6 Ideas for Improving Your Listing’s Curb Appeal

It takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to create an opinion when they meet you for the first time. In this short period, the other person forms a judgement based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanor, your mannerisms, and how you are dressed.

This same principle applies to a house.

First impressions are everything. If the curb appeal, or the visual attractiveness from the street, isn’t positive, then potential buyers won’t take the next step. After all, the aesthetic look of a home’s exterior can be very telling of what someone can expect to find on the other side of the front door. At the very least, the exterior will determine whether or not buyers even want to take a look inside.

For years, buyers formed their first impressions of homes while standing in the street or sitting inside the car, just beyond the curb. To get that buyer in the door, the seller spent hours, even days, seeding new grass and planting flowers, painting their front door, mulching, weeding and cleaning up the yard. If the home didn’t appeal from the curb, buyers moved on to the next house. Curb appeal was always the single most important piece of the home sale puzzle. Today, it’s a different story.

Now most buyers form first impressions while perusing online photos, which means curb appeal isn’t just about the home’s exterior. Instead of driving to the home, buyers scroll through pictures of both the outside and the inside sitting at their computer or their phone, before ever stepping foot inside. What’s more, they may never visit the house if they don’t like what they see online.

And believe us, we here at Curbio understand this all too well. After all, our name Curbio stands for “Curb Appeal, Inside and Out.”

That’s why we do it all.

We handle renovations of all sizes and shapes. We specialize in fixing-up homes before they’re listed, so they can sell quickly for the highest price. And the best part?  We defer all costs until closing. We’ll help you stage a house, fix a roof, do a major kitchen remodel or just handle your listing’s landscaping.

We’ve written about how listing as-is will cost sellers because buyers decide whether a home is right for them within seconds of entering. But with many buyers looking online and narrowing down their list before visiting properties, many won’t even get to see the inside. A quick search on Zillow will provide you with primarily exterior photos of homes for sale.

Curb appeal adds tremendous value to a house

Curb appeal is critical for marketing a property, especially since 93% of buyers say they look at properties online when searching for their home, according to NAR’s 2019 Buyer and Seller Profile. Additionally, over 75% of top real estate agents across the country say that well-landscaped homes are worth anywhere from 1-10% more than homes with no landscaping, according to our research at HomeLight and in Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value report, 9 out of the top 10 projects were exterior improvements.

As such, here are our 6 ideas for improving your listing’s curb appeal.

1. Tend to the grass, landscaping and trees

Curb appeal should start with landscaping, including the grass, trees, and any other foliage near the front of the property. The key to maximizing your client’s budget and ensuring landscaping improvements payoff is making the front yard look clean and well-kept, but low maintenance. Today’s buyers aren’t looking for properties with complicated, difficult to manage features. A 2019 HomeLight study found that lawn maintenance and fresh mulch both resulted in resale value, while “high-end” landscaping had a negative impact.

From the smallest fix up to the largest, Curbio can help you get your listing ready for market and it won’t cost your seller a dime until the house is sold. We’ll help with landscaping, mulching, roofing, painting, you name it—whatever it takes to get the house in tip top shape to sell fast and for top dollar.

2. Clean up the driveway

The driveway is the first part of the home that a potential buyer interacts with. It speaks volumes about how the owners take care of the rest of the home and if it’s a well-maintained property. A raked gravel driveway is more appealing than a concrete driveway lined with weeds. Clear out your driveway and power wash it if necessary, to give it new life.

Take a look at this house we fixed up in Tampa Florida. It needed a ton of work.

We started with a complete kitchen refresh. From painted cabinets to new appliances and countertops, and then began work on the outside. We improved the curb appeal of the home with painting and landscaping (and check out that fancy driveway) and as a result, the home sold for $54k more than it would have if left untouched.

4. Apply a fresh coat of paint

In addition to the roof, you also should look at the siding and exterior of the property itself. A dirty exterior is something that should not be ignored. Power washing a deck or the siding of your property won’t take very long, but will have a big impact. Think of it as if you were trying to sell a dirty car. A clean car with a nice shine is much easier to sell than a dirty one. The same can be said if you are looking to sell a house. Applying a fresh coat of paint can turn what may appear to be a dreary older looking house into a brand-new property.

5. Focus on the front door

There’s one item you can’t ignore on a home and that’s the front door. Even if you have a garage or a side door, the front door is still a focal point—and it’s symbolic of people welcoming their guests. Make it special by painting it a fresh color and a feature of the home. Sometimes it’s the small things like a beautifully painted front door that can catch an eye or a heart. Check out this smashing red door on this property in Washington, DC we renovated. A fresh coat of paint, a new door and voila, the house stands out from all others on the block!

6. Choose the best feature photo

When you push your listing out via your MLS, choose a preview photo that makes the property stand out. While most agents choose a shot of the front of the house to showcase their listings, it doesn’t mean you have to. If the kitchen is really what makes the house stand out, then feature an image with a beautiful shot of the kitchen. If you’ve done a lot of work to improve the curb appeal of the listing though, then a shot of the front of the house will catch homebuyers’ eyes. Regardless of which photo you choose, be sure to get professional photos taken to put your best foot forward and attract the highest number of buyers.