Curb Appeal Gone Wrong

curb view of houseYour home is beautiful and perhaps, unique. But when you prepare to sell it, you have to think about how the average buyer will perceive it as they pull up to the curb. This is an important factor known as “curb appeal”, and yes, you probably know this means cleaning up debris and making your yard look pretty. But did you know that there are several things, perhaps those that you think make the home stylish and uniquely your own, which can turn potential buyers off?

Love at first sight is tricky when it comes to a home. Personal taste plays a huge role in it and let’s face it, others may not agree with your preference for a purple front door and mailbox. The exact things you think make your home unique, homey, and beautiful may make buyers decide to look elsewhere before they even step out of their car.

If you have any of these things happening outside your home, you may be making the wrong first impression for buyers:

  • Bright or unique paint color: If your paint color make a personal statement or is too extreme — like pink, purple or bright yellow, you should opt for painting these area a more neutral color. Most homes have seen a bit of wear and tear, so it’s important to consider a fresh coat of paint anyway. You can add touches of color to avoid appearing boring and beige, but this still means something acceptable to all tastes, like pop of red on the front door, or dark blue shutters on a white house.
  • Cars filling the driveway- when you have a garage: The message sent when you park in the driveway instead of pulling into the garage is that the house isn’t big enough to store everything, so you had to put the overflow in the garage and must park your vehicle outside. Also note, that when your Realtor takes photos of the outside of your home, cars should be in the garage or at least out of the picture.
  • Lawn ornaments, décor and “stuff”: A bird bath is acceptable, but keep lawn ornaments down to only one or two, in other words keep it under control. Do not leave kids’ toys scattered around the yard or even piled up against the house or on the porch. Doing so is distracting. Keep things like your passion for birdfeeders down to a reasonable number and put away any unique pieces like gnomes, extra-large religious pieces, and humorous signs that some buyers may find less-than-funny.
  • Fake flowers: Just no. Whatever you do, don’t ‘plant’ artificial flowers. If it is off season for blooms just make certain the garden area, or your landscaping, is clear of debris and looks cared for.
  • Old (aka broken, weathered, and outdated) items: That old patio furniture may still be comfortable, but if it shows its age (you bought it in the 90s, so yes, it probably does) it may be time to update and give your outdoor living space with a fresher look. This goes for any lawn furniture, door mats, and even your mailbox. Rust, peeling paint, and anything that looks old and worn should be replaced, repainted, or repaired.

These noticeable outdoor touches can make a home look fresh, clean, and make a better first impression. Curb appeal is more than the obvious things you might think about, so try and see your home as a stranger would as they approach your driveway for the first time.

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