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HomeRun Homes is a centralized marketplace which helps people Find or Sell a Rent to Own Home, both Nationwide and Globally to the thriving Rent to Own Market. http://www.lease2buy.com

September 13, 2010

Has the Housing Market Impacted Curb Appeal?

Good Morning All,

   Hope you had a great weekend. We spent the weekend cleaning out our attic, as well as shuttling our toddler to his classes and an ice cream party (Sugar Rush - Not good).

   It's funny how things shift in tandem when the housing market changes. Most practices and techniques are put under a microscope and are re-invented. One of those practices is preparing a home for maximum curb appeal. Today, we'd like to take a look at how the downturn in the real estate and housing markets has impacted the definition of curb appeal.

   "It is curb appeal that is designed to provide a positive first impression.", says Lisa Mekovsky, Owner of 3 Rivers Home Staging. She tells us that the, "definition of curb appeal has not changed, but its importance has dramatically increased.", and that this is due to fiercer competition.

   Julie Taché, a Broker with Homes with Cachet, concurs, and says, "More than ever, the visual has taken an important role in how buyers choose real estate. With so many properties available, an "ok" or "so-so" home may become just a drive-by, with buyers preferring the homes with substantially more curb appeal." Kimberly Gauthier, a photographer and homeowner in Washington State, has first-hand experience from both sides of the table, and she admits that they did, "most of our house hunting on line, so if the pictures weren't good, then there was a good chance that we wouldn't bother viewing the homes; there were just too many listings and this was a good way to shorten our list."

   Most of the experts we spoke with have agreed on landscaping as the most important piece of the curb appeal puzzle. Gauthier suggests adding flowers everywhere, since having a "few shrubs just didn't appeal to women. By adding loads of color, hanging baskets, and wine barrels with things growing, our showings increased.". From her point of view as a potential buyer, she said that, "Neglected landscaping will prompt me to move on to the next listing."

   Heather Logrippo of Distinctive Homes Online has weighed in with a few opinions from her expert clients. Kelly O'Ryan the Office manager of Coldwell Banker in Lexington, Ma, says that it is important to make sure that the, "Lawn is free from leaves and overgrown grass", and that it, "sound simple, but makes a huge difference".

   Elaine Leonard, the Sales Director for Northland Residential, a developer in New England, says that, "Even if you've lived in your home for 25 years, don't discount adding new trees or shrubs, they can really do wonders for the landscaping".

   O'Ryan also suggests that you, "Add a splash of color in the front - whether it's painting the front door an inviting red or adding planters with colorful plants by the front door". It's also important to keep the exterior of your home neat and organized. She advised that you make sure all yard tools and children's toys are put away, since, "you want your prospective buyer to envision living in the home which can be hard if they see your items before they even walk in the door."

   Leonard suggests adding a beautiful mailbox, which she admits sounds crazy, but she says that, "you have no idea how a beautiful mailbox can add a nice finishing touch", and , "like accessories on an outfit, a mailbox is the perfect last accessory on your home to make it appear finished and beautiful. Leonard also suggests that you do the "Hardscaping", which is, "anything from a walkway to a patio.", and , "If you have old, broken or cracked driveways or walkways, investing a little in hardscaping to fix them will pay off in the long run!"

   "Sellers must make sure the entire exterior of the home looks clean, fresh, and professionally maintained.", suggests Taché, and she advised all work (bricks, steps, siding, power washing, roof, etc) be completed before listing. She adds that, "Hiring a professional (stager for inside, landscaper for outside) are a worthwhile investment - as these people know what the public desires, and can make cost-effective suggestions to get the home its best possible showing condition!".

   As Taché concludes, "The first few weeks on market are so crucial that making sure it photographs well and that a potential buyer will see it in a positive light have never been more important to get them in the front door!"

   I hope that these tips will help you in getting more people to see your home. As a side note, however, please note that we find that these tips are "not as important" when people are looking to Rent to Own your home. Notice that I said, "not as important", since people certainly differ.

   Do you have any other tips to share? Have you done any wild things to spruce up your home in order to give it more curb appeal? We'd all love to read your comments !

Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !


  1. Great post. Adding the splash of color is so very true. My boyfriend painted his front door red and I added the flowers. When we heard feedback, "nice entry" was always mentioned.

  2. Thanks Kimberly,
    It's an interesting point, as there are many homes up for sale for quite some time. The ones that appear decrepit almost always receive a coat of red paint on the front door, and then the "For Sale" sign disappears after a few weeks. Sold? Coincidence?



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