Picture this: you’re strolling through the streets of your neighborhood (or scrolling through the virtual streets of Zillow), soaking in the sun, and *bam!* There it is. The house that stops you in your tracks. It’s not just about the well-manicured lawn, the fresh paint job, or the spacious front porch; it’s the whole package. That’s curb appeal!
Think of it as the charm offensive of your house. The wow factor that hits you and everyone else, especially potential buyers, from the get-go. It’s that magnetic appeal your home puts out to anyone passing by.
Why is curb appeal so crucial when selling?
First Impressions Matter With Curb Appeal
Kasia McDaniel, founder and home stager for Blue Diamond Staging & Design, gave us the lowdown, likening real estate curb appeal to a first date. “First impressions happen fast, so just like you can make or break a date by what you choose to wear, with potential buyers, you have between eight-to-ten seconds for your house to intrigue them and make them want to venture in.”
You’re aiming for love at first sight, where the butterflies are activated and they can vividly see their future in your space. Keep in mind that all sellers will be working with different assets and different budgets, so how you maximize the curb appeal of your property depends on your specific situation.
When my wife and I were selling our first home, a starter townhouse in a fairly sleepy subdivision where the average age was about five years over standard retirement age, we felt like we didn’t have a lot to work with. There was no through traffic and the front of the house was obscured by our detached garage.
Keeping that in mind, we gave the driveway and siding a good power wash, put a fresh coat of paint on the garage, mounted big, bold house numbers on both the garage and the front of the house, and spruced up the actual entryway to the house with a small flower-filled bed, a hanging plant and a new front door.
No matter what you’re working with, you have to be honest about your location and your pool of potential buyers. With these limitations in mind, you can set a reasonable budget and invest in the projects that will have the most eye-catching impact for your specific property.
Enhance the Curb Appeal and Tug on the Heartstrings
Enhancing curb appeal is also about sparking an emotional connection with buyers. A recent cross-generational survey of home buyers conducted by OnePoll found that 75% of them want their yard and home exterior to look impeccable. Buyers also feel that curb appeal helps them make a good impression on guests and neighbors (61%), and provides them with a sense of pride (58%). Those aren’t just stats; that’s a testament to the emotional pull of a well-kept exterior.
The emotional impact of curb appeal is profound. It’s the difference between a house and a dream home. When buyers fall in love with a property, they’re not just buying a house; they’re buying into a vision, a lifestyle. This emotional connection translates into quicker sales and higher prices because buyers are willing to pay more for a home that feels like it belongs to a welcoming, friendly neighborhood. Investing in curb appeal is about creating a haven that resonates with buyers on a deeper level.
Take a moment to consider the joy that homeowners feel after a remodel. The NAR’s Remodeling Impact Report showed that 68% of owners have a greater desire to be in their home after a remodel. Remodels bring increased home enjoyment, happiness and satisfaction. Having that clean look and feel that resonates with both buyers and homeowners is what curb appeal is all about.
Let’s Talk Cash: How Much Value Can It Add?
The importance of curb appeal goes beyond just looking pretty and getting potential buyers in their feels. It’s a strategic move that significantly boosts property value, speeding up sales and pulling in higher prices.
So, how much does curb appeal add to home value? According to studies from Zillow, enhancing your home exterior and upping your curb appeal game can increase a home’s value by an average of 7% to 11%. A similar analysis found that the right eye-catching colors can increase a home’s value far beyond just the appeal of new paint, and that selecting the right color for the house’s front door can lead to an extra $6,000 in a seller’s pocket.
A recent NAR report on the topic indicated that 94% of real estate agents believe that good curb appeal translates to a quicker sale, and that investing in landscaping, exterior paint touch-ups, and sprucing up the front entrance can yield substantial returns. One interesting study showed that the least expensive project, standard lawn care, had the highest cost recovery at 217%, followed by landscape maintenance at 104%.
The impact on property value is undeniable, and it’s not just about the sale price. Homes with high curb appeal tend to attract multiple offers, potentially driving up the selling price even further. That’s extra dough in your pocket, all thanks to a charming exterior.
Curb appeal doesn’t just stop at selling. Renters also notice well-maintained and managed exteriors. According to a recent report by Rent, rental properties with great curb appeal (including digital curb appeal) command higher rent rates, making it important to put out a high-quality virtual tour and build a positive online reputation.
The cherry on top? Regular upkeep that enhances curb appeal also means fewer surprise repair bills, saving a significant chunk of change in the long run.
It isn’t just a coat of paint or a manicured lawn; it’s the heartbeat of your home’s marketability. Whether it’s the first glance on stroll (or scroll), from that initial eight-second spark to the lasting impression it leaves on buyers, curb appeal is a strategic investment that leads to speedy sales and higher gains.