10 Curb Appeal Tips
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression” is an old adage that has been attributed to a few different sources.
Oscar Wilde added some color commentary to that old adage, saying, “It’s better to be beautiful than to be good. But…it is better to be good than to be ugly.”
Below, I’m going to list 10 things to think about when trying to make your curb appeal both beautiful and good. When it comes to getting top dollar for your home, both are crucial.
Here’s what “curb appeal” really means to today’s savvy residential real estate consumer.
Thy Neighbor’s Curb: If your neighbor has a less-than-appealing exterior, it can become a sale-killing detriment to your own curb appeal. So make it your mission to somehow help them mitigate their issues—as diplomatically as you can!
An “Omni-Channel” Experience: Fine-tune it all! Your neat mailbox and immaculate curb, your pretty front yard, your nifty address numbers, your pressure-washed hardscapes, your night lighting, your full flyer box, your erect signage, your front steps, the aroma of your home, the freshness of every space in the house. All of these and more should feel like part of one seamless, terrific consumer experience.
Mobile, Mobile, Mobile: All the contact information and online details you post in your yard about your listing must be compatible with your potential buyer’s handheld device. If you get the mobile part wrong—if your information is difficult to work with when a potential buyer wants to pull it up on their smartphone—you may be missing a key “first impression.”
Don’t believe it? The National Association of Realtors recently estimated that weekend traffic to real estate websites is now accessed 82 percent of the time via mobile applications.
Landscape: Congruent color, clean hardscapes and fresh finishes matter in the front, rear and side yards. So eliminate invasives, vines and weeds and emphasize healthy trees. Clean up the borders and use the entire yard to your advantage!
Roofing and Exteriors: Roofing is often the most vulnerable part of the house. So a dirty roof (or one with an obvious lack of maintenance) is always noticeable and often counts against you. A gleaming, sturdy, clean roof—plus carefully maintained exterior siding, bricks or other surfacing—is critical to boosting a buyer’s belief in the seller’s top dollar price.
Lightness and brightness, always! Dark rooms, weak lighting and dated finishes (like worn out door hardware) can crush a buyer’s enthusiasm for a property. Brighten things up! Even from the outside, a house should lift a person’s spirits and inspire good feelings.
Follow proven models. Success leaves clues! The top-dollar sale down the street or the remarkable story of a house transformation portrayed on television are just two examples of successful “curb appeal” today. Follow the success of others. Ask for help—and invest in great help. At closing, you will not regret prioritizing your curb appeal!
Want top dollar? Hide evidence of pets! Not every buyer is going to be an animal lover. If your yard is patchy from Fido’s markings, consult a lawn or landscape professional to fix the problem. If you have a lot of “I love my cats!” porch décor, remove that before showings as well. The fewer reminders that animals live in the home, the better.
A prettier porch or patio. No matter how small or simple your front area is, make it the best it can be. Clear off clutter, fix any tears in the screen, give your concrete porch floor a fresh coat of paint. If it’s in your budget, installing a swing with a few colorful throw pillows can really amp up your curb appeal!
Outdoor “housekeeping” is a daily chore. Get with the program and stay with it until you reach the goal of a top-dollar sale! When your property is for sale, do not slack on keeping the yard mowed, the hedges trimmed, the leaves raked, the gutters clean, the flowers watered, etc. Make a point of viewing your home from the street every single morning to ensure it’s making a beautiful drive-by impression every single day!
Lee Taylor is a 16-year veteran Georgia Realtor and a Charter Member of Keller Williams Realty in Georgia. He’s a graduate of Furman University and a former U.S. Army officer, and he currently serves on the PTA for Oak Grove Elementary School. Visit Intownatlantahouses.com for more details.