First impressions do matter if you want to increase the value of your home. If you want to get the best purchase price that you can get then increasing the appeal of what your house looks like from the street is paramount to your success.
How do I know this matters?
I know because when my parents were selling their house we had the real estate agent come over. Already he has done his valuations before he came to the house and he walked into the house and he was like “oooh it actually looks a lot better than it appears from the outside” and then he went on to explain to us how first impressions matter.
By spending under $2,000 we ended up getting $825,000 for that property rather than the $725,000 valuation the agent originally presented us.
If you don’t have good first impression then a lot of people actually won’t get pass the front door and won’t look at the property at all. A lot of people when walking into a house get a “feeling” or a sense of whether or not they like the property straight away. They are buying emotionally and if they don’t get a good emotional sense about wanting to live here then they close their minds off and it’s like they don’t see all the good parts of your house on the inside.
So getting a good street appeal is extremely important so that’s what today I wanted to discuss 15 ways to increase the street appeal of your property. So, what are these ways that we can increase our street appeal about property. It’s really simple stuff that you can act on to make your property more appealing.
#1 Paint The House A Modern Colour
Tip number one is to paint the house and to paint it a modern colour. So a lot of people when they’re thinking about selling their property they don’t actually want to do anything to it to make it look great and they leave it as the colour that they painted it 10 years ago and they haven’t changed anything in that time.
Often outdated colors, paint that’s peeling off, paint that’s faded doesn’t make your home look as high caliber as you want it to look and isn’t going to command the highest price.
So simply by painting your property or paying someone to paint for you with the modern, great, neutral color is going to work to your advantage.
#2 Paint Or Fix The Roof
Tip number two is to paint or fix the roof. This is something that I learned when my parents sold their place and I was helping them renovate. We spent a month doing up that property and spent about $1,000 to $2,000 on the renovation.
That property ended up selling for $825,000 ($100,000 over the initial valuation!).
The roof on that property (it was a corrugated iron roof) had started to discolour and show a bit of rust. It had just been replaced a few years earlier but it wasn’t looking its best due to the surface rust.
We painted the roof the white that it was and made it look great. And so by painting the roof and covering up the rust or the discoloring that may have occurred from rainfall over the time you can help protect the roof and can also help the roof look a whole bunch better.
Now obviously you’re not going to paint tiles but you can just fix the broken tiles rather than retiling the entire roof. If people see broken tiles on a roof then they may start looking for other problems on the property.
Narrow down the amount of problems that people are going to see. Let’s face it that every property has some problems but you want to make yours seem to have as little as possible when selling it so it makes a great first impression.
#3 Have An Inviting Fence
Tip number three is to have an inviting fence. That might mean putting up a new picket fence, it might be painting your current fence, it might be putting hedges up or putting bushes up to make your fence look just a little bit nicer.
#4 Make A Clear Path To The Door
Tip number four is to make a clear path to the door. So rather than just having gardens, rather than just forcing people to walk through the driveway, then through a muddy puddle to get to the door, create a path where people can walk along and they can experience the front of the house when they’re getting started.
You might want to put flowers down along that path, you might want to make it some nice pebble creek or whatever it may be but by making a clear path to the house you can then focus on making that path and awesome experience so that people imagine themselves walking down that path every single day of their lives because they love it so much and then they’re going to buy your property.
#5 Add Colour With Flowers
Tip number five is to add colours with flowers. This can be done really inexpensively. Flowers, if you can get at Bunning’s or Flower Power or your local nursery, aren’t that expensive.
Obviously there’s some flowers that are going to be very expensive, if you want to decorate your entire garden with orchids then you are probably going to be out for a few thousand dollars but you can get very affordable very cost-effective flowers for your garden that’s going to help you out.
So your ‘the best buy’ is probably somewhere like Bunning’s or Flower power or your local nursery. But by adding colour right when you’re open for inspections, then you are going to just add that vibrant and have that great street appeal.
