Curb Appeal?? That's SooOOOooo 1990!!

Real Estate Agent with Divine Realty 757788

CURB APPEAL blah, blah, blah. Real estate know-it-alls always KNOW its all about curb appeal!  That of course was THEN (when Barney Rubble was marketing his cozy stone cave). Since then we have had that little development we fondly call the WEB.  And of course that quirky novelty is now the 800 pound gorilla sitting where it chooses, squashing things like our quaint notions about how homes get sold.  So now it is all about WEB APPEAL. 


And what exactly is that, and how do we get it?  The first key is that all important “first photo”.  That soft focus cockeyed Polaroid taken 6 months ago was probably OK for the MLS book of yore. Now that photo is the all-important hook – either the viewer stops in or moves on.  A sunny shot, with the sun playing on the front (if the season allows) is a good start. The photo should appear as if it were taken TODAY.  Yes, the blooming azaleas are lovely, but they scream: “WE HAVE BEEN ON THE MARKET SINCE MAY!”  For those who are not Ansell Adams, probably it is good to take about 10 to 15 front photos and choose the best one.  Experiment with style: portrait, landscape, broad, tight. To avoid a rap from the MLS police, DO however resist the temptation to Photoshop out the neighboring smokestacks.


 And then give some thought to getting your home ready for its close-up.  The right shade of rouge and lipstick for the well-dressed home is of course dictated by the style of home. It is important to keep in mind the scale of any web-motivated facelift.  The photo will be a thumbnail, so when choosing a decorative bracket, light fixture or a shrub, consider maximizing the size. New landscape is great, but keep in mind that a 12 inch tall globular shrub will appear on the web like a scoop of ice cream.


In the case of an architectural detail, consider some complementary contrasting paint shades to heighten the effect.  An attractive front door accent color is a no-brainer.  Plantings with foliage and flowers that are bright and/or variegated may add interest. Obviously, the goal of freshness calls for pruning the unruly greenery and sudden death to most Eisenhower era shrubs.


For a colonial home, muntin kits (grills) to charm up the windows and shutters are de rigueur.  Installing white blinds or hanging white sheer curtains can warm up the front photo, and dispel the sense of vacancy that dark windows may betray.  We are going for “inviting and homey" here.  Outsized potted plants or shrubs may substitute for mature landscape. (No pickaxe needed.)  The height of the pot may augment the statement made by the added greenery.  A cheerful deacon's bench or wrought iron settee may make a welcoming statement to a bare porch, along with some potted greens.  Seasonal flags may add charm, as may the occasional bit of statuary. Of course, avoid marshalling squadrons of garden gnomes and elves.  We are not going for that crazy neighbor ambiance, after all.


So get to it! We will watch for those before and after pics (dowdy spinster to glamour girl reveal shot.)  But what we will REALLY watch for is that sold sign, coming soon to a lawn very, VERY near to you!


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Cameron Novak
The Homefinding Center - Corona, CA
Featured Corona Real Estate Agent Team

Speaking of curb appeal... I don't even remember what my house looks like.  I drive in the garage door, and never look back.

Jan 07, 2012 08:12 PM #1
Diane Grady
Endless Summer Realty - Saint Augustine, FL

Photos are definitely the beginning or the end of the look that someone will take on line or in an ad. I spend the most money on this up front because it can make or break a listing.  A good photographer is worth the extra money!

Jan 07, 2012 09:18 PM #2
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Trim bushes and trees * they will GROW back * AND clean up the entry!

Jan 07, 2012 10:14 PM #3
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

We have to get you a new clear, not blown up and grainy profile image for your curb appeal too! Said with all due respect. Buyers want to see the real yard, what you are looking at. Videos are 30 "photos" per second with natural sound and save the buyer time, gas to sort through and see more properties. Cropping out anything may make the property prettier and presentation is everything. But driving in the yard of a place you cropped out the zero lot lines means no one gets out of the jeep, they tell you to back up and high tail it to the next one. The seller wonders why didn't they look at it. Homes too close and not shown, hinted at. More than just front photos. The side, out back, all the angles inside, outside need covering.

Jan 07, 2012 11:10 PM #4
Joel Matson
Divine Realty - New Haven, CT

Hello, Cameron, Diane, Wallace, and Andrew,

   Now Cameron, you must stop and smell the neighborhood.  At Halloween, you don't want to be the scary ghost that strikes fear in the kiddies.  Diane, kudos for making the commitment to pay.   I try to take 5 times the number of photos needed hoping that I will be able to select out an attractve set.  Wallace, trim and tidy for sure beats shaggy! Hey Andrew, my old broker used to nag me to get my photo out there.  Since he was a glamour child, I used to threaten to use his photo, since mine is more likely to scare the children. You raise a good point, about what is appropriate to avoid presenting.  Thanks to all for your thoughts!

      Best  in 2012!    Joel


Jan 08, 2012 01:37 AM #5
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