Whether you work in property management or other fields dealing with real estate, your main focus when managing a single-family property is the house and its well-being, since that’s where the success of your business comes from. This is why you should constantly ask yourself, is the property in its best condition? And if not, what is it that can be done to improve it? Sometimes, properties need major renovations, such as roof replacement or a complete winterization, other times everything seems to be in place but at the same time the property lacks overall freshness and attractiveness. You know this when the number of potential buyers reduces and the ones who come to view leave absolutely unimpressed. This is when you know there is a problem with the overall curb appeal of the house. This article guides you through the basics of it and gives you 9 easy ways to improve curb appeal for your single-family property.
What is curb appeal?
To put it in the simplest way, curb appeal is how the property looks from the street. That’s right, it’s the first impression people get of the house, the first glimpse that makes them decide within seconds whether they like it or not. Not only does curb appeal indicate how attractive the house looks from the street curb, but it also puts the house in comparison with its neighboring houses and shows the contrast. If you have an improved curb appeal, your house will stand out from the other properties around it and not blend in with the rest, leaving everyone intrigued and immediately interested.
Why is curb appeal important?
If you’re contemplating whether curb appeal is really important and worth the investment, our answer is a firm yes. According to the study on the impact of outdoor remodeling conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 99 percent of NAR members stated that curb appeal is very important for houses to attract more buyers. However, to get a better understanding of the role curb appeal has in property management, let’s break down all the reasons why it’s important.
1. First Impression
Curb appeal is what gives the first impression of the property, and you need it to be a strong one. As mentioned, curb appeal is how your house looks from the outside, and now imagine if the front yard is messy, the roof is damaged or the paint is fading. It is hardly going to be a compliment for the house. The first step in attracting more buyers is to make the house as welcoming from the outside as possible so that it creates an emotional response and draws people in. It is an important part of the character of your property which many buyers want to see. This is why enhancing curb appeal will ensure the house is aesthetically pleasing, stands out from the rest, and leaves a lasting impression on the viewers.
2. Interior Expectations
Talking about first impressions, an improved curb appeal will set the expectations for the interior of the house, and this is more important than you might think. If the exterior of the house is unattractive and poorly taken care of, the buyers will carry that first impression into the interior of the house. And as much as your interior stands out, it will not impress as much as it would have if the outside was properly maintained as well. If the outside is good enough, your buyers will want to explore more. That’s why you should focus on creating harmony between the exterior and the interior of the house and make sure they are both in good condition and attractive enough to spark interest.
3. Drive-By Buyers
Here is another important aspect not taken into consideration quite often. Many property managers are focused on their immediate buyers but forget about the possibility that the best buyer is out there, passing by the house, and in that case only the house can market and sell itself thanks to its curb appeal. You want the house to be a standing advertisement and a preview of the interior. Make sure you always consider this possibility and have the exterior of your property in its best shape at all times.
4. Higher Property Value
Finally, the most important advantage of having an excellent curb appeal is that it will increase the value of your property. According to the study on the impact of house appearance on its value, with an improved curb appeal, the property value can increase up to 17%. Moreover, curb appeal is second in affecting the property value, coming after the house size as number one. Thus, you need to start reconsidering your priorities in your property maintenance and take action to improve the curb appeal.
How to add curb appeal to your property
Luckily, improving curb appeal is not something that will take a lot of time and effort. It can be achieved more easily if you take care of some specific parts that are not in their best condition. In fact, there might be some little details which you don’t realize are reducing the value of the property. That’s why we have created this list of easy ways to improve curb appeal.
1. Get the front door in a good shape
The entrance of the house is the central point and the first thing that catches attention when approaching the property. This is why you should make sure the door looks fresh and new, and if it’s in a very bad condition, then you should definitely invest in a new one. However, if the door is overall not bad then some slight improvements can freshen it up considerably. Think about a new layer of paint, deep cleaning and designing it in a way that will reflect the overall interior style of the house. Try to make the door stand out and communicate the value of the house.
2. Create symmetry around the house
This is one thing that not many people pay attention to but can actually elevate the exterior look of the property and make it appear much more attractive from the outside. Symmetry is aesthetically pleasing and makes everything look more put together. Also, this is the easiest way of arrangement. Just make sure all details are balanced together and complement each other instead of appearing too loud and chaotic.
3. Take care of the roof
Make sure your roof is in a good condition and is properly maintained. If the roof is dated and in a poor condition, then you might consider including roof replacement or re-roofing in your roof maintenance which, even though pricier, can be the best long-term investment. However, if it still has a few years of life, then make sure it’s properly cleaned and maintained in a fresh and good condition, since the roof speaks about how safe and protected the house is. You don’t want the property to look unsafe from the outside, as it will immediately make a bad first impression.
4. Update the paint of the house
Cracked materials or other defects can easily downgrade the overall appearance of the house and affect its curb appeal, which is why you should invest in a fresh layer of paint to make the house look new and add personality to it. This is not the simplest investment, but if you can afford it, then you will easily enhance the curb appeal of the house and increase its value.
5. Create a walkway
Having a proper and well-designed walkway will immediately give a warm and welcoming feel to your house, which is a key factor in attracting more buyers. First thing you can do here is to build a fresh new walkway from brick or stone and add some color to it. However, if it’s something you can’t afford at the moment, then consider updating the old walkway to cover up any cracks or damaged parts of it. This will immediately change the exterior of the house and make it more inviting.
6. Arrange lawn care maintenance
Lawn care is one of the most obvious and common features of any property that easily elevates the appearance of the house and makes it appear of higher value. Make sure the lawn is properly trimmed, the shrubs and bushes are in good condition, and everything looks neat and clean.
7. Install outdoor lights
Have you seen a house at night time and been amazed by how pleasing the lights make it look? That’s right, not only will installing fixtures around the house make it stand out in the dark and look more appealing, but it will make it look safer and more protected, hence increasing the value immediately.
8. Add shutters
You can also consider adding shutters to your windows. This not only impacts the aesthetic view of the house but also speaks about controlling ventilation and having extra protection in the house. If possible to be installed, shutters will add up to the curb appeal of the property.
9. Arrange a pressure washing
To give an extra refreshment to the overall property, consider pressure washing the whole exterior either by investing in a pressure washing tool or hiring professional maintenance services. The benefits are more than one. First, it will help you give the house itself an updated and neat look. Second, it will remove all dirt from walkways, driveways, patio and sidings, making them look freshly maintained, and the property will be in the most professional condition.
All these curb appeal tips will not only attract more buyers but increase home value and benefit your business in the long run. You can start making improvements by yourself if saving up money is a priority for you, however, it will definitely take longer time and effort. But if you’re looking for more professional results, then investing in qualified maintenance services is what you need to get your desired end results. With the current developments, you will easily be able to outsource contractors nationwide based on your location and requirements and step back from all the time-consuming responsibilities of improving curb appeal.
Following these quick and easy curb appeal ideas will transform the property and greatly benefit your business as well. All you need to do is be conscious of the condition the house is in, pay attention to details and take action before it’s too late and more investment is needed to do a complete renovation. A proper curb appeal is not only about looking fresh, it’s about giving your property a personality, a distinct character that will immediately stand out and leave a lasting impression on potential buyers, which is the most important factor in finding the best buyer for your property with the most advantageous price for you.