The first impression that your house makes — the view from the street – is called curb appeal.’
Most sellers know that it’s important to have a fresh, clean, welcoming entry, trimmed landscaping, and painted trim. If prospective buyers don’t know what they see from the street, they’ll barely slow down before heading away to the next house they’re interested in.
But what about the appeal of the curb? The immediate surroundings of your house has a big impact on both value and impression.
Location is about situation. Here are some top tips for seeing your house from the point of view of a potential buyer, buyer’s agent, or appraiser.
- Terrain. Is your house on a flat, level lot perfect for gardening, outdoor play, and entertaining? Or is it a hilly lot that both limits its usefulness and demands difficult maintenance? The actual size of the lot doesn’t always equate to how useable the land is. Appraisers don’t put equal value on hilly, sloping and flat lots.
- Shade trees. Mature landscaping adds grandeur to your yard, and also implies shade in summer and sunlight in winter. Make sure that big trees are trimmed for both aesthetic and safety reasons. Trees that are right on lot lines might drop annoying leaves, pods and seeds onto neighbors’ yards. If you have an agreement with neighbors about sharing maintenance or bounty, like apples, from overhanging trees, put that in the detailed listing sheet you give prospective buyers.
- Next-door neighbors. Well-kept or eyesore? The value of your house is directly affected by the company it keeps. If your neighbors’ places take the shine of yours, try to arrange a yard clean-up project for the whole block.
- The actual curb. As in, the condition of the streets themselves. Many towns are playing catch-up on infrastructure projects as property tax revenue finally rebounds from the recession . If the sidewalk, curb, street and city-owned parkway on your block need attention, find out from the city when upgrades are scheduled. Document that in your listing packet, along with contact information for your town’s department of public works. Also include as much information you can confirm about extra taxes or fees that might be required for the improvements.