How Smart Sellers Tempt Buyers With Curbside Home Improvements
Now that the real estate market has stabilized in many parts of the country, homeowners are feeling confident enough to start listing their properties. However, home sales are still sluggish in some regions, and the smart homeowners are choosing to press an advantage with low-cost and low-maintenance home improvement projects.
Check out some of their strategies and see if they might work for you.
Demystifying curb appeal
Everyone has heard the phrase “curb appeal” in conversations about home sales, but what does it really mean? Obviously, front yards that are well-kept and clean will be more visually appealing than patches of weeds and cars on blocks. But beyond that, curb appeal tends to be a highly subjective concept. What attracts one prospective buyer might inspire another to move on in his or her search.
One buyer might seek a property that blends in well with the rest of the neighborhood, looking at the aesthetic from a community perspective. On the other hand, buyers with a creative streak might examine properties with an eye to their customizable potential, imagining how they might change the yard and outward look to express their own individual identity. Curb appeal means something different to everyone, and prospective sellers should still keep these differing tastes in mind.
Knowing your buyer
Let’s try and predict who might purchase a home conveniently located near neighborhood elementary schools and libraries. Most likely, the property will appeal to families. All the manicured lawns and perfectly tended flower beds in the world might not appeal to a family with young children. They symbolize a heavy amount of work that extends beyond the child rearing scope for parents. Sellers who are putting homes on the market in family neighborhoods should keep the buyer in mind when choosing projects designed to boost the curb appeal of their property.
A designated play area will tempt potential buyers with kids far more than a beautifully cultivated rose garden. Fenced yards are also popular with families. Sellers will want to child-proof their home as much as possible, so that parents see the property as a safe place to house their family.
On the other hand, homes located in areas where most of the neighborhood population consists of retired people will have different curb appeal expectations. For instance, a cozy seating area on the front porch with pots of blooming vegetation will provide a welcoming ambiance. These demographics typically have more time to dedicate to gardening. A small backyard vegetable plot will also increase the home’s desirability factor in the eyes of most active retirees.
Because today’s house hunters tend to decide whether to inspect a home based on photographs on the Internet, top-quality pictures are instrumental in setting up a quick sale. A home might have substantial curb appeal, but if that’s not captured in its photos, buyers will likely pass on scheduling a visit.
Simple, clear photos are the best. Bicycles, lawn equipment, toys, and anything else that gets in the way should be removed before the photography shoot. Too much sun can cause glare, so sellers should try for overcast days for the best results.
You’ll want to capture your property with the best lighting and angles as possible. If you still currently reside in the home, then pick a time of day where most people are out at work or school to take photos. This diminishes the likelihood that they will interrupt your photo shoot, make a mess, or move furnishings. Some homes have excellent natural lighting, so pick the ideal time of day to capture these moments. Avoid camera angles that make rooms look cramped.
Some homeowners hire a professional photographer to portray their home in the best possible manner. This is ideal if you are not comfortable with a camera. Professional photographers can make your property really stand out amongst other listings.
How a friend’s opinion can help
Homeowners are often so used to the dents and dings on their own property that they fail to notice areas that could use some improvement. The fresh eye of a friend or other objective party can work wonders in your quest to amp up your curb appeal. Invite friends over who have a great eye for home decor and furnishings. Collect their opinions about your property, and ask them how they would feel if they were a buyer. Take down notes about their observations, and make changes as needed.
One of the areas that homeowners may not notice needs attention is the general appearance of the house exterior. Sellers with strict budgets might get the most value for their home improvement dollars by renting a pressure washer and spiffing up the deck, steps, and siding. A session with a good pressure washer can also remove oil stains from driveways. It can be amazing how much a simple exterior cleaning can do to the overall appearance of your property.
Curb appeal projects don’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. A clean exterior in good repair will generally draw the right buyer in. Stunning photos can draw prospective buyers in, and overall knowledge of your buyers can guarantee a smooth selling experience.