If you’re interested in making your property look as attractive as possible, whether you’re selling it to residential homebuyers or are planning to rent it to tenants in the area, you need to understand the value of curb appeal. While it may seem superficial, especially if your property has good foundational “bones” and a good location, investing in the curb appeal of your property could give you a substantial return.
What Is Curb Appeal?
Put simply, curb appeal refers to how attractive a house is when it’s seen from the sidewalk, or, appropriately enough, the “curb.” Mostly, this refers to the pure aesthetic appeal of the property. In other words, what’s the gut feeling people have when they see the exterior of your house?
As you’ll see, there are many strategies you can use to increase this “curb appeal” and make the property more attractive.
What’s the Point of Curb Appeal?
Curb appeal makes your property look more interesting to prospective buyers and tenants. People passing through the neighborhood will only have the exterior of the house to judge; if it looks attractive enough, they may inquire about scheduling a showing. People viewing photos of the house online will likely see the exterior first. And people preparing to tour the home will see the exterior and start forming an impression of the house before the venture into the interior.
Better curb appeal, therefore, gives buyers and tenants a much better first impression, making them more likely to buy or rent the property. In some cases, it can also increase the sale price of your property. In most cases, it will also send more interested prospects your way.
Core Aspects of Curb Appeal
Most of the time, curb appeal focuses on some combination of the following:
- Repair. Anything that’s broken, damaged, or loose is going to be an eyesore to prospective buyers. That’s why it’s important to repair whatever you can before anyone sees the property for sale.
- Cleaning. Dirty and unkempt properties are similarly unattractive. One of the best things you can do is thoroughly clean the exterior, which often means power washing the siding, washing the windows, and even cleaning the driveway and sidewalk.
- Beautification. Other strategies focus on general beautification. Adding potted plants, a flower garden, and other touches can immediately make the property seem more aesthetically pleasing and welcoming to new people.
The Financial Equation of Curb Appeal
One of the most important considerations when it comes to curb appeal is the financial equation. Given enough time, money, and other resources, you could make your home’s exterior look absolutely incredible – you could even rebuild the house from the ground up.
However, if you invest too much in this project, you’ll end up cannibalizing your potential profitability. Your curb appeal might help you sell the home quicker, and boost the sale price by $5,000, but if you spent $10,000 upgrading the exterior, it may not be worth it.
That’s why most curb appeal strategies attempt to keep costs on a tight leash; it’s important to improve the exterior aesthetics of your property, but it’s also important to keep a strict budget to boost your return on investment (ROI).
How to Improve Curb Appeal
Here are some of the best ways you can improve the curb appeal of your property without exhausting your budget:
- Fix major cracks, divots, and other issues. Start by conducting a survey of the exterior of your home and noting any cracks, divots, chips, or other forms of damage to the property. Some of these may be purely superficial, with no practical or functional impediment, but it’s still important to fix them (as long as it’s relatively inexpensive to do so).
- Replace or improve the door. Depending on what type of door you get and who you hire to install it (or if you install it yourself), a brand new front door should cost between a few hundred and a couple thousand dollars. If that’s not in your budget, cleaning and/or painting the front door can go a long way. In any case, that front door should look amazing.
- Wash or replace the siding. What’s the condition of your home’s siding? If it’s seen better days, this could be the perfect opportunity to replace it. Otherwise, repair any issues you find in it and give it a good power washing. Depending on the siding, a fresh coat of paint may help as well.
- Invest in plants. People love greenery. Even a handful of plants added to the front of the house can help it make a much better first impression. For example, you could plant a flower bed in the front yard, or use shrubs to frame the house better. You could even hang potted plants to make the porch look cuter and more inviting.
- Tend to the lawn. Spend time tending to the lawn if you haven’t already. Short, even-cut, bright green grass is going to make your property much more appealing to prospective buyers.
- Add better curtains. Curtains can be seen from the outside – make sure the curtains hanging in your front-facing windows are an appropriate color and in an appropriate position for photos.
- Upgrade the lighting. Good lighting can take your home’s exterior to the next level. A couple of floodlights or tasteful sconces can both illuminate the outdoor area to make it more comfortable and give your home a more distinctive exterior appearance simultaneously.
- Don’t forget the little touches. There are dozens of inexpensive “little touches” that can beautify your exterior and make the home seem more unique. A distinctive, polished mailbox, a set of ornate house numbers, or a cozy welcome mat can all boost the appearance of your home.
Do you need help boosting the curb appeal of your home? Or are you just in the market to sell your home as quickly as possible? Green Residential can help. Contact us today to get in touch with one of our expert real estate agents, or for direction on how to manage your property.