Curb appeal is everything that makes a home look good from the curb – well-tended lawn, complementary landscaping, freshly painted trim, lack of exterior clutter, appealing entry area, fencing in tip-top shape, and more. Curb appeal is what creates that all-important great first impression. Without it, potential buyers may not even tour the inside of your house. In one survey curb appeal is listed among the top “five most important factors in selling a home.” In fact, houses with strong curb appeal routinely bring prices about 10% higher. With that in mind, here are my tips for using curb appeal to sell your house in Long Island.
1. Eliminate Clutter
Most sellers know that they have to declutter the inside of their homes and they invest time and effort to ensure that it is done well. However, all too often they neglect to declutter the outside. This can be a costly oversight. Remember you will never get a second chance to make a first impression. Buyers often start making decisions about a house before they even enter the house. The moment they enter the gate they become hypervigilant. Buying a home is a very expensive and long term undertaking so they are very focused on details. Providing a well-kept, inviting entrance to your house will go a long way to put a positive image in a potential buyers perception of your Long Island house. Eliminating exterior clutter is one of the top tips for using curb appeal to sell your house.
It’s not only beauty that is in the eye of the beholder – that’s where clutter resides too. A lot of what you have outside may not seem like clutter to you because you’ve grown accustomed to seeing it there. But that’s not the case with buyers. They need to be able to see and imagine your house as their own home – without all your stuff scattered around outside. So here’s some of what you can do to improve the appearance:
- Remove all evidence of a robust family life, such as bicycles, skateboards, basketballs, kiddie pools, and garden tools.
- Pick up all trash and refuse like dead leaves, fallen branches, dog waste, paper and plastic scraps, and anything else that detracts from visual appeal.
- Keep only a few of your best flower pots and only a few pieces of strategically placed outdoor furniture.
2. Beautify the entry – make it feel homey and cared for.
The next most important of my tips for using curb appeal to sell your house in Long Island is the entry area and door. This is where buyers’ eyes will be naturally drawn when they get out of the car and approach your house. So try and make it as inviting as possible.
Begin by replacing or repainting (whichever it needs) the front entry door. A new front door doesn’t cost a lot and offers a high return on the investment. If you replace the door, you should replace the hardware while you’re at it, especially the lock set. (Brushed nickel or oiled bronze are good choices here.) If you have a porch or patio, stage it so it presents well. Use a garden hose to wash down the exterior, the gutters, windows and railings. Check and replace if necessary your mail box and any other entry way fixtures.
You should also be sure to take care of all the minor details in your entry area. A new welcome mat is a nice and noticeable touch. And don’t neglect the light fixtures because old fixtures are unappealing to buyers and can give the area a tired, dated look. Make sure there is no noticeable dust, debris, cobwebs, etc. and bulbs are in working order.
3. TOUCH UP OR REPAINT THE EXTERIOR
Among the tips for using curb appeal to sell your house in Long Island, is repainting the exterior. Most people will only need to paint the trim (fascia, soffit, window trim, and so on) because on Long Island, exterior walls are usually made from siding or brick. A freshly painted exterior goes a long way in marketing your house and provides a buyer an appealing package to seriously enhance curb appeal.
4. Concentrate on Landscaping
You’re probably aware that you need to do or improve some landscaping, but you may not be aware of how much it can add to curb appeal and increase the sale price. Typically, complementary and judicious landscaping will increase your home’s value by 10% to 12% – and that’s a significant bump in price. The landscape designs that adds the most value include color, texture with varying heights. Professional landscaping can be fairly expensive, but homeowners can do much of it themselves.
5. Add (or Improve) Outdoor Living Space
An important, but often overlooked tip for using curb appeal to sell your house in Long Island is to make sure your house has some outdoor living space that will appeal to buyers. Buyers like to envision enjoying this space when your house becomes their home, so this is often a bigger selling point than many people realize. Useable outdoor spaces are great selling points. Long Islanders enjoy their backyard which is often used for entertaining and family time in the warmer months.
6. Hire a Local Agent
Remember, you have only one chance to make a great first impression, and that’s what curb appeal does, making buyers want to go inside to see more. In fact, real estate studies have revealed that 50% of purchasing decisions are made within the first 60 seconds while buyers are walking up to a house.
One of the most important tips for using curb appeal to sell your house in Long Island, is to hire an experienced local real estate agent to help you get it right. To find out how I can help you do just that, contact me today at (631) 357-4819.