In a previous article we had discussed the Importance of Curb Appeal. To summarize, it can set the tone and atmosphere of the visit at the curb. The article had left us wondering if curb appeal is an important factor in selling a home, how can you improve curb appeal?
To Improve Curb Appeal, It Starts With Professional Photos
One of the points we made in the past article was that the majority of people begin their search online. Your home’s curb appeal should begin with its photos that people are going to see when they find your home online. You do not want them discarding your home before they even get a chance to see it in person. So do not give them a reason to. Make sure your photos have the proper lighting to show off its features and make it look bright and welcoming. Remove all clutter from around the home and make it look good. Many real estate agents and home owners like to think of themselves as budding professional photographers but please consider hiring someone who has done it many times before to take the photos for you. If your realtor offers to take the pictures themselves, perhaps you should insist they hire a professional photographer. The photographers know what works and what does not.
The windows and the roof!
One of the main considerations of the upkeep of a home are the windows and the roof. If the shingles on the roof are curling up on the corners and are in obvious need of replacement, or if the roof is wavy with sags and mounds in it, replace it before you list the home. Likewise, if the windows are so old that the frame has gaps in it, is cracked or deformed, or is in obvious need of replacement, just do it. The decrease in sale price due to an aging roof and old windows is significantly more than the cost to replace them. If you are unsure, just keep in mind that these two things not only contribute to your curb appeal, but will also be one of the main areas home buyers and inspectors will look closely at.
Clean, clean, clean!
Clean the windows, siding of the house, gutters, anything and anything that could use a good wash or tiding up. A shiny window that reflects the front yard and neighbour’s house will really catch the eye of the buyer. On the other hand, dirty siding or clogged gutters can really cast a negative light on your home.
Add Some Colour
If you have a garden along the front of your home, be sure the flowers are blooming (not wilting) and that everything looks neat and kept. If your front garden is dying or patchy, replace it with store bought healthy and colourful flowers and plants. Most homes are on the market for a few days to a few weeks, sometimes more. Most healthy flowers and plants purchased from a reputable garden centre will last longer than required. If they do not and they begin to wilt and look unhealthy, replace them as soon as possible. Try putting some flowers in a planter beside your front door as well for extra appeal! I have heard people say they cannot do this as they are not good at gardening. To them I say, you are missing the point. Just take a picture of the front of your house and ask someone at the garden centre to choose for you. This is about how to improve curb appeal not your gardening skills.
What about Art?
Be very careful about any art you put outside. This includes such things as sculptures, outdoor paintings or pictures, little concrete or plasters figurines, even wind chimes and bird baths. Art is a very subjective matter and what might look appealing to one, may be less than appealing for others. I knew a lady that was terrified by those little garden gnomes you see everywhere. They literally horrified her. If you are someone whom enjoys decorating for holidays, if you feel you have to then try to refrain and keep it simple. Again, what you celebrate may not be celebrated by others and that may make it more difficult for them to see themselves in your house and make it their own.
Life Is About Balance
There is a common saying that “symmetry is pleasing to the eye”. You can give your home a very uncomfortable feeling by creating an unsymmetrical or unbalanced arrangement of fixtures and / or garden accents. The good thing is that symmetry is easy to fix – to some. Just try to “balance” the look of the front of your home. Like rhythm, some people just do not have an eye for symmetry so if this point does not make sense to you, do not be afraid to hire someone to do it for you. Remember that this is about how to improve curb appeal, not how good you are at symmetry.
Replace Old Fixtures.
Is there an old rusty lamp post or porch light out front? It would be a great time to replace or repair it. How about that old mailbox that is hanging on by one loose screw? Why not get a new mailbox that fits the rest of the décor on the exterior of your home. Even your house numbers, if they are getting old and dingy think of replacing those as well. Anything that looks old and in need of replacing should be replaced. If there are any burnt out light bulbs, make sure they are all replaced with new bright ones.
Front Door Impressions!
Think of the front door and the psychological impact it has on a person. As they approach the home imagining what is on the inside, they are staring at the front door. It is the barrier between them and what is inside. They are preparing themselves for what they are about to see. If what they are staring at is dirty, scuffed up, and unmaintained, that is what the mind will bring in with them as they cross that threshold. Now imagine if the door is clean and impressive. Imagine if it is a solid wood door with design highlights and a shiny new door knob, or if the entire thing is painted a bright exciting color! Create impact if you want to impress.
Of course this list is not exhaustive but it does give you several areas to address that will greatly improve curb appeal and could also significantly affect your sale price. Start with these, and you are in a great place. If you would like further assistance, contact Ryan Ligeza. I will be more than happy to discuss how to improve curb appeal and get you top dollar for your home.