Make a Great First Impression – Agents call it ‘Curb Appeal’

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions

Make a Great First Impression – Agents call it ‘Curb Appeal’

curb appealThey say you never get a second chance to make a first impression – the same can be said when it comes to listing your home. Having great “curb appeal” has become the go-to way a great listing gets noticed over an okay listing, even if they’re in the same neighborhood, with the same amenities.

Curb appeal is the initial appeal of a property to prospective buyers as viewed from the street. It can be accomplished by any number of methods including the installation of exterior decorations, re-painting and extensive attention to landscaping.

Many people, when getting their house ready to list, concentrate only on making the inside welcoming and show ready, but, it’s even MORE important to dress up the outside as many buyers begin to assess a home as soon as they notice the initial listing photo and will do a drive by before any listing appointment.

If they don’t like what they see they’ll keep going. The best way to get them inside your listing is with the following tips:

Lights at night are a must

As most potential buyers will often drive by a listing after work, setting your house apart is important. Aim for a welcoming walkway. Lights that face downward and highlight the edge of the path allow your visitors easy access and help make your front yard a safer space.

Use solar spotlights to highlight your favorite house features. Low-voltage landscape lighting also makes a huge impact on your home’s curb appeal while providing safety and security. Fixtures can add accent lighting to trees or the house or can illuminate a walking path.

Build a walkway

Well-designed walkways make your home feel warm and inviting. For a dramatic improvement to a straight concrete path, replace it with a contoured one made of stone or brick. For a less radical upgrade to your curb appeal, apply a colored concrete resurfacer to the old walkway, then edge with brick or stone borders. Brick pavers offer traditional, classic beauty to the landscape of any home.

Choose containers over plant beds to add color to the front yard

Homes with healthy plants and flowers are considered more welcoming to a homebuyer. The key, however, is for the front yard not to appear high maintenance.

Use containers to bring plants that are in bloom to the front door, maximizing the visual interest in the space. You can buy ready-made containers from garden centers or create your own with your favorite plants. For most landscapes, a staggered, asymmetrical arrangement works best to create a dynamic setting.

If you don’t want to go the container route then get your garden beds into shape by pruning growth, pulling weeds, planting flowers, and adding new mulch. If stone or brick borders your bed, consider cleaning and resetting any pieces that are soiled or dislodged, or try upgrading to stone or a decorative cast-concrete edging system for improved curb appeal.

Dress up the front door

Your home’s front entry is the focal point of its curb appeal. Give your front door a blast of color with paint or by installing a custom wood door. Clean off any dirty spots around the knob, and use metal polish on the door fixtures. Your entry should also reflect the home’s interior, so choose decorations that reflect your personal style.

Even with a small budget, there are ways to draw attention and improve curb appeal. Molding can accent a front door and make it “pop” when applied to the sides and top of the doorway.

Create perfect symmetry

Symmetry is not only pleasing to the eye, it’s also the simplest to arrange. Symmetrical compositions of light fixtures and front-door accents create welcoming entryways and boost curb appeal.

Consider a new paint job

Paint is great for freshening up your home and adding a new a color scheme that highlights the character of your house. One of the easiest and least expensive ways to get instant curb appeal is through great house colors. But which ones should you chose?

A good idea is to take a bunch of the latest paint chips, stand outside your house and try to find the corresponding colors in the surroundings, such as trees or other houses. If you can find them close by, then you know that your choices will work well because they will complement your existing surroundings.

Renew siding, and trim

An exterior facelift (siding, or trim details) automatically transforms the look of a home. Periodic maintenance of that exterior surface is the surest way to keep your house and it curb appeal looking its best. Once defects are repaired, look for ways to add personality with color, trim, or shingles.

Upgrade railings

Porch and stoop railings can deteriorate quickly if not treated properly. If your railings are looking worn then look for quality wood or metal components to replace the existing material and improve curb appeal. As with other improvements attached directly to the house, make sure the color, scale, design, details, and material are compatible with the home’s main features.

Replace old hardware

House numbers, the entry door lockset and an overhead light fixture are all elements that can add style and interest to your home’s exterior curb appeal, especially when they function collectively, rather than as mix-and-match pieces. Oiled-bronze finishes suit traditional homes, while brushed nickel suits more contemporary ones.

Do a mailbox makeover

When choosing a hanging drop box, pick one that complements your home’s trimmings. Dress up mail boxes for curb appeal by painting the wooden post to match the house’s exterior color, or by surrounding it by a beautiful flowering

Add outdoor art

Set your yard apart by adding weather-resistant artwork. Choose pieces that complement your home’s natural palette and exterior. Birdbaths, metal cutouts, sculptures and wind chimes are good choices for outdoor art.

Water sculptures not only function as yard art, but the burbling sounds soothe and make hot days feel cooler. Place fountains on level ground in optimum hearing and sight vantage points


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Dan Dee McGinnis The Pumpkin Man
HomeSmart - Phoenix, AZ


I like your post here. It is NADOTA

Apr 19, 2015 01:44 AM #1
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Charles McDonald, you covered all the bases here. Getting Buyers past the front door is a must if you want to make a sale!  

Apr 19, 2015 01:50 AM #2
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Charles McDonald

REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner
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