Selling a Home that Failed To Sell Series- Part 14- Curb Appeal- The Silent Deal Killer
If you are following this blog series, you are serious about selling your home for top dollar in the least amount of time. So far, we have looked at making sure your home is functioning well, decluttered, and cleaned. After spending so much time on the house itself, it is common to throw in the towel and completely ignore what is happening outside.
The truth is, while 95% of buyers start their search online or on a real estate app, before they are going to set an appointment with their real estate agent to view the home, they do the “drive by.”
If you have ever had your home on the market, you know exactly what this looks like. A car will slowly drive by your home, turn around and cruise on past again. They might even make a couple of more loops past the house. If it is interesting, then they may call up their agent and set the appointment to see the rest of the house.
The reason I call curb appeal the silent deal killer is that no matter how much work you have done on the inside, no matter how great your photos online are, the buyer will not look at your house if they do not like the curb appeal.
What is curb appeal?
Curb appeal is what gives homebuyers their first impression of a property before they even step inside. The aesthetic look of a home’s exterior can be very telling of what someone can expect to find on the other side of the front door. At the very least, the exterior will determine whether or not buyers even want to take a look inside. Therefore, if you want to maximize your property’s value, it is wise to focus on improving its curb appeal. Only once buyers are convinced the inside is worth seeing, will they inquire further.
Does Curb Appeal Add Value to Your Home?
Improving a home’s curb appeal will add value to your property and help it sell faster. Homes are typically appraised based on the interior of a home’s condition and features which makes it difficult for financial institutions to measure exactly how much curb appeal adds to property value. However, on average, homes with well-kept lawns and professional landscaping sell for 7% more than similar homes with exterior blemishes or unattractive front yards.
Curb Appeal Checklist to Attract Buyers:
· Make sure your house can be seen from the street- limb up trees and remove any overgrown bushes that block the house.
· Trim bushes.
· Mow and edge lawn- take care of any dead patches.
· Make sure mailbox is in good repair and clean. Bird poop is not cute!
· Clean around the front door.
· Check the paint- depending on the condition of your paint you may consider painting the entire exterior of the home, touching up the trim paint, or simply adding a fresh coat of paint to the front door.
· Make sure door hardware is functional and in good repair.
· Clear house numbers- check mailbox and your house numbers. Repair or replace as needed.
· Add a pop of color. This could be as simple as a couple of pots of pretty flowers near the front door.
· Check the garage door- make sure it is functional, clean and there are no paint repairs needed.
· Check the fence- make sure the fence is in good repair. Does it need painted?
· Clear the clutter- clear any yard debris or overgrown areas. Clear out yard art- simple is better to attract buyers.
· Pressure wash- pay attention to driveway, walkway and any areas that may have moss or discoloration.
· Add a new, welcoming door-mat.
· Take down any signs- “Beware of Dog” does not welcome potential buyers.
· Check the gutters- clear debris and repair any damage.
· Check for any bug issues- i.e. bees, ant piles etc.
Bottom line, no matter how great the inside of your house looks, if the buyer is turned off by the way your house looks from the street, they will not come in and you will not get an offer!
Let me tell you one more story about curb appeal that killed a sale before it could even get started. I took a client to a home that checked off just about everything they were looking for. This property was in a desirable neighborhood with a pool, just enough space and was priced less than the neighborhood. Sounds good, right?
We pulled into the driveway and parked in front of the garage. I opened the door and heard buzzing. A lot of buzzing! As an adventurous soul, I stepped out of the car and approached the sidewalk leading to the front door. A large holly bush was infested with bees. My clients would not get out of the car. They instantly, before seeing the rest of the house, decided not to buy the property.
Don’t be the seller that turns buyers off before they can even get into see the house!