#6 Have A Well Manicured Lawn
Tip number six is to have a well-manicured lawn. So this might mean you need to lay new turf or might mean simply mowing your lawn or might even mean fertilising your lawn and just making your lawn look great.
You obviously want to do this in the lead-up to your open houses and listing your property. You don’t want to wait until the end of the day and then you are like ” Oh my gosh, I’ve got open house tomorrow, I need the lawn to look awesome.”
So try and get to this ahead of time, head down again to your local Bunning’s or your local nursery, get some fertilizer for your lawn, spread it on there, make sure it’s constantly trim so it’s nice and lush and try to give it as much sunlight and as much help as possible, get out there at nine and water it if the water restrictions allow you to and just make that lawn look green because people for some reason love grain lawns. They want to have that epic lawn were everyone in the neighborhood is like “oh my gosh his lawn is amazing”
#7 Attend To The Median Strip
Okay, tip number seven is to attend to the median strip. So the median strip is that part outside of your fence that isn’t technically your land but because it is in front of your property you need to maintain it.
By tending to your median strip and making a median strip appealing you can increase the street appeal of your property. That might be, again, planting some flowers or planting some hedges in the median strip, obviously mowing the lawn, making the lawns look great.
Tend to that area as if it was your own house because that is the first thing that people are going to walk on, the first thing that they’re going to see so you want it to be well maintained and well kept.
#8 Make Sure Your Neighbor’s Lawn Is Nice Too
Tip number eight is to make sure the neighbor’s lawn is nice too. This idea I got when I was living in Miranda in Sydney I used to walk to the shops and I used to walk past this house and it was just fully overgrown lawn, like so overgrown that there was basically no path left.
I was walking past one day and the house next door to this disgusting house was for sale and I noticed that the neighbour’s lawn had been fully mowed, that they had actually cleared the path so now there was no grass on the path anymore.
This person was smart enough to go out of their way and to mow the next door neighbour’s lawn for them and to clear up their median strip as well and make next door look appealing.
The fact of the matter is people don’t want to live next to a dirty old grimy houses and they going to devalue your property if the house next door is discusting or it looks like it has people that they might have issues with. People want to live next to nice people.
So if your neighbours aren’t taking care of their lawn at least take care of the median strip for them and maybe even offer to mow their lawn for them as well before you open house just so that everything around your house looks great.
I used to mow my neighbours median strip because he never mowed it and I got a couple of beers out of it. I wasn’t selling but, you know it’s something that you can do.
#9 Have An Attractive Front Door
Tip number nine is to have an attractive front door.
If you’ve seen the movie Notting Hill, what colour is the front door in the movie Notting Hill? If you don’t know the answer to that, you obviously haven’t seen the movie – the answer is blue.
It is a blue door and I use that to make the example that doors in general make impressions and so you want to have a nice door that people can open.
When my parents were selling their house the door was old, it was ratty, it had been there for 20 years and so we replaced it with a new one with on beautiful frosted glass so you still had the privacy and it just made such a difference to the house as you entered but it also made such a difference the property on the inside because it let so much light in as well.
So go ahead, get a new door for your property. If possible the bigger the door the better! People love them at the moment – the ones that are actually wider than a standard door, makes you feel like you’re in a mansion.
#10 Add Privacy To Your Property
Tip number ten is to add privacy to your property. I find it amazing that people don’t do this because it’s something that’s so important to me, so important to my wife, so important to my friends as well. We live a life with no privacy online but when we’re at home, when we’re playing with our kids we want to have as much privacy as possible.
So if you can do this in such a way where you can make the front lawn look great or even in the backyard where you can add a level of privacy so that might be putting up wooden screens, that might be planting some trees, there’s many different things that you can do to add privacy.
By adding privacy and making people feel like this is their space, that they’re not being stared at by a thousand people every time they go outside, can help to make a great impression.
