The first impression of a home that is most critical is setting the stage for a potential buyer. It sets the tone for how the buyer sees the home, creating a perceived posture toward the home. Within 15 seconds of driving up to a home, the buyer will develop an attitude and expectation for what they will see on the inside based on its exterior curb appeal. Sometimes, a buyer will even drive away and forego viewing the inside of the home based on the exterior appearance and perceived care of the home.
First impressions are challenging, especially when you have been in your home for a while. It is hard to look objectively at your own home’s exterior, but it’s crucial to view it with buyers’ eyes. A good way to gauge your home’s curb appeal is to take a walk down your street and compare the exterior of your neighbors’ homes to your home. Look at the maintenance of bushes and trees as well as floral accents. You can also source quality drive-up appeal in home decorating magazines.
Throughout a potential buyer’s visit, they will be looking for other items in the home to reinforce the attitude created by your curb appeal. One way to make a nice first impression is to create an emotional connection point. Add a simple bench with pillows and some fresh blooming flowers. Adding a teacup and saucer will punch up the emotion just a bit more.
Five key ingredients to creating positive curb appeal are:
- Plants — Assess your yard and plant flowers in areas with low appeal. This is an economical way to add value to your home and pump up the curb appeal. Not sure what to plant? Many local nurseries have individuals who can assist and even come to your home for a small fee and help with suggestions. You want fast-growing, striking, and long-lasting plants.
- Fragrant Florals — Fresh, sweet fragrances have a dramatic impact on one’s perception and mood. Flowers are relatively inexpensive, and a small amount can go a long way. Also, check around for some colorful pots to make the flowers pop.
- Fresh Bark — Cover up bare areas in planters and give your beds a manicured look. This is an inexpensive way to give the yard a clean and freshened appeal.
- Power Wash — The front door, patio, driveway and sidewalks should all be cleared, cleaned and power washed. This will help in making your home feel and look new. For any tough stains, try Dawn dishwashing liquid or Coca-Cola to eliminate it.
- Shine — All windows and light fixtures should be clean and sparkling.
And finally, believe it or not, certain yard styles can appear dated; ie, reddish-orange rocks for a front yard.
Below is a quick way to update your curb appeal and bring more buyers across your front door threshold.
- Invest in a new, oversized and natural bristled doormat. This gives the doorway a larger and cleaner feel. One can be purchased rather inexpensively at Target or Lowe’s.
- Consider purchasing furniture in the form of a bench, rocker, or bistro table and chairs so that buyers can imagine a front yard resting place.
- Consider replacing or repainting the mailbox.
- Update or add house address numbers under light fixtures. This helps to ensure buyers and realtors can find your house!
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