Home sales are at a five year high and real estate is back in demand. That being said, there is not a run on property like there was back in 2006. Sellers cannot name their price and expect to sell their house 30 days later. We are still in a buyer’s market. If you are selling, you need to have your home stand out. You can either make your home attractive through price or appearance. If you are looking to add to the appearance, you can focus on the interior of the property, but you had better not forget about the exterior. Curb appeal matters and can make all of the difference.
You can have the best pictures and videos of your property online, but if the outside is a mess, buyers will be turned off before they step foot in the house. Buyers will make snap judgments from the time they turn on your street to the time they open the front door. This is where they will be making a large purchase and be spending the next several years of their life. They don’t want to have to be sold on the property. They want to feel it as soon as they see it. If the exterior is a mess or outdated, the first impression they will have is a negative one. Thus, those who neglect to provide curb appeal will be fighting an uphill battle the rest of the way.
Dated shutters, an old front door, rusty door handles, dead shrubs, a dirty roof or peeling paint on the garage door will all leave a bad impression. Most sellers will spend thousands of dollars updating the kitchen or bathroom and not think to spend a few hundred on the outside. Other than a new front door, most of the items on the exterior are less than a few hundred dollars. Think of the impression it gives when an excited buyer pulls up to your property to see two dead bushes surrounding an old front door with a rusty door handle. The interior may look like the Taj Mahal, but by that point their decision will have been made.
With every rehab or sale you make, you need to make sure you allocate some money for the exterior. Even if this is at the expense of the interior, the outside of the property should not be neglected. Changing the door handles and replacing the shutters will cost you less than $200 and can be considered do it yourself jobs. If your buyers are excited when they enter the house, they will have a positive vision of what the house can be for them. If they enter it thinking the house is old and dated, even if the interior is not, that’s what they will think. You never want to lose a deal before a buyer sees the property. By not touching the outside, you run the risk of wasting any work you do to the inside of the house.
Your curb appeal sets the tone for the whole buying experience. Spend the time and money to make sure the exterior is as nice as the interior. All it takes is one buyer to be attracted by the exterior to take a closer look and ultimately buy the property.