Improving Digital Curb Appeal To Sell Faster

What is digital curb appeal?

How to improve your home's digital curb appeal.

Curb appeal is the term that describes how attractive (or appealing) your home is when someone views it from the curb. Over the years, it has come to represent everything that appeals to a viewer in their first impression of a house.

As buyers begin searching for their dream homes online, home owners and real estate agents must begin to focus on a different kind of curb appeal — digital curb appeal.

So what do we mean by “digital curb appeal?” It’s a fancy term for enhancing the online profile of a property. You have one chance to make a great first impression. And that first impression is typically made in the listing preview.

Typically, online listing previews include several features and showcase:

  • One feature photo (and an option to scroll through the other images)
  • The listing’s price
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Square footage
  • The property’s address
  • Unique identifiers for the listing (like new constructionvideo 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.

Why is digital curb appeal important?

According to the NAR’s profile of home buyers and sellers, the first step in the home buying process for 41% of recent buyers was look online at properties for sale. Many home buyers have spent years browsing through listings, trying to find their dream homes. 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 your listings with their buyers, and they rely on listings to narrow down options for in-person visits.

If you perform a search for a home in a city nearby, you might see something like this:

Digital curb appeal improvements

Let’s talk about the listing on the left. 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.

Why does improving digital curb appeal matter?

According to the NAR’s 2021 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers95% of recent home buyers used the internet to search for a home—an all-time high and a percentage that continues to grow since the COVID-19 pandemic. As home buyers get more and more used to shopping and narrowing down their options online, it pays to pay attention to your listing’s digital curb appeal. Taking care to create an attractive listing is increasingly crucial.

Improving digital curb appeal 101

Now that we have an understanding of what digital curb appeal is, let’s explore how to optimize your digital curb appeal to attract more buyers, and ultimately, sell your home faster.

Optimizing the listing preview

A lot goes into the little piece of real estate that your listing takes up on a home search results page. Changing the price and photos are easy fixes. We won’t go into pricing strategy, but will focus on the featured photo as well as the other images that home buyers scroll through within the preview. Ultimately, your goal should be to provide the best image that represents your home, encouraging as many buyers as possible to click its listing. Of course, in doing so, you don’t want to misrepresent your home. 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.

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. We’ve seen more and more listings successfully feature attractive living rooms and kitchens. If your traditional curb appeal has a “wow-factor” like this one, then it will catch the attention of prospective buyers. 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 to feature your listing.

improve the digital curb appeal of home listings

The feature image is important, but so are the additional images you choose to share within the listing. Within the preview, viewers can scroll through the photos. If there’s a stark contrast between your preview photo and the rest of the images, buyers will be wary. Luckily, there are a few ways to ensure your listing preview presents the property in the best light.

1. Begin with pre-listing home improvements

Talk about recent updates to your property. Do you still need to get around to important repairs or updates? With Curbio, real estate agents and sellers pay for our award-winning home improvements at closing . And there’s no need to worry about our services causing stress or taking too much of your time, because Curbio’s dedicated project managers are the general contractors manage and execute the entire project. We work with you to make smart, pre-listing home improvement decisions that add value to homes and maximize your profits.

2. Complete the look with staging

According to NAR research, 40% of buyers’ agents cited that home staging has an effect on most buyers’ view of the home and 83% of buyers’ agents said staging made it easier for buyers to visualize properties as future homes. When the staging of a space is done well, it not only shows prospective buyers what can fit within the space, it also elevates the overall aesthetic.

One reason real estate agents choose not to stage a home is because the burden of the cost generally falls on them. This is in part because homeowners like their own furniture and want to feature it. What they don’t realize is that this can damage their home sale. Curbio strategically stages homes, based on market research and current trends, to highlight features, styles, and colors buyers want to see. Staging might seem like an optional add-on, but it’s a crucial part of maximizing a home’s value.

We’ve found that virtual staging is a bit controversial among agents. At the end of the day, it can be a much more affordable option. It still serves the purpose of showing home buyers the possibilities of the listing. If you’re unable to absorb the cost or work with your seller on the cost of traditional, physical staging, don’t worry. Virtually staging a few important rooms (like the living room, master bedroom, and kitchen) is a great compromise!

3. Utilize professional real estate photos and a virtual tour

It’s no longer acceptable to list a home with blurry, unflattering photos. The photos (like the one we’ve included here as an example) won’t necessarily prevent a house from being sold in a hot market. They will, however, keep listings on the market longer and require more showings and more work — ultimately, costing you time. 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 quicker and generate more demand. This is especially pertinent if you’ve completed home improvements and updates. Depending on the photographer, listing photos can cost as low as $200, and will be worth the time and stress they save you.

4. 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. Provide a 3D walkthrough or video tour to allow home buyers to tour homes before requesting showings. 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.

Also make sure you update your listing to highlight upcoming open house events—you should see a spike in attendance!

5. Optimize digital curb appeal with listing descriptions

Here are some tips for highlighting recent home improvements in your listing descriptions:

  • Talk up recently updated areas of properties, highlighting modern design, new appliances, fresh flooring, etc.
  • Share information about warranties on the recently installed appliances or upgrade features. Curbio provides a one-year warranty on all the work we complete, which can help home buyers feel more confident in their purchases.

Digital curb appeal starts with pre-listing home improvements

Curbio helps thousands of agents and sellers to realize homes’ full earning potential with an award-winning, turnkey service. We’ll finance, manage, and complete strategic repairs and upgrades that add value to homes. Ready to increase profits and sell homes quickly? Learn more.

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