How important is curb appeal when selling your home? I have one word... VERY!
Buyers see everything you no longer see, and what they see translates to $$$ in their mind. That would be dollars they will have to spend on cleaning up overgrown gardens, foundation plantings that have grown over the roof top, dollars that will be deducted from the price they offer on your house.
If they put an offer in on your house.
If they even bother to get out of the car.
Most of us are guilty of curb appeal faux pas. Hey, I'm not selling my house, I am working 7 days a week and gardening is the LAST thing on my mind. That vine that started growing up the house on a corner I never look at grew fast and furious. In a few weeks time I looked up at the house and it had crawled around the house and overtook the front door! My first thought was... oh, cozy English ivy covered cottage. But I knew better. To a buyer it would have looked like the Addams Family Home! My solution to the problem was to send my husband out there, which didn't make him happy.
If I were selling my home, buyers would see my cute little vine very differently than I do. First, they would actually SEE it as soon as they pulled in the driveway. Then they would see that it was twisting around the gutter... then they would think that I just don't care about my house, so if I couldn't even bother to remove the vine that now covered the front door, how bad will the inside be?
A nod to their real estate agent, let's just go to the next home.
What you see and what a buyer sees are two entirely different things.
Those tires that you were going to take to recycling, long forgotten on the side of the garage. Get rid of them! Buyers will see tractor tires, not car tires.
I know, out of sight, out of your mind, but not the buyers!
Foundation plantings, lovely when they were put in, but how many people just let them grow out of control? Many... This is what I hear. They provide us with great protection in the winter! Wrong... I forgot about them... yeah, me too. Now I have 50 year old evergreens that are so out of control the only thing we can do is whack them all the way down. They were out of control when I got here, and they have been slowly driving me crazy since then.
You need room to get between the foundation plantings and the house, room with a ladder to get to the gutters, to wash windows. Some insurance companies will have a fit if the foundation plants hit the house.
A buyer will see work, work that will either cost them time or money. And won't be able to see the house through the jungle in front. Overgrown foundation plantings can also make a room very dark.
If you are having a hard time deciding if your house has curb appeal or not, invite your most critical friend over and ask for their HONEST opinion. Be prepared however, because they will probably JUMP at the chance to tell you that your house has about as much curb appeal as the 40 year old 7/11 downtown.
The front door, the entrance to your home!
Please don't forget your front door. First things first, any potential buyer needs to enter through the front door. No argument there. Of course when they purchase the house they will probably never use the front door again, but that is not the point. Clean up the entry way, make sure the front door works properly, paint the door if need be. Make sure the walkway is easy to navigate, trim bushes and hedges away from the walkway and make it look inviting. Don't forget to repair those loose steps either, they can be a death trap!
One last thing, pooper patrol...
If you have a dog, you have dog poop outside. Unless you have trained your dog to use the toilet. Make sure you clean it up! Nothing worse than a buyer stepping in a pile of it, trust me on that one. I had a buyer with the most beautiful tapestry clogs step in a pile of poop and she was not a happy camper. Instead of spending time admiring the yard and home, she was cleaning her shoes and grumbling about how inconsiderate the sellers was. No offer there!
Oh that dog is cute, but clean up her poop!
Yes, curb appeal is very, very important if you want to make sure the buyer gets out of the car and into the house!
Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate
2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors
2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776
© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain