5 Home Value Adding Tips to Boost Your Curb Appeal
I often compare selling a home with going on a blind date. There are a lot of things you don’t know: you don’t know much about the person you are about to meet, you are not sure what he or she likes and you are not sure if it is going to be a success. There are a lot of things you don’t know or cannot control, but there are also a lot of things you can control: you can make sure you have a great first impression.
This is why curb appeal is so important. The exterior of the home is the first thing potential buyers see. In this blog post, I will share 5 tips that will boost your curb appeal and add values to your home.
1. BUYER PSYCHOLOGY: WHO, WHY & HOW BUYERS BUY
Many seasoned sales person will tell you that selling is a mental game, and there are a lot of studies that have been done about buyers’ behaviors, beliefs, and how they shop. A good friend of mine works for a billion-dollar shoes company. Once at dinner he told me how the corporate office sends him to retail stores in major locations in United States to look at sales data, store floor plan, product placement and merchandising for each store. They even measure the sales generated by each shelf in each section of the store to determine where to place their best sellers. They studied traffic flow in the store to decide where they should place the top sellers and how to influence the way customers walk through the store by changing up placement of retail fixtures.
There is a reason why billion-dollar corporations invest heavily in marketing, data and research on consumer behaviors. There are numerous studies about colors, placements, traffic flow, buyer patterns, etc to help to determine how the products can be displayed to earn top dollars for the company.
It is the same with selling a house. It is a major, life changing decision. So you want to do your best to make sure that you are creating the right staging to attract the right buyers and get top dollars on your home. We talked about generational selling and its importance last week on the blog, if you missed it, have a look.
In a recent NAR study, 76% of buyers drove by to see the homes as a result of internet home search. (source) So it is more important than ever to make sure your exterior look amazing and attractive to your buyers. If the buyers didn’t like the drive by, they won’t even bother to come to the open house.
Having an attractive and well-maintained exterior also signals to buyers that you have taken great care of your home, giving them a positive outlook before they enter the home. Similarly, it is not the best first impression when the buyers walk up to the front door and see the paint peeling off the walls and spider webs everywhere.
2. COLOR SELLS
This is how I approach styling: look at the biggest surface areas and keep those areas neutral. Then you introduce colors by adding all the fun stuff like decor, greeneries, accessories, etc. It is the same with exterior & curb appeal. The biggest surface areas will be your exterior walls, lawns and fences. Keep these things neutral. Now is not the time to experiment with strong colors like purple, orange, mint green, etc., unless you live in a neighborhood where these colors are popular or an historical home (like a Victorian) where you have these muted but very saturated colors.
When you are choosing exterior colors, also consider the neighborhood. You do want to blend in with the neighborhood. Neighborhood is one of the high priority items on today’s buyers’ list, so it will be an added bonus for the buyers when your listing blends in harmoniously with the neighborhood.
You can add colors by adding seasonal blooms and making sure the lawn looks green and lush. You can also add pops of colors with your patio and outdoor furniture, pillows, etc. Another great way to introduce color is a great front door that works well with the overall curb appeal.
Related post: What Colors Should I Paint My Front Door?
3. CLEAN & REFRESHED
Cleaning may sound very basic, but it will help to add brownie points to that good impression you are trying to create. In a 2012 HomeGain study, cleaning is the #1 home improvement that real estate professionals recommend to home sellers, based on average cost and return on investment (ROI) to sellers, at 403%. Lighten & brighten is #2, it gets 299% ROI. Landscaping is at #4, at 215%. (source)
HERE ARE SOME SUGGESTED ITEMS TO LOOK FOR:
- No peeling or fading paint colors
- Clean and shine the windows
- Gutter should be in good conditions, clear of debris.
- Any unpleasant smells: this can be indication of problems like mildew, mold, dead waters, etc.
- Roof: Your roof should be in great conditions, especially this is can be a big ticket item for negotiations during the sales process. My parents were able to negotiate the price down when they bought their house when they found out the roof needed repairs.
- Repair any rotten wood or openings that may result mold growth and etc. in the walls.
- Consider upgrading the hardware and light fixtures, like the mail box, house numbers, door knocker, etc.
- Add a fresh welcome mat
- Fences: Fences not only make good neighbors but can also add depth to the property visually.
- Landscaping: Cut back any grown trees and bushes. Check the conditions of your lawn and plants.
- Garage doors: Don’t forget the garage doors! Check to see if you need power wash or add a fresh coat of paint to refresh them.
4. ENHANCE THE ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS
Architectural elements can mean the style of the house, like Victorian, Edwardian, Gothic, etc. It can also mean the components and unique characteristics of the home, like trims, shutters, and doors. You can enhance these elements by painting. Paint is the easiest way to refresh the home, both exterior and interior. A lot of times, your home can also benefit from adding flower boxes and shutters to frame the home even more.
Path ways & driveway are other components that will boost your curb appeal. You can add lighting, trim back weeds, replace old walkways, patch and seal the driveway, etc. to refresh these surfaces that buyers will be walking on before they get to your front door.
5. CREATE A LIFESTYLE
Make your outdoor living spaces like decks, patio, front porch, etc. inviting. You can do so simply by adding outdoor furniture to showcase the lifestyle. Also by making your lawn look healthy and lush will add appeal to the buyers. If you don’t have lawn or outdoor living space, you can also add container plants in the front door way to add curb appeal.