Someone said, “a stunning first impression was not the same thing as love at first sight. But surely it was an invitation to consider the matter.” This could not be truer than in selling a home. First impressions matter. Sometimes they are everything.
Nothing sets the tone of a relationship or transaction more than first impressions. So consider what a potential homebuyer may think as he or she drives up to your property for the very first time.
Think of “curb appeal” as the home seller’s shop window. Like picking a lunch place on a busy avenue in a tourist spot, it’s either the outside presentation or, as we saw prior in the 80/20 rule discussion, some particular feature that brings in the customers. For most lunch seekers, it is the way the place looks (“curb appeal”), and to others, the clams they serve (specific desired feature).
You do not have a lot of time to establish a curb appeal relationship with a prospective homebuyer. Whether cruising the web to view online photos from across the country or cruising by your home in the family SUV on a Sunday aft3ernoon outing, home shoppers will decide at a glance whether they want to see more.
“We buy ugly houses” is a sign seen nailed to electric poles. Rehabbers look for ugly houses so that they can pay the least amount possible; homebuyers looking for a deal – but not a “basement bargain” — do not.
Creating curb appeal is essential to attracting interest in your home. How your home looks from the road is so persuasive that a well-prepared house may catch the attention of buyers who did not find the written description particularly compelling, or a neglected house can cause a buyer previously excited by a printed or online marked listing a specific desired feature to cruise right on by.
Try it. Go out into your street and look – I mean really look — at your hoe and see if you can spot any imperfections. Is it appealing, pristine, and well-kept, or are there necessary repairs that you have been putting off? After you lived in a home for a long while, you’re not likely to examine it objectively. Listen to suggestions from real estate experts, your friends and/or potential home buyers about how you can make your house show better.
Then take a drive around your neighborhood and surrounding area and see which homes for sale appeal to you and note why. Well-tended houses with trimmed bushes, groomed lawns, attractive landscaping, and a “grand entrance” (discussed shortly) will be more impressive than homes with an unkept walkway, uncut grass, and a paint-peeling front door.
The outside appearance of a property needs to be an invitation to come inside. Potential homebuyers are drawn to welcoming entries and uncluttered yards. they are unlikely to be attracted to a home with dead shrubbery and a weather-worn exterior. It is no stretch to think a buyer will believe the home is neglected on the inside as well.
Excerpted from my book “Selling Secrets – You Can’t Afford to Miss”
Ricardo Parente, Realtor®
Coldwell Banker Realty | Winter Park, FL