Believe it or not, many people still don’t get that if you want someone to buy your house, it should look nice from the outside. You have to wonder: if the owners of a run-down, boring place don’t care about how their house looks from the street, what else don’t they care about on the inside? So if you’re putting your abode on the market, you definitely want to think about a concept that’s come to be known as “curb appeal.” It’s the first step in getting your home on the market.
Curb appeal is especially critical in the Internet age, since most potential buyers will see a photograph of your home online before they ever venture out with a realtor. If your place looks more shabby than chic, you can expect folks to swipe right past it without a thought.
On the other hand, if your place is the bright spot on an otherwise dreary list of Sunday afternoon viewings, it’ll get tons more attention and fetch a better price than the neighborhood competition. Are you ready to get serious about selling your house? Here are 360 Yardware’s 5 easy tips to make human nature work in your favor when you’re putting your house on the market. Take it from us—we’ve seen it all and we know what works!
According to the National Association of Realtors, the most effective, cheapest thing you can do to increase curb appeal is…wait for it…take care of your lawn! And if you don’t have a nice one, just seed one. At a cost of a few hundred bucks or less, your return on that investment can exceed 400 percent. Pretty hard to beat that!
If you’ve got the scratch, doing a major landscape upgrade for around $5,000 will help close that deal even faster. You could do something super-basic and cheap like plant a few shrubs around the foundation, but if you want real results, at least one academic study has found that a more sophisticated design can really take the cake in competitive markets. Consider including one or two curvy planting “islands” in the lawn and install some larger shade trees.
Not surprisingly, it turns out an attractive entrance is a key factor in determining curb appeal. (This is the part 360 Yardware gets most excited about!) Not only do you want to keep everything orderly, clean, and in working condition, but your door and gate hardware speak loud and clear about how you’ve maintained the house. A custom doorbell and beautiful street numbers also add value as you invite prospective buyers in. Plus, it’ll be easier to find you! Nothing’s more annoying than Google Maps saying “you’ve arrived” but you can’t find the address.
If you drove up to a house for sale and saw that its windows were dirty, the paint was peeling, and the roof was patchy, what would you think? Exactly: what a dump. (Unless you live in New York City or San Francisco, in which case you might consider paying half a million for it because hey, it’s got a roof! And windows, no less!) Crazy markets aside, keeping your home’s exterior clean, attractive, and in good repair is absolutely a no-brainer if you want to sell your home quickly and easily.
Many experts recommend replacing your mailbox to help make that all-important first impression. After all, if it’s out at the curb, it should be appealing! Consider planting a small garden around the mailbox filled with varying heights of locally sourced native plants to create an interesting and unique element as prospective buyers walk up to your house.
Well, there you have it. Nothing too crazy, right? It really doesn’t take much to make people go, “Ooooo, honey, look at this one!”
The effect of landscape plants on perceived home value: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/426/426-087/426-087.html