So what exactly is ‘curb appeal'? In the context of real estate, curb appeal is how your home looks when a potential buyer drives past it. You must keep in mind that no matter how nice the home looks from inside, the first impression is always created by how it looks from outside. If your house looks shabby and ugly from the street, it is human nature that people will think that it is as ugly and unkept on the inside.
If you are selling a house that is dirt cheap, then you can afford to sell it ugly. But if you have a luxury home that is worth a good amount of money, then you need to pay attention to the curb appeal.
How To Enhance Curb Appeal
To improve the curb appeal of your home, start at the address marker. You definitely want people to find your house easily. The number and address must be visible from the street. If a potential buyer has many options to look at (i. e. , the market is flooded) and is not able to find your house easily, chances are they will not even bother to consider your house as an option. Try to maintain a well-manicured lawn. Make sure that the plants and bushes have not grown out of proportion. Plant some seasonal flowers. Make sure that the paint on the outside of your house is in good condition - it should not be chipped or peeling. If you have them, shutters should be in good repair - broken shutters look particularly unappealing. Wood items are always another concern. Poorly maintained decks or porches immediately raise the issue of high maintenance.
Your front yard should be free of any debris. If you have a crammed garage, make sure that the door stays shut - better yet, it should be cleaned out. Rent a temporary self-storage unit. No buyer wants to see a garage protruding with debris. Do not neglect your mailbox. Even something as harmless as a beaten up mailbox can break the deal. The mailbox should be painted and the flag on it should be able to stand up - preferably on its own.
Broken concrete is another item that takes away from the appeal of the home. Either fix badly cracked or broken concrete or take out the walk and replace with some stepping stones or cobblestones in a bed of sand.
New landscaping bark around the gardens can also very cheaply give a fresh, well maintained look to your house.
Make sure the front door of your house is spotless and any screen doors are in good repair. See to it that the front door swings freely on its hinges and that the doorknob works properly. External light fixtures should be unsoiled and free of corrosion. Make sure that your driveway is free from weeds and replace the doormat if it is torn and dirty. You can use wind chimes to make the front of the house more inviting.
Walk around your house, both inside and out. Imagine that you are viewing it for the first time, pretending that you are a potential buyer. See if the house impresses you. Try to point out the faults. This is the best test you can use to see how much curb appeal your home has. If you find it difficult to do this, you can hire a professional real estate agent or a home staging professional to do the job for you.
Finding the right buyer in a competitive real estate market is tough. You should do everything possible to make your home appealing to potential buyers. One would hate to lose out on a buyer just because they did not take a little extra time to make the front yard extra presentable. Before putting a home on the market, enhance the curb appeal!
Danielle Stone is the Northern California Luxury Real Estate marketing director whose informative website covers El Dorado County real estate where you can find local area information on El Dorado Hills homes , Folsom, Cameron Park, gated equestrian communities, full access to the Sacramento California area MLS listings, and helpful information to have a successful real estate experience.