First impressions are important everywhere, including when selling a house. While several factors determine your property value, knowing the best time to sell a house, and curb appeal is crucial if you want to get the most from your property. According to a study by Michigan State University, efforts to improve curb appeal, such as landscaping and exterior finish, can improve property value by up to 11%.
Curb appeal is the external or exterior design features of your home. To potential buyers, it is the property’s first impression, which gives a clue of the quality and what to expect inside. A more attractive exterior finish translates to more curb appeal. Note that this goes beyond the architectural design of the house. It includes multiple capital improvements, such as:
- Lighting design
- Landscaping – The appearance of trees, lawns, shrubs, and other plans in your backyard
- Color and quality of the exterior paint and siding
- Quality of the roof
- Style of the front door
- Other external features, such as front/rear porch, pool, fire pit, and water feature
When evaluating your property’s curb appeal, you should think beyond the improvements and additions. Your property’s appeal (or lack thereof) has a lot to do with the quality of materials used and maintenance.
Unfortunately, homes come with multiple costs, ranging from home repairs and maintenance projects to remodels, making it difficult for homeowners to figure out where to prioritize their spending. If you are in doubt, these 2018 curb appeal figures from the National Association of Realtors are a proof that curb appeal is important to property value:
- Homeowners recovered 100% of landscape maintenance and tree care costs at the time of property sale
- 99% of NAR members agree curb appeal is crucial in attracting potential buyers
- 97% of NAR members agree that potential buyers consider curb appeal before buying property
- 94% of real estate agents suggest that property owners improve curb appeal before listing their properties
As for the costs, how much you will spend on improving curb appeal depends on the property size, previous condition, age, and quality of materials used. Labor is also a significant factor, and the cost will increase if you hire home improvement professionals instead of DIY.
First impressions are important in every aspect, including when selling a property. Property buyers and investors will first see the exterior parts of your house, whether they are driving around the neighborhood or browsing online listings. Landscaping is the best way to improve your property’s appearance without investing in expensive remodeling.
An unkempt front and backyard can ruin the market chances of a $2 million house with beautiful architectural features and modern installations. Most buyers will reluctantly tour houses buried in overgrown bushes and debris. A few hours of mowing the lawn and clearing weeds can make a big difference.
Potential buyers and appraisers will also interact with the driveway first. The driveway’s condition speaks volumes about how the homeowner cares for the property. Racked gravel driveways are more appealing than concrete driveways lined with overgrown weeds. You should clear the driveway and wash it to attract buyers and improve property value.
Most roofs require replacements after 20 or 30 years, and their appearance represents the longevity and security of the property purchase. If a professional hasn’t inspected your roofs recently, you should schedule an appraisal before listing your house. Simple maintenance tips can maintain the condition of your house longer and improve general property value.
The front door is symbolic even if potential buyers access your property through the garage or side doors. It is the focal point of your house, even with a grand staircase or expansive windows. You should make your front doors welcoming by giving them fresh paint. This requires that you choose a slightly different color from other properties in your neighborhood that complements the siding.
If the outside of the home is uninspiring, buyer’s likely won’t be interested in what’s inside. With today’s access to technology, buyers can easily make online comparisons with other properties. If your home’s curb appeal doesn’t stand out, it can impede the sale.
You shouldn’t restrict your cleaning efforts to the driveway only. Your home is exposed to the heat of the sun during summer and cold during winter. Dirt, mud, and other debris also land on various parts when it is windy or rainy. Cleaning the bricks and siding of your home can keep it looking fresh.
Homes with good curb appeal are generally sold within a short time. Simple efforts, such as keeping up with maintenance, adding a fence, glamming your mailbox, neatening your yard, improving the roof, adding fresh paint, cleaning the driveway, and updating the front door, can significantly boost your property value.