They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to selling your home, it’s essential to know that for many buyers, the “cover” – or the exterior of your home – is exactly what they will judge it by.
Of course, anyone seriously interested will also take a look inside. Still, when it comes to grabbing the attention of someone driving by or clicking through online listings, the exterior is probably what will catch their attention – for better or for worse.
Before we get into how curb appeal can add value to your home, we should discuss what curb appeal actually is.
What Is Curb Appeal?
Curb appeal is what people can see of your house when they’re looking at it from the curb, ie, from the outside.
Curb appeal is all-encompassing – it’s not just the color of paint on your house or your lawn. It’s everything. It’s the paint, the yard, the mailbox, and any additional details – or lack thereof – that, when combined, create the visual for someone that’s just seeing your home for the first time.
Creates A Great First Impression
Having great curb appeal means that someone seeing your home for the first time will have a fantastic first impression. They’ll drive up to your home and think, “Oh, this looks nice!” rather than “Oh – the grass is so patchy,” or “Yikes! That porch is falling down!”
You may have the most gorgeous interior anyone has ever seen, with state-of-the-art everything and beautifully maintained and well-appointed furnishings and fixtures, but if the outside of the home is a bit lackluster (or worse!), then prospective buyers may have no desire to even check out the interior.
Increases Buyer Interest
Like creating a great first impression, having good curb appeal increases buyer interest. As prospective buyers are scrolling through online listings or driving through town to see which neighborhoods they like, a house with excellent curb appeal will stick out to them as a front-runner.
Additionally, a home with good curb appeal may entice buyers even if it’s not yet on the market. Think about the times you’re driving through town on your way to run an errand – there’s probably a house or two that, every time you drive-by, you think, “That house is so pretty.”
Maybe it’s the beautiful flower boxes on the porch or landscaping, but there’s something about it. If that house happened to come up for sale while you happened to be in the market for a new home, it would probably be at the top of your list to check out since you’d already formed a bit of an attachment to it. (In some rare cases, buyers will even reach out to the owners of properties not on the market that they’ve fallen in love with just from seeing the outside!)
Higher Perceived Value
While some buyers are up for a fixer-up, most are not.
If your home looks like a fixer-upper from the outside (even if the inside is stunning), then buyers may be put off and automatically associate it with a lot of work and a lower value. And while some buyers may perceive that lower value and look at it as a “deal,” many will think that they don’t want a house that’s a “project” and move on.
Conversely, buyers will unconsciously associate it with a higher value if your home has a beautifully maintained lawn, a fresh coat of paint, and some high-quality exterior features.
If there are two houses side by side with the same interior, but one has a beautiful exterior and the other is a bit lackluster, buyers will likely assume that the one that looks nicer is also worth more. And if the homes are listed at similar price points, the buyers will go for the one with the curb appeal every time, thinking they’re getting a better deal since the home is “worth more” than its competitor.
Contributes To Neighborhood Value
Finally, the curb appeal of your home doesn’t just apply to your property, it helps elevate the neighborhood value as well. When the entire street is filled with pretty landscaping and well-maintained homes, the value of all the homes goes up collectively since the neighborhood itself is seen as an ideal place to purchase a home.
Are you considering listing your home or searching for your dream home? The team at Wilson Associates can help you with all of your real estate needs – let’s chat!