Curb appeal is more than just how the house looks from the outside. It is the neighbor hood - are the other yards and homes well taken care of or are they run down and not taken care of. Is it a busy road out front? Are you next to the freeway or a train tracks? Are there businesses next door or across the street - How do they look? Are they an eye soar, lights at night form a parking area of a business that will bother you, big trucks coming and going - what time do the come and go? All of these things affect the property that you are trying to sell or trying to buy.
If you are selling, some of these things can not be changed - that makes it harder to sell. If you are thinking of buying - do you want to live by them. It makes it harder when wanting to sell?
These are some of the reasons that curb appeal is so important.
Now for the curb appeal of the house that you have to sell or the one that you are looking to buy. It is important as well. Is there a mixture of lawn, trees, bushes and flowers? Is it well thought out in the placement of the plants? Are trees to close to the house? Are they the kind of plants that will take a lot of water and you live in a desert environment? ( It might be best to change them out for plant from your area that are more drought tolerant.) If you can not see the house because the bushes that are next to the house are over grown - trim them back to let the beauty of the house show through.
Why is curb appeal so important? If you are trying to sell - it could be the difference between someone driving by without even looking at the house or coming in to look at the it.
If the house is in need of repairs - do them before putting the house on the market. People will offer less when they know that they will have to fix this and that when they buy it. You will not get top dollar for it if you do not do what needs to be done. That includes burned out light bulbs. The thought will be, "if they can not fix that what else will I need to fix when I move in here."
Does your house look just like all the other houses on the block? What can you do to make it stand out from the rest? Maybe it is as little as painting the front door RED. Add an arch way across you front side walk or a picket fence when the rest have none. For night time add out door lights to light up the side walk or drive way. Light up the address of your house to make it easy to find. Do not forget to add some color into the yard, if it is all green shade - grass, trees, bushes, add some colorful flowers to brighten it up.
Are there things about the outside of the house that make it look dated? Is it something that can be replaced or taken off the house, then do it. Are there things that night be an eye soar to look at in the front of the house? Can it be moved some were else? ( Like a window air conditioner) Can it be hidden behind a screen or something to make it look more pleasing?
Do yourself a favor when you think of putting your home on the market - go find the free home buyers magazine. In my area the names of a few of them are " Home choice magazine" or "Your next home magazine", they might be different where you live.You have seen racks of them at the grocery store and other places. Look at them, see the houses that catch your eye. What do you like about it? What makes it stand out to you? That some kind of thing is what is going to make your home stand out to someone else. Also notice the ones that you do not like? Why do you not like that one? If your house is pink - a man is not going to like it to much, you might want to think of a more neutral color that will appeal to more people. You like it but not everyone does. You want a good number of people to look at your home. Look at your home from the buyers perspective. Does your house meet the test. If it does not, it will sit on the market for a long time.
Once you have the outside in good shape, do not let them down on the inside. Have it be as appealing on the inside as the outside. If the house appeals to as many people as possible - you will get more people to look at it. It will sell faster and for a higher price. That is the goal is it not?
For the buyer, they want a good value for there money. They do not want to over pay for what they get. If they are looking for a fixer upper they are not wanting to pay top dollar for it when they are going to have to put a lot of money into it as well.
A real estate agent can give you some pointers about what you might need to change to make it look better and sell faster. They see a lot of house, they know what has been selling and what has not. Do the fix up things that you know need to be done, then ask a real estate agent.
I would be interested in how curb appeal help you sell your home. If you were buying how did it affect your choices on a house to see or buy?
copyright 2009 Dan and Deanna Finlinson "Marketing Unscrambled"