Blink! Your house just got passed over! Yup, that fast. When buyers are looking for a new home, they quickly eliminate properties which don’t catch their eye as they drive by. You have heard the adage, “don’t judge a book by its cover” well, we actually do! First impressions are SO important, and they happen in a blink of an eye. 100% of buyers look on line first. The photos will attract or repel a potential buyer. A study by VSU, tested perceived value with a set of 16 photos with different styles of landscaping.
The change in perceived value ranged from 5-12%; although this doesn’t mean all landscaped properties will increase in value by 12% it does indicate you are in a much better position for attracting buyers.
A tired, worn exterior can give buyers a wrong impression about the interior of the house. It may not be true, but buyer perception is what really matters. Do you know, most buyers make a list of ten properties they want to check out, and, they usually buy after seeing six. That is why curb appeal is so important. If your house doesn’t look inviting from the street, it might not make the cut for that vital “must -see” list; even if it looks amazing inside, they won’t get to see it. Think of Staging the outside of property like putting fabulous wrapping around a gift.
What can you do to improve your curb appeal and make sure your house stays on the “must see” list?
Eliminating any extraneous items and obvious repairs are starting points, trimming the lawn, ensuring the plants look healthy and well maintained are easy things regardless of the season.
Many local garden centres provide landscaping consultations for no charge, when you are buying the plants/trees from them. They will advise which are best to be grown and where.
Landscaping brings 100% ROI; be sure to include outdoor lighting as 98% of people said it was very important. Outdoor lighting may require new lighting fixtures, size scale and style are important considerations. Why lighting is important for buyers is because it enhances security, safety, and visibility as well as the right first impressions when the fixtures are high quality. Your staging professional will recommend extra lighting if you have steep slopes, steps, or bumpy pathways. Avoiding anyone injuring themselves from a fall is the best approach to avoiding a lawsuit.
Outdoor lighting is also more likely to prevent burglaries, vandalism, and pranks. Even inexpensive security cameras are popular benefits for buyers. Proper exterior lighting increases property value by up to 20%.
One small light outside makes a house look dingy and unwelcoming; the right lighting makes for a more positive, happier, and welcoming response. Outdoor lighting gives the buyer feeling of joy and security and as most properties don’t have sufficient lighting, buyers love properties that have extra amounts of what others lack. Peace of mind and not having to install themselves helps keep you on the must-see list.
Making the house look well maintained is a smart strategy; savvy sellers are upgrading many items to add value. There are many sceptics out there which say if you put $5,000 in and get $5,000 out it wasn’t worth the effort; this is short sighted thinking. The goal of staging well, is to present the property as well-maintained and easy to move into. When old, dated, or unattractive features are not addressed you could be paying DOUBLE for what you might have invested when the property is skipped over, lots of “lookie-loos” and no buyers, OR offers way less than expected. Most renovations on Remodeling magazine’s list of the best investments are exterior renovations, making this area of a home a particular point of interest for homeowners. It is to be reminded though, the investment/ROI for remodelling to live is not as high as remodeling to sell. Another authoritative organization to back up claims is the National Association of Realtors®. 99% of agents said it is very important and 94% of realtors said they do suggest sellers improve curb appeal before listing a house.
John A Harris, President of Earth Advisors claims up to 28% increase can be achieved with the right landscaping. It may seem like one of the simplest ways you could possibly start to improve your home, but trees can have a huge impact and have been scientifically proven to increase the value.
A survey conducted by U.S. Forest Service showed that a tree in the front yard such as a maple tree could increase the perceived value of a home by an incredible $9,000 on average. This $9,000 or 27% increase sounds like an outlandish claim, but other studies have shown similar results. Purdue University tree appraisal study shows that trees within the grounds of a house can account for an overall increase in property value of 20%. Even a governmental study commissioned in Canada drew the conclusion that the price of a property was increased by the presence of trees. Another simple yet extremely effective strategy for maximum value is applying BLACK mulch.
It adds an element of luxury, provides definition and contrast. Mulching doesn’t only make a garden look good, it helps control weeds, reduces water consumption, moderates soil temperature, covers up mud saves time & money.
Both Canadian and US governments have conducted surveys which discuss the desirability of outdoor living. Shade & privacy are important so adding fencing and pergola’s.
The image above from Pinterest shows how a year long, natural privacy fence can be achieved with evergreen cedars. They also filter noise and provide a haven for birds to live.
Modern house numbers are another simple, yet effective way to upscale property looks. Remember to check if the numbers can be seen from the road. Replace or paint your front door (Black Gloss SW Tricorn Black is our go to color) It is worth the effort, as this is almost the first place buyers will spend time in front of.
These are just some ideas to increase the value of your property. When selling just adjust your thinking from “staging costs too much” to “preparing MY house for sale is the best investment of my time and money to ensure a better return on my most precious asset”.
There is no better time than right now to take the plunge if you are interested in starting a home staging business or training a team member to be your in-house stager at your brokerage. Contact me, Christine Rae today to learn more! Or learn more & get our 65 Steps to Starting A Successful Staging Business ebook.