Fresh Look at Great Curb Appeal: How the Front Yard Can Add Equity to Any Home for Sale
It is important to know the facts behind what will get buyers back for a second look when selling or flipping a property - and it may not be the inside of the home that affects their final purchase decision. Here, the interior design and home staging team of Design Essentials breaks down the bottom line on … Curb Appeal.
The Best Kept Secret:
“Curb appeal is the best kept secret of home stagers and real estate agents,” said Linda Hammond, a teacher of interior design and co-owner of Design Essentials. Together with her partner Renee Stead, the duo has bought, staged and flipped over 20 properties from Haliburton to Mississauga. “The one lesson we stress to our clients is if they are going to invest any money in renovating the home’s appearance, start with curb appeal.”
Industry statistics indicate that 70 percent of home buyers today are getting their first impression of a home from internet photos and newspaper ads. Online buyers spend an average of 30 seconds viewing your listing. Some savvy shoppers will resort to ‘drive bys’, and most do not even get out of their car to see the inside. Lastly, most buyers decide within the first five minutes whether or not they will invest in a home… Simply put, curb appeal is an important aspect that should not be overlooked.
The Bottom Line:
Every agent knows the old adage that 'you never get a second chance to make a first impression'… but how can a nice looking yard add money to a home that is already in great shape?
“To most buyers, a well kept front lawn and entrance is a sign that the home, inside and out, has been well-cared-for and maintained over the years. This could be a deal breaker in their final purchasing decision,” said Renee Stead, co-owner of Design Essentials. “On the flip side, if there are any negative aspects to the interior of a home, great curb appeal can often offset those deficiencies and avoid lowering your selling point.”
Double Edged Sword:
In her experience, Linda says that the majority of people searching for homes can not visualize changes, and therefore, will not take a second look at a property if the first look does not appeal to them. However, home buyers who can visualize changes, and are prepared to make them, will often expect a reduction in the price of the home to compensate for the work they plan to do.
“Curb appeal can get those buyers back for a second look, and put the handyman’s mind at ease by making the property move in ready, with an increase, not a reduction in price!” said Linda.
A final piece of advice?
“Clients shouldn’t be afraid to splurge on curb appeal, or a garden stager, but they should keep in mind the scale and proportion of their house when making exterior improvements,” said Linda. “It is not wise to ‘stick out’, and clients should be careful not to over value their home compared to the rest of the neighborhood."