Written by PJ Wade
Sellers think once their home or condominium is listed online — perhaps with its own website — there’s little left to do but wait for offers to pour in. Wrong!
Curb appeal is king. The work of drawing prospective buyers out of their cars and through the front door has just begun. Most buyers want to get inside a property before they’ll make an offer, but if they don’t like the home’s exterior, they won’t easily be enticed inside.
Properties that look great online — descriptions, dimensions, and video — still have to deliver curbside to be sold.
With condominiums, it’s the building and grounds that draw buyers inside. The condominium board and management are tasked with keeping the street face, interior common space, and grounds looking great to retain building value. If litter, mess, or shabbiness is an issue, unit owners know who to talk to.
Homeowners must become their own “Curb Appeal Police,” ready to be hyper-critical of every detail so the house shines in all respects — from the buyer’s perspective!
#1. Target Buyers
Sellers want to attract those who will pay the most, but sellers do not automatically have a clear picture of this “who” they must win over. Ask your real estate profession to provide a profile of the buyers they are targeting in marketing and advertising campaigns. These details should help with curbside decisions of what to accent and what to minimize, and how to accomplish both efforts on budget and on time.
#2. Not to Your Standard
This can be a challenge for sellers who used their home as a canvas for their creative expression. Real estate professionals have learned that to attract significant qualified interest, buyers must see the home as a welcoming canvas for their own creative expression — often very different from the current sellers’. Input from the listing and staging teams will help transform exterior surfaces and landscaping into a “buyer magnet.” Check out design publications and sites, and drive by new homes and you’ll discover that it’s all about neutral shades, clean lines, and mimicking luxury properties. Combine the professional marketing expertise of the sales team with your knowledge of the property to pull this all together in an impressively-attractive package — a welcoming canvas.
#3. Not “Tart Up” But “Smarten Up”
Curbside views should not be cluttered or over-grown. Garish colors and over-done front gardens send the wrong message. Striking a balance between standing out for buyers and not being radically different from the neighborhood is key. Enticing buyers out of their car and in the front door is the objective.Which curbside details or impressions will speak to the quality and opportunity of the house? Understanding the target buyer viewpoint is key here, so ask the listing team how this curb-appeal message would materialize for the buyers being targeted.
4. Squeaky Clean Impresses
Particularly in grimy urban areas, sparkling clean building facades and windows are impressive. Manicured gardens and well-maintained driveways are also stand-outs. Keep touching up and polishing until a firm offer is signed and sealed. Until then, too clean and fresh is impossible.
5. Curb Appeal: Up To and Thru The Front Door
The curbside first impression should continue to impress and welcome up to and through the front door to open on an immaculate, well-presented foyer.
The welcoming first view into the home should speak to the home’s quality and to the loving-care the home has received.
With a clear idea of the “who” you wish to attract and professional knowledge of how to make your home appear a welcoming creative canvas from curbside, you and the property are now ready. Ideal buyers will want to make an offer on real estate that reflects their dreams — not the sellers’.