Just as there are many ways to skin a cat, there are countless approaches to selling a home. But when it comes to your Austin home, there’s one investment that will amplify everything else about the listing. We’re talking about curb appeal!
The Importance of Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is a trendy buzzword that you’ll hear HGTV hosts discuss at length, but what is it exactly?
According to HomeLight, “Curb appeal is how attractive a house looks from the outside. As a focal point for a house that goes up for sale, curb appeal encompasses all of the external factors that shape a home buyer’s first impression of a property the moment they lay their eyes on it from the street.”
In other words, it’s kind of a big deal.
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling an estate that’s been in your family for decades or quickly flipping a property to make a nice return – curb appeal has the ability to make or break your listing when it comes time to sell.
It’s common knowledge that buyers make fast first impressions. In fact, many form an opinion on the entire home within the first 15 to 30 seconds of stepping foot on the property. And what do those first 15 to 30 seconds usually entail? It’s typically the walk from the curb to the front door.
According to one recent study published in The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, curb appeal may account for as much as 7 percent of a home’s sale price. That means that curb appeal could influence as much as $28,000 on a $400,000 home!
6 Ways to Boost Your Curb Appeal
The good news is that curb appeal is one of those elements of a property that you can spruce up without spending massive amounts of money. And whatever money you do spend will almost certainly deliver a positive return when papers are signed at the closing table.
In light of this, here are some of the smartest ways you can boost curb appeal and drive up the price of your home:
1. Start With Landscaping
Landscaping is the first thing people will notice. It also happens to be one of the least expensive parts of a home’s curb appeal to address – as long as you’re willing to put in a little sweat equity.
In terms of what to focus on, we’d recommend starting with the lawn. A green, well-manicured lawn that’s free of weeds and brown patches will go a long way. Shrubs should be uniformly trimmed and flowers can be planted to add pops of color.
You don’t have to go overboard and design some complex landscape with exotic trees and blooming bushes. In fact, simplicity is often best. (If the landscaping is too busy, it may scare away homebuyers who want a low-maintenance property.) Keep it simple and clean.
2. Pressure Wash Hard Surfaces
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling a new construction home or a cottage that was built in the early 20th century; buyers want the house to feel clean and fresh. One way you can do this is by pressure washing hard surfaces, such as the driveway, sidewalk, porch steps, and even the siding. This is a job that you can easily do yourself. If you don’t already own a pressure washer, many home improvement stores will rent them by the hour.
3. Upgrade Your Door…
Your front door is the natural focal point of your home’s curb appeal. When a buyer’s eyes move past the landscaping and up to the home, it’s the first thing they see. So why not upgrade it?
“Your front door gets a lot of wear and tear and has to face the outside elements, which can make it wear faster. Cleaning it and updating the paint can instantly update the look and feel of your home,” one home expert suggests. “Add a bold but matching color to make the door pop and have the prospective buyer’s eye drawn to it.”
If your door is totally dated and doesn’t reflect the look you’re going for, you might even consider replacing it. A quality replacement can easily net you a 90 to 120 percent return on investment.
4. …And Your Garage Door, Too
The same goes for your garage door (if it’s front-facing). In many major markets, you get 100 percent (or more) of your money back with a replacement. On top of that, 70 percent of real estate agents believe a new garage door helps a home sell faster and for more money.
5. Breathe Life Into the Porch
Your front porch serves as a key transition point between the outside and inside. If the porch is bare and basic, then buyers are going to feel that vibe when they enter the home for the first time. But if it’s warm and cozy, they’ll feel much more comfortable.
Treat your porch as an extension of your home. Chairs, end tables, potted plants, and even a floor or table lamp can make a statement. However, regardless of which approach you take, keep it simple. A cluttered look will have the opposite effect.
6. Upgrade the House Number
One simple suggestion is to upgrade your house numbers. This can actually be a really fun DIY project for the family. Buy some new house numbers from the home improvement store, cut a piece of wood to size, stain it, and install it by the front door. This little detail adds a unique charm.
Sell Your Home With Green Residential
When it comes time to put your house on the market, consider listing with Green Residential. Whereas most Austin homeowners end up paying an Austin realtor 6 percent of the sale price – 3 percent to the selling agent and another 3 percent to the buying agent – we operate on a flat fee structure that could potentially save you thousands of dollars at closing! The average savings on a $500,000 home are $4,000 – and that’s cash that goes directly into your pocket.
For more information about how much Green Residential can save you, please contact us today!