Curb Appeal is Important
Curb appeal is the phrase describing the view that buyers see when they drive by your home or arrive for a showing. Based on their initial impression, most buyers decide whether or not to continue interest in a house, so it's smart to take steps to ensure that they won't turn away before they even have a change to see the interior. Savvy home sellers give top priority to improving their home's curb appeal. You'd do well to follow suit.
Detach YourselfIt can be somewhat difficult to look at your own house the same way a potential buyer would, especially if you've been there awhile. However, once we've become accustomed to the way that something looks, it becomes harder for us to see faults. The best idea is to open your eyes and stop thinking of this as your home. Once you start seeing it as the commodity it is, something you want to sell for the highest possible bid, then you will have an easier time seeing it as if through a buyer's eyes.
Discovering Current Curb AppealTake a drive and upon your return home, park across the street, get out and try to get a view of the house and its surroundings. Try to view the property from the distance and direction as a potential buyer driving by.
Evening Appeal is ImportantCurb appeal should also be visible during evening hours because often potential buyers drive by houses in the evening. It is a good idea to invest in outdoor lighting, and can be done relatively inexpensive. Here are some ideas of what you can do to help curb appeal at night:
Backyard ViewIf your back yard is visible from someone's driveway or another street, buyers will try to see it so be sure to include the backyard as part of your efforts. It's a good idea to have the backyard arranged for those who will visit during shows, but especially important to make the parts that are visible appear well maintained and cultivated.
Other IdeasHere are a few tips that you might not think of immediately to help spruce up your curb appeal:
Landscaping DecisionsIt might add to your curb appeal by adding landscaping elements, but keep in mind that sometimes removing something is just as effective, if not more so. If a large brick house with large columns in front had tall evergreens planted in front of each column, they might eventually grow taller than the roof. Although beautiful trees, they would eventually obscure the columns, possibly windows as well, and would make the front of the house difficult to see. Listen to your realtor or consult with a landscaper or interior designer (with outside expertise as well of course) and they might suggest taking out the trees. If landscaping keeps the buyer from seeing the true character of the house, they may not have the imagination to picture the house without it. Although you may have emotional ties to something in particular, remember that you are trying to see the home as a potential buyer would. Another thing to consider is that if you are unwilling to make changes, a buyer who can visualize the change might expect you to reduce the price of the house to compensate for the work involved.
Be sure to check out Why Good Houses Don't Sell to avoid common mistakes!
For tips on preparing your home for showing, click here.
You'll probably want to understand The Realities of Home Showings.