6 Ways to Improve Digital Curb Appeal to Sell Faster
Curb appeal is a term that describes how attractive (or appealing) a home is when someone views it from the curb. It typically refers to the front of the house, but over the years, it has come to represent everything that appeals to a viewer in their first impression of a home. As buyers search online more and more, homeowners and agents must focus on a different kind of curb appeal — digital curb appeal.
What is Digital Curb Appeal?
Digital curb appeal is a term used to describe the online profile of a property. It is usually the first impression a potential buyer gets when browsing for homes online and can play a big role in getting them through the door to make an offer. A home’s digital curb appeal can include the online listing, listing preview, photos of the home, social media posts, single property website, and more. In order to boost curb appeal online, you want to ensure that a house’s online presence is putting the home’s best foot forward.
Why is Digital Curb Appeal Important?
According to the National Association of Realtors, 47% of recent buyers said the first step that they took in the home-buying process was to look online at properties for sale. Even more notable, 96% of buyers said they used online tools during the search process.1 This number continues to grow each year.
Many home buyers have spent years browsing through digital real estate listings trying to find their dream home. This means they’re familiar with the process—and they continue to look even when they enlist a real estate agent to help them with their search. Other agents will also share listings with their buyers and rely on them to narrow down options for in-person visits.
As home buyers get more and more used to shopping for homes online, it is even more important to pay attention to a home’s online curb appeal. Taking care to create an attractive digital presence is increasingly crucial.
How to Improve Digitial Curb Appeal
Understanding what digital curb appeal is and creating a stellar first impression online are two very different things. These tips on how to increase your digital curb appeal can attract more buyers and sell homes faster.
1. Optimize the Listing Preview
You have one chance to make a great first impression online. And that first impression is often made in the listing preview. Typically, online listing previews include several features and showcase:
- One feature photo (and an option to scroll through other images)
- The listing’s price
- The number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Square footage
- The property’s address
- Unique identifiers for the listing (like new construction, video tour, or “hot home”)
The listing itself prominently features the photos, a 3D walkthrough or video tour if available, and a description—along with many of the property details you cannot change, so optimizing the listing preview becomes even more important.
If you perform a search for a home in a city nearby, you might see something like this:
Let’s talk about the first listing preview. While the condo unit’s community will be important to buyers, a picture of the sign may not be the best image to represent the property in home search results. While it’s common to use a photo of the front of the house as the featured image, doing so may not be the best option. If you’re selling a condo that doesn’t have traditional curb appeal or your home needs some improvements, choose the most Instagram-worthy photo available. We’ve seen more and more listings successfully feature attractive living rooms and kitchens.
Ultimately, your goal should be to provide the best image that represents a home and encourages buyers to click through to the listing. Of course, in doing so, you don’t want to misrepresent a house. The last thing you want is for buyers to be surprised when they scroll through the additional photos or visit the property in person. Improving digital curb appeal is important – but deceiving buyers is never a winning strategy.
2. Begin with Some Basic Updates
You can only fake digital curb appeal so much without deceiving buyers. A home that looks outdated in person will look outdated online too. Before getting in too deep with a listing’s online presence, make sure you go to the source. Some basic listing prep or home updates can go a long way in boosting a home’s digital curb appeal and getting it sold faster. You can also highlight any recent updates to the property online to entice more buyers.
If you are worried about organizing these projects or your clients having the money to cover the upfront costs, we can help. We offer no money due until closing and have dedicated project managers to oversee the entire project from proposal to punch list.
3. Complete the Look with Staging
According to NAR research, 58% of agents said that home staging had an effect on their clients’ views of the home, and 81% said staging services made it easier for buyers to visualize the property as a future home.2 When staging is done well, it not only shows prospective buyers what can fit within the space but also elevates the overall aesthetic.
One reason real estate agents may not stage a home is because the burden of the cost can fall on them. But not staging a home can be detrimental to the sale. At Curbio, we can help you strategically stage homes with no money due until closing.
Along with traditional staging, you can digitally stage a home to increase your digital curb appeal. If you’re unable to do traditional staging, virtually staging a few important rooms is a great compromise. It tends to be a more affordable option to show home buyers the potential of a listing but only works when people view the home online. If people come in person to the home, they will miss out on this view.
4. Utilize Professional Real Estate Photos and a Virtual Tour
When it comes to marketing a listing online, it is no longer acceptable to have blurry or unflattering photos. These photos (like the one we’ve included here as an example) won’t necessarily prevent a house from being sold in a hot market but can keep listings on the market longer. This delay requires more showings and ultimately more work. Not to mention, unprofessional listing photos can damage your reputation and brand as a real estate agent.
On the other hand, professional photography helps listings sell faster and generate more demand. This is especially pertinent if you’ve completed home improvements and updates recently. Depending on the photographer, listing photos can cost as low as $200 and will be worth the time and stress they save you. Be sure to put the best photos first to create great online curb appeal and really grab the attention of potential buyers.
Getting a 3D or virtual tour is also a great way to increase a home’s digital curb appeal. 3D tours save agents time as viewers self-select properties from the incredible details that tours provide. In turn, you won’t need to host as many showings for buyers who aren’t the right fit.
5. Take Advantage of Special Listing Identifiers
You can’t control whether or not your home shows up as a “hot home,” but you can control other factors. Take advantage of some of the other identifiers that will highlight a listing within search results. Make sure all the listing information is complete and optimized. Provide a 3D walkthrough or video tour to allow home buyers to tour homes before requesting showings. Also, make sure you update your listing to highlight upcoming open house events—you should see a spike in attendance.
6. Optimize Listing Descriptions
An important part of a house’s digital curb appeal, the listing description is your opportunity to brag about a home and reel potential buyers in. Along with providing necessary information, be sure to highlight the home’s best features. Talk up recently updated features, highlight modern designs, include recent repairs, and share information about warranties. Constructed thoughtfully, a listing description can significantly increase a home’s digital curb appeal and steer potential buyers in the direction of an in-person visit.
At Curbio, we understand the importance of a home’s curb appeal online and how a great digital presence can make a big difference in today’s market. To help your clients realize their home’s full earning potential, don’t stop at optimizing the online listing. Pre-listing home improvements can drastically increase property value as well as draw buyers in. We’ll propose, manage, and execute strategic upgrades to maximize the seller’s profit and get homes off the market faster. Learn more.
- National Association of Realtors (2022). 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
- National Association of Realtors. Profile of Home Staging