What is the first thing a buyer looks at when approaching a house?

Asked by Debbie Blackstone, Dallas TX 75252, TX Tue May 6, 2008

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:

Answers

11
Chris Tesch, Agent, College Station, TX
Wed May 7, 2008
Debbie, curb appeal of course, neighborhood too, but I am a stickler about the landscaping and front door in particular.
Web Reference:  http://www.ChrisTesch.com
1 vote
Terri Hayley, Other Pro, Dallas, TX
Tue May 6, 2008
Hi Debbie,

They first observe the area and what's around - will the home back up to a Big Lots! store, a two story home, or a park.
Then, the neighborhood - are their lots of cars parked up and down the street, is it lined with large trees, is there pride of ownership in the neighborhood.
Then, the curb appeal - how much space is between the homes, what does the landscaping look like, is the elevation interesting, etc.
I've learned that buyers will want to drive by an address and if they don't like the way the exterior of the home looks for any reasons - even window screens - they'll scratch it off the list and don't even want to go see the inside.

Is this what you're finding?

Best wishes,
Terri Hayley
1 vote
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Tue May 6, 2008
a) curb appeal
if the house appears to be "tired" brown grass, house not power washed down many of my buyers won't get out of the car.
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
1 vote
Ruth Miller, , 50021
Tue May 6, 2008
Curb appeal and the neighborhood are the first things a buyer looks at.
1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Tue Jun 3, 2008
Jed, David, and Ruth are on target. They'll notice and consider the neighborhood even before they get to the house. And some will make a decision on whether to even go inside based on the neighborhood.

True example: There's a nice cluster of homes--late 1970s, 4/2.5, 1/3 acre lots on what used to be pasture--close to where I live. And there are three ways to drive there. One way is fairly rural, up and down hills, nicely wooded, past some other similar homes. The second way is past a number of horse farms--older houses, lots of acreage, white wooden fences. The third way is past a community of small poorly-built houses from the 1950s--3/1s that originally had outhouses. They're on small lots. Some have cars up on blocks in front. There are lots of plastic children's toys scattered on the lawns.

Any agent familiar with the area will provide directions to bring people in through one of the first two ways--rural and wooded, or rolling horse farms. It sets the right mood. Coming in the third way won't help sell the house or the community.

And once a buyer approaches the specific house, he or she again is looking at the neighbors. Another true story: I know some investors who rehab urban houses. When they're rehabbing, the work on the curb appeal not only of their rehab, but of the neighbors 4-5 houses in either direction on both sides of the street. And that's meant, on occasion (asking beforehand, of course) having their landscaping and lawnmowing crews take care not only of the rehab house, but of the neighbors' houses.

And once a buyer pulls in front of the specific house for sale, it's not just the overall effect and landscaping but whether there's a clear, visible entrance to the house. I've seen a number of houses where you pull up and you really don't know which way to go. Sometimes, there's been an addition to the house. Other times, it's a garage that sticks so far out that it obscures the whole entryway. Most of the time, even with poorly considered construction or design, it's something that could be remedied through landscaping, a defined walkway, a visible door (with surrounding potted plants), and so on.

Hope that helps.
0 votes
Jed Lane, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Tue Jun 3, 2008
If you are driving they wil be looking at the neighborhood. If they are driving hopefully they are watching the road.
They will take in the cleanliness, the gardens, how many cars are up on blocks, is there litter, graffitti. As they look to the specific house they will look at the whole first. Is it pleasing or OK or not acceptable. Impression taken then they will look at the specifics of maintenance issues, cracks in the concrete, weeds, paint. Now they are at the front door is it welcoming to them. Do they want to come home to this every day?
0 votes
Robin Davies, Agent, Prattville, AL
Wed May 7, 2008
The outside of the homes makes the first impression and we all know that you only get one first impression. I always suggest that the outside look very neat, clean and well maintained. This includes cleaning and updating flower beds. Clean out all weeds and plant colorful flowers - pansies are one of my favorites because they bloom well, plant easy and are not expensive. Make sure that there is nothing unatractive in the yard that blocks the view of the home. Also, one of my favorite easy fixes that can make a huge difference is the shutters. Painting them a color that compliments the home many times updatesand refreshes it. These are just a few simple fixes that don't cost much and a little sweat equity can go a long way.
0 votes
Doris Barnett, Agent, Richardson, TX
Wed May 7, 2008
Ok I find myself waxing poetic here: I believe the front door is like the eyes of the house. I started today visiting a home in trouble. When I got there I took photos and the first thing that I looked at was the front door, they had a lovely wreath but two trees overhung the door so it was hard to see the incredible arching window "lite" above the door. If the front door is in poor shape the questions begin. I too look at the landscaping and I noticed that there were key scrapes from where the owner had unlocked the door with a bunch of keys and the extras had left marks in the door frame. Small things still matter and with so many homes out there perhaps even more. PAint it, cut it, clip it and red it up! Good luck.
0 votes
Cici Anderson, , 32082
Wed May 7, 2008
Curb appeal is critical as first impressions and appearances are everything and if the curb appeal is NOT good they may not even come in the house no matter how beautiful the inside is. Look at your home from the buyer's prospective or have someone give you an honest opinion.
0 votes
David Hitchi…, , 75252
Wed May 7, 2008
Hey Miss Deb,

Good to see you on here! I believe that the clients first look at the overall streetscapes of the neighborhood. If it is appealing then they continue on to the home...if not they normally tell me to keep driving! LOL
0 votes
Laura Karamb…, Agent, Downers Grove, IL
Wed May 7, 2008
The buyer get his 1st impression of the home while standing at the front door, waiting for us to get the keys out of the lockbox. With this being said, they are able to take in the location, neighborhood and curb appeal. Sellers need to make sure their entrance & exterior is inviting, clean and well maintained.
0 votes
Search Advice
Search
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more