Like it or not, many buyers make a decision about a home before even walking through the front door. It’s not unusual for me to take buyers to see several homes, and when we drive up to a home on their list of showings, they tell me to drive on– they don’t even want to bother seeing that particular home. How do you boost your home’s curb appeal and create a great first impression with potential buyers? Here are a few ways:
- Paint the home– A fresh paint job makes a HUGE difference, especially in our market, where the weather creates a lot of wear and tear on a home’s exterior.
- Landscape—A 2012 Home Improvement survey by HomeGain listed landscaping as the #4 home improvement in terms of cost and return on investment. This is a tricky one, as some OBX homeowners prefer a natural, beachy landscape and others prefer manicured yards with sod grass. Generally speaking, you want to do whatever it takes to showcase your home in its best light.
- Front Door—This is a particular “pet peeve” of mine. On the Outer Banks, front doors take a beating, particularly storm doors. The salt air and sun can quickly destroy a door, leaving it unappealing at best, and dysfunctional at worst. I have shown many beautiful, high-end homes near the oceanfront that are immaculate inside, but have a filthy entry door with sand, dirt, corrosion, and door knobs that are so rusted they barely work. At the very least, clean the door and make sure the door knobs are functioning properly.
- Mailbox—If the mailbox is falling down or suffers from the same ailments mentioned above regarding doors, it might be time to repair or replace it. Again—think about the 1st impression!
- Pressure Wash—Buyers are very interested in the area outside of a home, as this is where they plan to entertain and enjoy the ocean breezes. Decks and porches in our area easily suffer from moisture issues- mildew and decay. A good pressure washing, and possibly a sealant, can make a huge difference in the appearance of an aged deck. Also, many homes employ irrigation wells that often leave a lot of rust and orange residue on driveways or on the home itself. Pressure washing these areas can greatly enhance their appearance.
- Garage doors— If the garage doors are original to an older home, you might think of replacing them. I realize this is a costly repair, but you need to weigh both the appearance and functionality of the doors and anticipate that it may be a cost that buyers will disproportionately deduct from the price if they decide to make an offer.
Just as staging the interior of your home is important, preparing the outside is vital as well! Take a little time, and possibly invest a little money to make sure that potential buyers are impressed before even stepping foot in your home!
If you are thinking of putting your home on the market or are looking for that perfect OBX beach home, I’d love to help you. For up to date information on Outer Banks real estate call Natalie Drummond anytime at (252) 489-1166 or email at Natalie@outerbanksblue.com.