brown for being so generous with his time and expertise! 

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