The importance of good curb appeal

Many of us have had the good fortune to be able to buy a house (if not once, then perhaps several times over).  People buy and sell for a variety of reasons; the American dream of owning a home, upsizing, downsizing, relocation, retirement, buying a second home or vacation home, inheriting a home from a family member’s passing that you don’t need, the list can go on.  Most buyers I have ever worked with are, for the most part, fairly reasonable when it comes to their expectations as to what to expect a home to look like when pulling up to curb to see it for the first time.

Likewise, most sellers are also aware they need to have some basic buyer expectations met to at least make a good first impression, including the curb appeal factor.  It always amazes me when I pull up to a house on the market ready to show a set of buyers and immediately notice the lack of curb appeal many homes have that could easily be improved with fairly minimal effort.  As the old saying goes, “You have one chance at a first impression”, so as a seller, why not put some effort into making the best first impression you can?

Here are some basics almost all home sellers can do in order to increase their curb appeal and make a great first impression with buyers:

  1. If you have a lawn, at minimum, have it cut or at least in good order.  If you have tall, visible weeds, pull them or at minimum, mow them down.  This is about as easy as it gets.
  2. If you have mulch or bark, refresh or replace it prior to going live on the market.  Fresh mulch just looks good and the cost of this is very minimal.  Fresh bark or mulch simply gives the yard a breath of fresh air and a new look.  This step is also so very easy to accomplish.
  3. Paint, stain or clean the front door.  I cannot count the number of times walking up to a house and seeing front a door either dirty, faded or scratched.  The front door is, in many ways, the very first feature of the house itself.  If the front door looks shabby, the buyers have already put a major negative checkmark before they have even entered the house.
  4. Have the front porch in orderly/clean condition (don’t have a bunch of “stuff” on the front porch/patio).  Keep it swept/clean, don’t clutter it (you want to make it appear as spacious as possible).  Staging a front porch with some a couple of chairs and a small table with some fake flowers (if you have room for this) is a great way to also signal to your buyers the front porch is an inviting place to sit and relax.
  5. Have your window coverings consistent with each other.  In other words, do not have one set of blinds or curtains open and the next window blinds/curtains closed.  Keep them consistent.  If you have blinds, have them open (can be down, but with the slats should be open).  Do this for a couple of reasons: 1. When front blinds are completely closed, it makes it appear the owners are not very inviting people and 2. When a buyer walks into the house, there is already some natural light coming in from outside, as opposed to it being dark/dungeon-like.  Buyers like to walk into a home that is light, warm and bright, not dark and depressing.

All of the suggestions above are so very basic and simple to accomplish.  Often times, sellers focus so much of their attention on the interior of the house (which is important for obvious reasons), they forget the importance of the first impression a potential buyer will receive as they pull up along the curb to view the house.  Trust me, buyers have already formulated an opinion (good or bad) before they have stepped one foot inside your house.

Hill Country Flat Fee Realty serves the Boerne, Fair Oaks Ranch, New Braunfels, Kerrville, Comfort, Bandera, San Antonio, Helotes, & Fredericksburg markets.  We offer a full service real estate experience, but simply do not charge what many real estate firms do to market/sell properties.  We do not believe the cost to sell a home should be based on the sales price.  For more information, please visit: