Curb Appeal 101

Mike Nelson
Mike Nelson

© Paul Moore / PhotoXpress

On Tuesday, we discussed the significance of a good first impression in order to prevent your future tenant from pulling out their “magnifying glass” and focusing on the negative aspects of your home.  The key to a good showing is a good first impression.  The key to a good first impression is CURB APPEAL. Our goal is to convince any potential tenant that your home is their new home…even before they get out of the car.  In the eyes of a prospective tenant, curb appeal is always the first indication of whether or not your home feels like their new home.

For most homes, curb appeal can be split up into 3 different zones:

1) The Mailbox. This zone is often overlooked by landlords.  But, it’s important to remember that when your future tenant is driving to your house the mailbox is the first thing they will see.  So, ask yourself a few questions: Is the paint peeling/rusted? Are the lid/flag functioning? Are the numbers on the side visible? Is the wood in good condition? What kind of landscaping, if any, surrounds the mailbox? The solution here may be as simple as re-staining the wood, sanding and re-painting the box itself, planting a few small plants, or buying a new mailbox.  The solution is simple, but it’s not always obvious.  An old rusty mailbox with no flag and one hinge may have character, but it doesn’t set very high expectations for the rest of the house.

2) The View (from inside the car). So, your future tenant located the mailbox and has now pulled into the driveway. What do they see? More often than not they’ll be staring at the garage.  If your home is older, odds are the paint is chipping/peeling in at least a few spots.  Take a look at the hardware and make sure it’s not rusted.  Each home’s view will be different.  It’s important to scrutinize YOUR view objectively, and come up with a solution suited to your situation (i.e. sanding, painting, or pressure washing).  Any signs of wear and tear can provide the tenant with a sense of neglect, which will affect the final outcome of the showing.

3) The Walk (from the car to the door). Your home’s front entryway is the most crucial element of curb appeal.  Check everything from the locks on the front door down to the weeds in the flower bed.  If the light fixtures, house numbers, locks and door knobs are out of date, then you won’t be providing a positive mental image for the rest of your home.  Be sure that your entryway functions as a whole; not mix and match.  Landscaping is also important in regard to curb appeal.  Be sure to renew planter beds, add new mulch, pull any weeds, and properly prune/trim any bushes.  The walk to the front door should assure any potential tenant that your home is where they want to be.

Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to individually evaluate your home’s curb appeal.  Our goal is simple: Provide a good first impression.  By doing so, you will eliminate the “magnifying glass” by impressing your future tenant before they reach the front door.

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