Curb Appeal

What Is Curb Appeal?

Curb appeal is a term used to describe the general attractiveness of a house or other piece of property from the sidewalk to a prospective buyer. This term is often used by realtors trying to sell or evaluate a piece of property.

Key Takeaways

  • Curb appeal is a term used by realtors that refers to the aesthetic attractiveness of a property, as viewed from some distance by a prospective buyer.
  • Several inexpensive tasks can improve the curb appeal of a home, such as fresh paint or clean landscaping.
  • Real estate agents may offer up suggestions for sellers to follow to increase curb appeal, based on their personal expertise and experience in various markets.

Understanding Curb Appeal

When trying to sell a home or property, many real estate agents will stress the importance of maximizing curb appeal, especially because many aspects of curb appeal can be improved in a cost-effective manner. Relatively small tasks or minor improvements can lead to an increase in a home's appraised value.

For example, there are several things that can increase the curb appeal of a piece of property that are relatively inexpensive, such as a new paint job, cleaning up landscaping outside, or replacing small things—outdated light fixtures or old numbers on a mailbox. Though not as easily measured as something like square footage, curb appeal plays an important role in property valuation. A house that has ideal curb appeal from the start may be valued higher than a home of the same approximate size, bedroom range, and location, simply because it will appeal more readily to a prospective buyer. If a buyer’s first thought is on the overwhelming amount of seemingly small tasks that must be accomplished, they may lose interest in the sale.

Realtors Boost Curb Appeal

Many real estate agents, when listing a home or property, can offer suggestions to the sellers in order to increase curb appeal, based on their own experience of what attracts buyers in that market. A popular paint color, style of lights, or even type of plants in a certain geographic area, for example, may be the key to making a prospective buyer feel comfortable and thus more apt to close a deal. It is to the seller’s advantage to follow any suggestions made by a real estate when listing a property or home to increase curb appeal because it will help to increase profits for both parties. In some cases, even outsourcing aspects of improving curb appeal—such as bringing in a landscape company or hiring a contractor to replace the siding of a home—can be financially prudent if it increases the final sale price of the property at closing.

If a real estate agent is not able to offer adequate suggestions for improving curb appeal, there are also specialists that exist simply to help sellers update properties and homes specifically for property acquisition. Similar to house staging to make a property or house more attractive for selling, a specialist or expert can come in and offer recommendations, and in some cases, even provide contacts of companies or individuals who can carry out the necessary tasks, to improve curb appeal.