Pre-pandemic, a great home interior might override an iffy front yard – but today, many buyers won’t even risk an in-person tour if they don’t like the outside.
The need for curb appeal continues to increase. More local buyers won’t enter an unfamiliar house if the front yard doesn’t look promising, and more distant buyers are shopping exclusively online, to enter unfamiliar homes and distant buyers narrow their home-shopping lists from afar in the pandemic.
A dismaying front yard may prompt them to move on, whether in person or on the internet.
“You only get one chance to make a first impression, and it happens when a potential buyer sees the exterior of your home,” says Kate Rumson, interior designer and Trane Residential partner. “We all tend to form opinions in the first few seconds of seeing a home for the first time – make those seconds count.”
Curb appeal tips
- Update the front door: The front door offers a glimpse into the home’s style. Update the door itself or its hardware if needed or freshen it with a coat of paint.
“Updating your front door can do wonders for your security and style,” says Ted Roberts, chief style and design expert for Allegion, a subsidiary of Schlage. “If your door hardware is showing signs of age, this fall could be the perfect time to upgrade to a new handle set and an electronic lock that adds smart, keyless convenience.”
- Add new window frames: This add-on could make windows look brand-new. Consider updating outdated window frames with trendy black frames.
“Black window frames will boost your home’s curb appeal, make your home more unique, and create a great contrast with the rest of your interiors,” Roberts says. “Because black windows make such a statement, they don’t always need shades, blinds, or curtains, offering an opportunity for you to sidestep what can be an occasionally costly investment.”
- Install exterior lighting: Try decorative lighting, such as sconces by your front door, or landscape lighting, which can illuminate the pathway to your porch. Solar-powered lights can be an option to illuminate a landscape.
“Outdoor lighting is important for safety, but it can also significantly improve the curb appeal of a home,” Rumson says.
- Tend to the landscape: A well-manicured front yard does wonders for curb appeal and can add to your home’s value. Well-landscaped homes are worth anywhere from 1% to 10% more than homes without landscaping, according to research from HomeLight. Add plants and fresh mulch to make the landscape look well-cared-for.