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What is curb appeal and why does it matter?

Think of how many online listings often look as you’re browsing through them; lush, clean, manicured front lawns, fresh paint on all outside walls of the house, neatly planted flower beds, clean windows and untouched siding. While no one buys a house solely based on its’ external appearance, the way it looks does matter when it comes to creating a positive first impression for potential buyers. 

The level of attractiveness displayed by your home is called curb appeal, and it matters for a variety of reasons. Before we talk about those reasons, let’s take more of an in depth look at the exact definition of curb appeal, and how to achieve it the right way. 

  • What is Curb Appeal?

Curb appeal revolves around ensuring your home looks its absolute best, both for viewing purposes, and various marketing purposes. 

Houses with great curb appeal often follow a few common themes that make for a satisfying viewing experience, and help them to be even more eye catching from the street, or as your potential buyers are walking up for their viewing. These themes are as follows:

Great Landscaping

When selling their home, so many people focus on the internal aspects of it that sometimes necessary updates to the yard and other external features can be neglected. Even if the inside of your home has been newly renovated and updated, discarding the exterior appearance can often come with consequences, including generating negative first impressions.

A well kept and clean yard is a good indication of the owners putting their time and energy into the property. It also draws the attention back to the house, the focal point of the sale, instead of potential buyers becoming lost in small details like a poor looking lawn, an abundance of leaves or other debris, unsightly trees and shrubs that should’ve been removed long ago, and more. When selling your home, ensure you’re keeping an eye on what positively serves the appearance of your front yard, and what could be removed or altered to improve the space.

Landscaping improvements can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be, as long as they enhance the appearance of your home in the ways it needs. You can start small with basic improvements to gauge how much of a difference it makes, such as consistently watering your lawn, trimming old branches, or removing certain shrubs and underbrush that crowd the area. If these small changes make a big difference, continue to follow whatever landscaping routine you’ve developed to keep it looking clean! If more is needed, don’t be afraid to take those steps. Your home may be off your hands a lot faster if you can help it look its best.

Modernized Front Door

When you’re entering someone’s home for the first time, the state of their front door is something you’ll always take notice of. Does it creak or stick when it’s swung open, is the paint on its surface chipping or fading away? While these details seem small, an older looking front door can cheapen the external appearance of your home. As one of the features that’s nearly impossible to ignore, it requires regular maintenance and updates to ensure its’ longevity and generally pleasing appearance.

You’d be surprised how far a fresh coat of paint can take you. You can start here if you feel your door is functioning properly, but could still use something to make it pop. Brightly coloured doors are a great way to add a pop of colour to your home while following current design trends closely – think deep reds and blues! 

If more updates are required than a new coat of paint they can certainly be made, or the front door can be replaced altogether. While replacing the door in its entirety will be a hefty out of pocket expense, you can expect a satisfying ROI when your house does sell. 

Refurbished Driveway

Over time, your driveway’s pavement can become worn down, develop cracks, and make for both an unsightly appearance and minimal functionality. No one likes to pull into an uneven driveway and no one likes to have a corroding one as the face of their house, so make sure it’s up to date and aesthetically pleasing.

While often overlooked, a good driveway is a very important aspect of the home, and having one can often be a great selling feature. Make sure the driveway you’re presenting to potential buyers looks clean, updated, and able to comfortably house one or more vehicles, depending on the size of the home. Remember that everything surrounding your house matters to achieve optimal curb appeal, and even the driveway’s pavement shouldn’t be overlooked! 

Updated Roof and Exterior

If the outside of your house appears aged and rundown, it may be difficult to market it to potential buyers as their dream home. No matter how lovely the inside is or how much thought or work you’ve put into the kitchen or the den or the master bedroom, a damaged and unsightly exterior could nip a potential deal in the bud.

If the roof of your home looks like it doesn’t have many years left, this could deter buyers based on the notion of a pretty hefty expense within the first few years of their move in. If a new roof will cosmetically enhance the exterior of the home in a big way, it may be worth it to have it replaced. This can dramatically increase the value of your home, and allow you to increase the asking price. Even more importantly, any potential buyers pulling up for a viewing or driving by the neighbourhood won’t be able to miss that brand new roof. 

  • How Does Curb Appeal Market Your Home?

After cosmetically enhancing the outside of your home, it basically starts to market itself. Once these adjustments have been made and online photos have been posted, everyone can see your stunning property in real time and let the new changes speak for themselves. A beautiful, well taken care of home will be eye catching enough, without all the extra bells and whistles we could possibly add – even though we’ll still add them, of course. Think of it as adding selling features and marketing materials, all in one go! 

Why Does it Matter?

Now that we’ve answered this question in a series of smaller ways, we can finally shed some light on why it all matters anyway – in short, curb appeal sets potential buyers expectations. The extended answer is that if buyers like what they see on the outside and think the property has been well taken care of over the years, they’re more likely to venture inside to take a look. This means that an aesthetically pleasing exterior suggests an equally great interior, and can help draw in more foot traffic, and drum up more interest.

Though landscaping and painting your front door may not be as fun as staging your home with trendy furniture or planning out a new kitchen layout, it really will give your home that initial ‘wow’ factor that it needs to capture the attention of buyers. At the very least, the exterior of your home shouldn’t be causing anyone to lose interest. It’s important to note that buyers typically form their first impression of your home before they’re even through the door – this gives you one shot to create an environment that encourages a positive first impression of your home. 

Foot traffic, first impressions and having a well taken care of home to sell are all the main reasons why curb appeal plays a major rule in the selling process – all things that are arguably the most crucial! If you haven’t evaluated the outside of your home yet, we suggest doing so. Take a drive down the street and take note of the very first things you notice, or things you see in your home that you both would and wouldn’t like to see in a home you’re interested in. From there, you’ll know what to do!  OR ask us for help!

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