Curb appeal has a dramatic impact on the way a home appears to everyone who sees it from the vantage point of the street. If you are selling your home, from a real estate valuation perspective, curb appeal must be geared towards the prospective buyers.
In a buyer’s market, curb appeal is even more crucial since there are many other homes on the market competing for attention. It makes sense to invest in making certain improvements so these prospective buyers don’t keep driving by when they pull up in front and are disappointed.
Just as the inside of the home is ‘staged’, the landscape can also be staged. The underlying premise is to not only appeal to buyer’s emotions, but deal with practical aspects as well.
Here are some tips:
1) Remove overgrown vegetation that blocks a clear view of the home, the front door or otherwise takes away from an open, welcoming feel as seen from the street
2) Remove all the clutter by taking out shrubs and trees that do nothing to enhance the property
3) Clean up, prune trees and shrubs and remove any dead growth
4) Enhance the front door and/or path leading to the main entrance by adding color or walkways
5) Fix or repair any obvious flaws that take away from the appearance of being well maintained
6) If there is a lawn, make sure it’s as nice as you can get it by dealing with brown spots and fertilizing it to make it lush and green weeks before you put the home on the market
Once you get your prospective buyers out of the car and into the home, you don’t want to disappoint them by neglecting the backyard. Be consistent with fixing problem areas, pruning overgrown shrubs and covering the ground with either gravel or new sod so it appears finished yet allows the buyers to visualize living there or perhaps customizing things to their liking.
Think of the outside landscape as just another space that needs to be ‘staged’. Put all personal items such as kids toys, rusty bbqs and tools behind closed doors. Remove all yard art that the buyer may not find so amusing as you do.
Stand out on the curb and imagine you are looking at the home for the first time just as a prospective buyer would. This is the home’s first impression. What do you feel? Would you enter the landscape into a “best on the block” contest? Does the landscape enhance the appearance of the home? Does the landscape have an overall ‘neglected’ feel to it as if the current owners didn’t really value having nice landscaping?
Most all sellers who are in the position of dealing with their front landscape curb appeal invariably say they don’t want to spend a lot of money. I deal with this all the time and the solution is not necessarily the cost, but the value of what is actually done to the property. Often, the simplest things can make a big difference.
Someone who sees the problem areas from a designer’s perspective and who has knowledge of plant materials, curb appeal principles and real estate awareness is the key to providing the best solutions to making your home a property with great curb appeal.
Curb appeal is an emotional response that is difficult to measure. One thing is for sure though. Properties that we have created curb appeal or otherwise enhanced, have sold more quickly than others according to feedback I have received from the listing agents.