Colorful First Impressions

Spring TulipsPut yourself in the shoes of a buyer. You’ve seen a listing on the internet that looks interesting and have contacted your agent to set up a showing. After arriving at the property, you wait in your car for a moment or two before getting out. You then walk up to the front door and meet your agent, who has arrived early to open the home and turn on the lights for the showing.

So what have you noticed about the property in your first two minutes?

Perhaps you looked at how the house is situated on the property, relative to the neighboring houses. Or maybe you examined the exterior of the structure to see how well it has been maintained. But no matter what else you saw, you probably checked out the yard to see how well it was landscaped and manicured.

Although the location and the exterior maintenance of a home are more important over the long-term, landscaping makes a big impression because it helps set expectations about the interior. If buyers see a freshly mowed yard and weeded gardens, then they are most likely going to go inside with a positive attitude and feelings about the property.

Perhaps the best illustration of this point is the impact of the Curb Appeal team. Their projects are quite extensive, but over a half hour we see a home transformed to inviting and welcoming. How would you feel as a buyer walking up to the front door of the house before the project versus afterwards?

Improving the look of a home doesn’t need to be difficult, and certainly not as extreme as seen on TV. The first, and most important, step is to make sure that what’s currently there is well tended. Sellers should mow more often than they otherwise would and be diligent about using the weed eater along fence lines and other obstacles. Take an hour or two to clean up the gardens, and consider adding mulch to help keep the weeds from growing back as quickly.

Planting annuals is an easy way to add a splash of color and interest to a yard of any size, especially at this time of the year. Farmer’s markets and home improvement stores have a wide variety of plants that will flower all summer long. They can be added to existing gardens or even planted in pots at the front of the house.

Creating a good first impression is important in real estate, and nothing says “you’ll love me” like a well manicured yard with a bouquet of colorful flowers.