Realtors often say that pepole decide whther to buy a house within the first 30 seconds of seeing it.
What is Curb Appeal?
The first glimpse at the exterior of your home, and the impression that it creates, is called curb appeal. Likely as you've prepared your house for sale you've focused primarily on the inside of the house--painting, cleaning, staging etc--but the outside is equally, if not more, important. This is especially true when you consider that people see the outside of a home before they see the inside. Curb appeal includes anything that can be seen from the road in front of the house. This could be the driveway, the front door, the steps, the siding, the roof, or the lawn, to name a few.
Why Curb Appeal Matters
Picture yourself driving through a neighborhood looking for homes for sale. You see a FOR SALE sign in one yard but the house is completely hidden from view by a row of tall hedges.A few blocks later you see another house for sale. The lawn is brown, the driveway is full of cracks, and the front door is painted a garish color and is flaking. Finally, you drive by a house that looks promising. The yard is neat and tidy. The landscaping is pleasant with some well kept annuals and perennials, the house has been power washed and looks clean and shiny, the driveway is level and free of oil spills and stains, and the roof is free of moss and broken tiles or warped shingles. Immediately this home grabs your attention. This is the first impression that you don't get a second chance to make...and it's crucial!
Sweat the Small Stuff
The little things have a bigger impact than you can imagine. Small flaws tell people that a house hasn't been well maintained (even if that's not the truth that's the perception it gives). Small cracks in the driveway, cobwebs in the corner, broken door handles, untrimmed foliage, and chipping paint are immediate turn offs. Take a bit of time to brush away those cobwebs, sweep the steps, paint the trim and trim the trees before putting your house on the market. Not sure what else you should do? Stand at the end of your driveway and take some photographs to give you an objective view. Look at the four major areas: basic landscaping, repairing, creating a relaxing atmosphere with plants and flowers, and creating ambience through lighting--and you'll get a good idea of where you need to add (or sometimes subtract--remember 'less is more') in order to create the stage for a home that cries out 'come see me!'