The Power of Curb Appeal: How Your Home’s Exterior Impacts Its Value
When it comes to selling your home, first impressions matter. Time and time again, Bridget McCann, a broker associate with Baird & Warner, has seen homes with more attractive exteriors sell faster and for more money than those with superior interiors. She recently sold a home in an upscale, competitive Illinois neighborhood, and the one feature that really stood out to buyers was the stunning stonework around its pillars.
“The buyers’ first reaction was, ‘Wow, this entranceway is stunning,’” McCann recalled. “As you walked up the staircase, you felt like you were at a million-dollar home because of how pretty the stonework was.”
This is the power of curb appeal.
Simply put, curb appeal is how attractive your home looks from the street. A well-manicured lawn, quality landscape stone, and a good paint job are just a few things that can make a big difference in your home’s curb appeal.
Curb appeal is a property’s attractiveness when viewed from the street and the impression it leaves on a passerby or first-time visitor. It can be driven by factors both simple and structural, including a nice lawn, quality landscape stone, a good paint job, the cleanliness of the property, and the architecture and construction quality of the home.
And it’s not just about aesthetics. Research shows that homes with good curb appeal sell for more money and spend less time on the market. A study published in The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics found that curb appeal can account for up to 7 percent of a home’s sale value.
“The curb appeal premium is more pronounced during times of housing market weakness and greater in neighborhoods with high average curb appeal,” said lead author Sriram Villupuram, of the University of Texas at Arlington College of Business.
With a decade of experience in both the real estate and construction industries, McCann knows that stone veneers on a home’s facade, natural stone walkways, and pavers flanking a driveway can all add an upscale feel to a property.
And in today’s digital age, the first impression buyers get of a property is often through its online listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). That’s why it’s crucial to make sure that the property’s front porch and overall image is compelling enough to draw them in for a closer look.
“You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression and the exterior of a house is always your first impression,” McCann said. “If it doesn’t have a nice exterior, you won’t want to step inside the house and check it out.”
McCann emphasized that the use of neutral-tone stonework, such as light grays and off-whites, has been quite successful in selling homes in her suburban Chicago market. She suggested steering clear of exotic colors that cater to too specific of tastes but emphasized that well-installed and tastefully designed stones are always a plus for your curb appeal.
While stone veneer siding is not a search criteria listed on the MLS, McCann stressed that it could set your home apart from others in the subdivision and give you an edge. As buyers tend to spend more on renovating the interior, having an attractive exterior that doesn’t require further renovation is crucial. When clients ask her for advice on boosting their curb appeal for a sale, McCann doesn’t recommend making pricey investments. Instead, the focus should be on maintaining the home and avoiding letting any features fall into disrepair.
Forbes suggests three simple steps for improving curb appeal, including making sure that any stone or brick work looks clean through professional power washing to remove stains and grime and “reveals a clean, fresh look that adds to the attractive ambiance the home should display.”
“Make sure you’re keeping up with the exterior of the house – there’s no peeling paint anywhere, there’s no shingles missing on your roof, there’s no siding hanging off, or anything like that,” she said. “Get all of your ducks in a row on the exterior because poor curb appeal will cause buyers to stray.”
So if you’re looking to sell your home, don’t underestimate the importance of curb appeal. Invest in quality materials, like natural stone veneer, keep your property clean and well-maintained, and you’ll be sure to make a great first impression on potential buyers.
Contact Instone today to learn more about products and services that can help enhance your home’s curb appeal.