Monday, June 22, 2009

Curb Appeal - First Impressions

First Impressions
You only have one chance to make a first impression! You have probably heard this saying before as it relates to someone’s impression of you as a person. This concept is also true as it relates to another’s impression of your home. First impressions are everything! Curb appeal is the look and feel you get from the appearance of your home and yard. It’s a first impression of what’s inside your home. With great curb appeal, you create an inviting place to call home.

A Book’s Cover
Have you ever judged a book by its cover? Most of us have judged something according to what has been presented on the outside. This also holds true for prospective buyers looking at houses as well. Good curb appeal is essential to marketing your home to potential buyers. Another area to consider is the use of the internet in the world of real estate. Buyers are presented with a wide range of choices and an endless amount of information. The most powerful and influential information is the photos of the home. Curb appeal must shine through on excellent quality photos online. Many home buyers decide whether or not to look inside a house based on its curb appeal—the view they see when they drive by or when they see the photos of your house online. If their interest is not piqued the first time, there is little or no chance the buyer will choose to view your property later.

An Appealing Package
Just like in a supermarket, the item with the appealing package catches the eye of the buyer. The basic idea is to present an image that buyers find irresistible. Create an image that beckons them to come inside and see what other excellent features the home has to offer. Curb appeal is an expression of the care with which the home has been handled over the years and a statement of the pride which you as an owner take in the home. Buyers like to see that an owner has pride in their home because if they purchase it, they want to be able to have that same pride.. Your sense of pride in the home is readily evident in the way you present it for sale, so make sure that you give your home the attention it rightfully deserves. You can help make sure they want to come inside your house by spending some time packaging your home.

A House, not a Home
Emotion counts as much as logic when you’re buying a house. The irony is that when you’re the seller, you must detach yourself from emotion. It’s often difficult to look at your own house in the same way buyers do. You are so accustomed to how it has always been, you don’t see the imperfections. The first step is to stop thinking of the property as your home. Think of it as a house, a commodity you want to sell. Stand across the street and take a good look at your house and yard. Walk towards the house, looking around as if it were your first visit. What is your first impression? What are the best features? How can you enhance them? What are the worst features? How can you minimize or improve them? Another suggestion is to ask a friend to give you their opinion. Of course, don’t let their answer affect your friendship; an honest response may help you sell your home quicker and for more money! Your realtor will also be able to give you many helpful suggestions.

Clean Up and Pick Up
Enhancing your curb appeal is based on the enhancement of the good features and the minimization or improvement of what is not-so-good. Homeowners often add too many details, thinking this will improve curb appeal. The opposite is usually the case. The two main concepts to remember is clean up and pick up. Make a list of the problem areas you discovered. Tackle clean up and repair chores first. After that, put some time into projects that make your home and yard more attractive. A fresh coat of paint on your house will bring new life to your home. There are times when adding elements to your landscaping can improve curb appeal, but there are other time when removing something may be even more effective. Landscaping should enhance your home’s appearance, not hide it or take attention away from it. De-cluttering is just as important outside as it is inside!

The Front Entrance
The front entrance of your home deserves special attention. If your entry simply consists of a concrete slab and a door, it is not being used to its full potential. Your front entrance says a lot about the rest of your home, so you want it to feel warm and inviting. A porch can pique people’s interest, so add some decking, handrails or stairways to lure people to your door. An attractive sidewalk will also lead them right to your door! Think of your door as a friendly welcome to your guests. A fresh coat of paint, a new doorknocker and new hardware will give new life to your door. Decorate it with a seasonal wreath and put out a welcome mat to make visitors feel at home.

Lasting Impressions

By the way, even if you won’t be selling your home, it’s smart to keep curb appeal in mind whenever you make home and garden improvements. These are great ways to enhance your home and yard even if you plan to stay in your home. They will make you feel good about where you live and you will enjoy your beautiful home – an inviting retreat for your family and friends!

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