You have had a “for sale” sign in your yard for months now and have had very few lookers. You think it is because of the economy because houses just are not selling lke they used to. All of the sudden, the neighbor a few doors down from you, with a house just like yours, puts their house up for sale, too. You are positive that your house will sell before theirs will, yet a few days later you come home and see a “Sold” sign in their yard instead of yours. The houses are identical in the way they are constructed, so why did their house sell while yours is still sitting on the market? Curb appeal.
What is curb appeal? Curb appeal is a term used by many realtors, builders and anyone else that sells or markets homes every day of the week. Curb appeal is the impression that prospective buyers get when they drive up to, or by, your house for the first time. This first impression is the most important factor in selling your property. Watch any show on television that deals with people buying houses, fixing them up and selling them and you will hear them mention curb appeal over and over again. This is due to the fact that if prospective buyers pull up or drive by your home and get a bad impression of the outside of the house, they will not take the time to come inside and see what else is there.
First impressions are important in anything we do in life. Just as we fix ourselves up before trying to sell ourselves to a potential employer by making a good impression, so should your house be able to sell itself by it’s outward appearance. Your house may be beautiful, tidy and clean on the inside, but if your is overgrown with weeds, the grass is too high, the shrubs are raggedy and the trees are so tall they overshadow the house, then very few people are going to venture inside to see the beauty.
There are very few people that can look at a house and see anything other than what is in plain sight. While there are a few people that can see the potential of a home once the yard and the outside of the home is taken care of, most people see what their eyes see and nothing more. Therefore, you should make sure that your home is as well maintained on the outside as it is on the inside. If your gutters are dirty, clean them. If you have vinyl siding and it is dirty, pressure wash it. If your deck is looking old and dreary, re-stain it. Simple things like this can make selling your home much easier.
The same thing can be said about the yard. If you are getting ready to sell your home, try this exercise to see what it might need in order to draw prospective buyer’s attention. Pull up in front of your home and take a good look at the outside. Do not look at it like you always have – as your home. Try looking at it as if you were seeing it for the first time. Chances are, you will find many things you will need to do in order to prepare your house for selling it.
Never noticed all those weeds next to the porch or in the flower bed? Never noticed how the trees have gotten so tall that you can’t really see the beauty of your home? Never noticed the trellis was falling apart or looking dingy. Never realized how brown your yard was instead of green? These are a few things you might notice if you really take the time to stop and see your home through someone else’s eyes.
Once you have figured out the problems, take care of them. Pull the weeds away from the porch and the flower bed. You might also want to add mulch around your plants so that the weeds will have a harder time growing back. Also, mulch gives flowers and plants an elegance. If the trees are too tall, trim them down so that the house can be seen from the road. If your yard is brown, start to water it. If the paint is peeling on the shutters, then paint them. These little touches could be the difference between a few weeks or months of selling your home. Think about it.