Whether we like it or not, first impressions count.
In real estate this means not just the lead photo that is used online to promote your property but also how your home presents from the street when buyers drive past or turn up to home opens. In the industry we call this street appeal.
It’s helpful to think of street appeal in the same way you’d think about how you’d present at a job interview. You wouldn’t turn up at an interview looking dishevelled with worn or torn clothing and expect to make the applicant shortlist. So the question is, when a buyer drives past or turns up to your home open, is your property likely to make their shortlist?
The best way to assess street appeal is to put yourself in the buyers shoes and go out and stand in the street in front of your home.
When you look at the property, what do you notice? Does it look well maintained and cared for, or does it look tired and in need of some love? Is your first impression that you need to spend time and money on the property, because this will either come off the purchase price or mean it doesn’t make the shortlist, or is it move in ready?
Look at all the different aspects of the home. What’s the condition of the fences? Are the gardens tidy or overgrown? Do the garden beds need mulching? Does the paving need a pressure clean? Do the lawns need a weed and mow? Can you see the house clearly or is it obscured by greenery? Would the front of the home benefit from a fresh coat of paint? Be honest with yourself about the answers and make a list of what you think you need to improve.
If in doubt, ask your agent to give you an honest assessment of your properties street appeal. And if they’re not able or reluctant to give you feedback because they’re scared of losing your listing, get another agent!
A property is likely to be one of the most valuable assets you own. Any investment you make in its street appeal will directly impact the number buyers that decide to come and see, and make offers for, your property as well as the price you sell it for.
When you’re selling, like attending a job interview, there’s no second chance for making a great first impression. Make it the best one you can.