In a market where sellers are in competition to make the most out of their largest investment, improving your home’s first impression is one of the best ways to set it apart from the rest of the pack.
When prospective buyers or renters drive through your neighborhood, what do they see? This is a really important question that you need to answer because it will help understand what your buyer is going to be looking for in a new home. Once you’ve answered this, ask yourself objectively if the front of your home is in keeping with the rest of the houses on your block. The first impression is critical in setting the mood for prospective agents and buyers. If your home’s exterior looks like it needs work, then people immediately assume that it’s a ‘fixer-upper’. The opposite is true if your front yard is manicured, the roof is in good shape and the driveway is in good condition. Having a potential buyer walk into your front door in a positive mode can translate into big dollars for you.
Both Virginia Tech and the University of Guelph did studies in 2011 that measured the effect of landscaping on property values, and they both came to the same conclusion. To improve curb appeal, basic landscaping increased the home’s value by 5%, but more extensive landscaping including decks and patios increased the homes value up to 15%.
So where do you spend the money?
Set your budget and be realistic about what you’re trying to accomplish with it. Keep in mind that you are trying to create an excellent first impression to attract potential buyers. This isn’t the opportunity for you to realize your landscaping dreams. Consider a new paint job using a color scheme that highlights the character of your home. Install a new front door or at least update your door’s hardware. Even something as simple as full and healthy planters can make a favorable impact. One of the easiest ways to improve curb appeal is to have a clean and tidy front yard with a manicured lawn.
The goal is to create an emotional connection at the first glance of any prospective buyer, so before you put that sign “For Sale” on the lawn, be sure to spend enough time at the curb.
Reference and credit: Dave Lewis, Tumbler 04/2014