#11 Create Noise Reduction
Tip number eleven is to create noise reduction. If you are on a busy road then obviously a drawback of your property is going to be the noise and the traffic. And so this is going to be a drawback regardless of whether you create noise reduction or not.
But if people are looking in this price range and saying “okay well you know I’m happy to look on a busy road by creating noise reduction” so when they walk into the property the noise goes away, well automatically they’re thinking “this is great, it’s almost like I don’t even live on a busy road at all.”
So you can do this by, you can use bushes, you can use fences, there’s many different things that you can do to create noise reduction in your property and so definitely consider that if you are on a busy road.
#12 Install Outdoor Lightning
This is something not many people would think about and I can understand why they wouldn’t.
But what happens is when people are interested in a property they’re going to drive by that property late at night probably after work or maybe they’ll do a sneaky jump over the fence and look in your windows when you’re selling your property. More often than that, interested buyers are going to be looking at property at night or doing drive-by just to show it t their friends or family.
So by investing in an outdoor lighting, something that’s going to make your property and your garden look amazing at night you can actually increase the appeal of that property. Those interested buyers who are coming around and looking at it at night are going to be amazed and when they show their friends their friends are going to be amazed and then they are going to be more likely to buy it.
I remember when my mum was selling a property that I was living in at the time (it was a unit). It was on for sale and they had some open for inspections. I go down at night to get something from the car and I find some people poking their heads around in my garage and in the under cover area. It was interested buyers in the property!
It was nine o’clock or ten o’clock at night but they’re scoping it out because they were interested and they were making offers. So people do look at night, I have proof of it so do your best to make you property look great at night.
#13 Create An Inviting Space
Tip number thirteen is to create an inviting space in that front yard. So that might mean putting some pot plants out, it might mean getting some outdoor furniture I like if you have a really nice front porch getting some chairs for that front porch.
By creating an inviting space you’re helping people to imagine themselves in that situation. What you want to do is get people imagining themselves in that property and so then obviously they are going to make offers and want to buy the property. So make the space as inviting as possible.
#14 Ensure Low Maintenance
Tip number fourteen is to ensure low-maintenance. I’ve been to many properties and even though the garden has been lovely it’s extremely high maintenance garden and it’s a massive turn off for me.
In most situations where there is a high maintenance garden it’s actually not well-kept and it’s not looking as good as I know that it could look and I just look at it and I think “oh my gosh, this is going to be so much work to bring up to speed and to maintain” and unless that’s your target market (people who love gardening) try to make it as low maintenance as possible.
Create beautiful garden but not a garden that you have to do a lot to, not a lot of weeding, not a lot of trimming, whatever. Try and make it as low maintenance as possible.
#15 Clean Up The Mess
And last tip, tip number fifteen is to clean up the mess. It still amazes me when I go to open houses and there are toys on the front lawn or there’s rubbish in the backyard and people just haven’t cleaned up properly.
Put stuff away, if you got a garden shed just chock all your stuff in there and don’t let buyer see it, especially in the front lawn, even in the back lawn, you don’t want people staring at and looking at all your kids dirty toys or the yoyo or the bike that’s been there for 10 years that you haven’t a moved that has weeds growing up it.
Clean up the mess, get rid of it, keep it all sparks keep it all just a nice garden; again we’re trying to get people to imagine themselves living in there.
So there you have 15 tips, 15 ways that you can increase the street appeal of your property. Pretty easy actually, a lot of these tips and techniques aren’t very hard to implement and aren’t very hard to do. And by increasing the street appeal of your property you are going to increase the chance that your property will sell faster and increase the chance that your property is going to sell for a higher price.
When buying a property you need to learn to look beyond street appeal and work out how the property is going to perform financially. Many guru’s warn about investing emotionally. Inside PropertyTools.com.au I give you the calculators and spreadsheets you need to analyse the cash flow of any property to help you make profitable investment decisions.