From either side of a home sale—whether you’re a listing agent or buyers’ agent— the exterior appearance of a house that has been placed on the market is going to be a selling point or an impediment to your ability to secure a closing. Nowadays, most prospective home buyers begin their real estate searches online, which means that the first views they have of a home are provided through photographic images.
Many people will also drive by a house that has caught their interest to catch a glimpse of it in person before deciding whether to schedule a showing. These are some of the reasons why curb appeal is so important. If buyers don’t like what they see in online images or passing by the exterior of a home, they’ll never want to look inside. There are several curb appeal mistakes that can keep your selling client from getting offers or your buying client from wanting to negotiate a deal.
House in visible need of repair
It’s not necessarily a deal breaker for a home that is for sale to have a few flaws or need a little bit of work here or there. Such issues are often incorporated into a contingency contract. However, if the exterior of a home is in visible need of repair (think, hanging gutters, broken steps, roof that is worn, peeling paint, etc.) it’s likely to deter more offers than it gains.
Sometimes, a seller might be listing a house ‘as is’, which means that buyers understand that they will be responsible for any repairs or renovations that are needed. If that’s not the case, however, it’s best to avoid the curb appeal buster of visible disrepair.
Additional curb appeal busters that deter real estate offers
Besides disrepair, the following list includes other issues that might be present on the exterior of a home for sale that can make it sit on the market longer than necessary:
- Hard surfaces like driveway or sidewalks full of cracks, pot holes, overgrown weeds, etc.
- Garbage or other clutter and debris lying around the property
- A yard full of weeds, unmown grass and untrimmed trees
Each of these issues has the potential to deter buyers. If someone arrives to see tall grass, weeds and trees hanging dangerously close to a roof, the first impression might be that the home requires too much maintenance. And if there’s a lot of debris or garbage on the outside, buyers might assume the interior of the home is the same.
Sales agents often speak to each other after a showing
If you’re working as a listing agent, you can learn a lot about what might be deterring offers on a particular home by speaking with a buyer’s agent who has shown the home. Don’t be surprised if the issues mentioned in this post or other curb appeal busters are part of the problem.
If you’re a buyer’s agent, and you find that lack of curb appeal is an issue that is keeping your clients from wanting to make an offer on a home, you might consider mentioning the issues to the listing agent. Overall, curb appeal is a valuable selling point that helps real estate agents on both sides of a home sale. The nicer a home’s exterior is, the greater a chance there will be that people will want to tour the inside and, perhaps, make an offer!