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Gary Smith, Real Estate Pro in Michigan

Curb Appeal Sells Homes, Survey Says

Asked by Gary Smith, Michigan Thu Mar 27, 2008

From Realtor Magazine today: According to the Real Estate Agent Community Trends survey, 82 percent of practitioners polled said buyers unimpressed with a home's exterior will not want to look inside. The results also found that 90 percent of respondents said a sale depends on first impressions of the front entry, while 91 percent said the home's exterior is just as important as what is inside.

Do you feel this survey is correct and do you believe home sellers understand the consequences?

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Answers

8
Thanks Gary. Those #'s will go a long way to convincing sellers to spruce up the yard, paint and fix the gutters.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 29, 2008
Gary, You're absolutly right. I've worked in Ohio and more recently Minnesota. Changing the picture with the season really helps

JD “Dan” Weisenburger, GRI
Broker-Associate REALTOR®
Vanguard Realty, Inc. GMAC Real Estate
Web Reference: http://www.neflahomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 28, 2008
Hi Gary,
I believe curb appeal is crucial and owning a high quality camera to take high quality photos is also crucial. I find it really difficult to express a homes curb appeal in the winter months, here in Michigan. You almost need to plan your photo shoots on beautiful sunny days to relay the best image of a listing. With that in mind, taking a listing in the winter months just does not do justice for a home that offers great summertime curb appeal. My board requires that I take an exterior photo of the home as the main listing photo and we have 72 hours to upload that photo or be fined. Quite often the weather does not cooperate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 28, 2008
Dan, Nice to hear about your professional attitude. The "5 second rule" apparently does not just work for food on the floor LOL

In this area, seasonal photos date how long a home has been on the market (the number one question I get from home buyers). With snow on the ground, those properties with green grass and trees with leaves really date the home.
Web Reference: http://www.mi-living.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 28, 2008
Hi Gary, Great Question.

I tell my sellers we have less than 5 seconds to get the people that stop to get out of their car, again we have less than 5 seconds to get them to walk thru the foyer to see the house. The exterioir must be attractive to attract!

The other thing, while we are talking about attracting is those MLS pictures! My goodness! I take my own pictures. typically I take about 12 of the front. I use a tall step ladder, I kneel down like you see the pros at sporting events I shoot from the middle of the front, just off to eaither side and step back about 15 feet and do it all again. It takes about 15 minutes of time to shoot and another 15 minutes to look at the results. I shoot northern facing homes on cloudy days, then come back on a sunny day to get the blue sky and photo shop and I play with it until it is right. This way I have even lighting on the front. I also have hi intensity (road construction types) i set up sometimes to highlight the house a little more. BUT the exterioir has to be worthy of shooting. Right now I have a house in my web site that needs reshooting, I have another where the seller is supposed to trim the lower branches of the tree. This business can be challenging at times.
JD “Dan” Weisenburger, GRI
Broker-Associate REALTOR®
Vanguard Realty, Inc. GMAC Real Estate
Web Reference: http://www.neflahomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 27, 2008
Okay, but where does curb appeal start? With 80 percent of home buyers looking online, are agents causing buyers to look elsewhere?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 27, 2008
Curb appeal is critical and sellers often underestimate it. I would add that most buyers start their home search online. If they don't like the pictures they see, they will not even bother driving by the house to check out the curb appeal! The most common recommendations I make to sellers regarding curb appeal are weed beds and remove dead plants; place fresh mulch in beds; paint the front door and trim if needed; add a large new welcome mat and place some seasonal flowers in large pots or urns by the front door. This can dramatically improve a house's appearance without alot of cost.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 27, 2008
I believe it and no, the sellers don't understand and sometimes get in the way of the professionals. We need to communicate to our clients that the property ceases to be theirs when we sign a listing contract. It becomes a product that we need to prepare for market and then market and sell. I think that many times agents are not clear on what they need to do and won't take the position of strength to set market price and condition to have this property be the first pulled off the shelf of the market for comparable homes.
Web Reference: http://www.jedlane.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 27, 2008
Jed Lane, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
MVP'08
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