Enhancing the Curb Appeal
As a real estate professional, you’re keenly aware of the role curb appeal plays in my your ability to successfully sell a home. Whether prospective buyers are pulling up in their car or browsing a listing online, curb appeal (aka “kerb appeal”) is your one chance to grab their attention and hook them on wanting to learn more about the property. That’s why enhancing curb appeal should be a priority before you ever list a property. In today’s article, we’ll dive into the power of curb appeal and walk you through several fast, cost-effective enhancements that could drastically improve a home’s appearance and resale value in no time at all.
The Power of Curb Appeal for Real Estate Prospects
Take a look at two homes on the same street. One is beautifully landscaped and the other features an overgrown yard and peeling paint. Which one is going to draw a prospective buyer’s eye first?
Probably the one with the perfectly manicured yard–and this is what goes to show just how much of an effect curb appeal can have. Even if a home isn’t a prospective buyer’s dream in terms of square footage or bedrooms/bathrooms, they’re more likely to find themselves drawn to the home that looks lovely and inviting from the outside.
In fact, research has shown that prospective buyers may be more inclined to pay more for a property that looks better on the outside. A paper by UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz and UC Merced entitled “Curb Appeal: Examining Landscape and Home Seller Behavior” found that homes with “better” landscapes sold for more than the average listing on the same street. Even more intriguingly, they also found that those same homes sold on average 10 days faster than the competition.
Clearly, the power of curb appeal should not be underestimated. Curb appeal goes far beyond being just “pretty”–it’s also about conveying a sense of value and appealing to the potential buyers who are going to be drawn to the property the most.
Inexpensive and Easy Ways to Help Enhance Curb Appeal
Let’s take a look at some of the most effective curb appeal-enhancing tasks that you can undertake on almost any property, high-end or otherwise:
Care and Maintenance of the Landscape.
This one goes without saying, but it’s worth spending some time on the landscaping of the property you’re attempting to improve curb appeal of. This can include anything from trimming hedges to planting flowering bushes or flowers in flower beds. Any effort you can put into greening up the lawn and landscaping will go a long way in creating the neat, tidy look that most buyers are attracted to.
Repaint or Touch-Up the Existing Paint.
A few coats of fresh paint can do wonders for a property’s curb appeal. If the existing paint is starting to show wear, it might be time to either repaint the entire property or, at the very least, touch up the existing paint. This can make the property look much more presentable and, as a result, more appealing to prospective buyers.
Add Structural Details.
Structural details like shutters, porch facades, or gables can add considerable charm and character to a property. This can be a great way to draw attention to the beauty of the property, especially for older or historical properties that you’re attempting to spruce up.
Ensure the Gutters are Clean and Clear.
Clogged or overflowing gutters can create quite an eyesore and can create the impression that the property isn’t well maintained. Cleaning out and inspecting gutters regularly can be a great way to keep the exterior looking neat and tidy.
Invest in a Powerwash.
If the property is starting to look dull or grimy, investing in a power wash can be a great way to re-energize it. Power washes are great for tackling grime on walkways, patios and siding, and can make the whole property look brighter and more pleasant.
Cleaning Up the Driveway.
Having an orderly driveway can make a property look more inviting, tidy and attractive. This may involve having the driveway pressure washed (if needed) and adding some potted plants or shrubs to line the perimeter.
Clean Up the Windows and Siding.
Bright, clean windows and siding can help to make a property look inviting. Cleaning windows and siding occasionally can make it look much newer and more presentable.
Update Outdoor Lighting and Hardware.
Old lighting fixtures and hardware can make a property look dated. Investing in some new, stylish hardware and fixtures can go a long way in making it look up-to-date.
Add Colorful Foliage.
Adding colorful foliage to the landscaping can instantly make a property look much more inviting. This can be via annuals or perennials, or simply by taking some time to arrange the existing foliage into appealing, eye-catching shapes.
Put Away Garden Tools and Trash Receptacles.
Even the simplest items like garden tools or trash receptacles can take away from the curb appeal of a property if they aren’t put away properly. Taking the time to put away garden tools in a shed and moving trash receptacles away from view can help to make the entire property look more orderly and presentable.
As you can see, there are a myriad of ways you can enhance a property’s curb appeal. A combination of appealing landscaping, clean windows, colorful foliage, and well-fitting hardware can go a long way if you’re attempting to maximize a property’s selling potential. Investing in a few of the suggestions above can help you turn any property into an attractive, well-presented package that will be sure to draw some buyers in no time. So, the next time you’re preparing to list a property, make sure to spend a bit of time improving its curb appeal–it just might pay off in the long run.