Curb Appeal: What Catches a Buyer’s Eye?


how to improve curb appeal

Curb appeal can mean the difference between a home that sells fast and one that languishes. Photo: Shutterstock

When it comes time to sell, sometimes a house just needs a facelift, a makeover, or just a few simple enhancements.

“The best thing a seller can do is to first think like a buyer,” according to Ocala real estate broker Carolyn K. Roberts. ” When you stand across the street from your home, look at your home  and note any flaws you see.  Commit to making the improvements.”

How about the driveway and walk? Have years of use and abuse left them cracked and stained? And the flowerbeds. What might you do to liven them up? Some colorful plants? Garden art? Decorative curbing?

Even your mailbox might need a makeover. Or you might want to add some lighting. Bear in mind that whatever you choose to do, make sure it compliments the other architectural aspects of your home. You don’t want an eclectic hodgepodge. There are lots of things you can do on a limited budget, especially if you don’t mind doing some of the work yourself.

Better Homes & Gardens’ web site gives the following advice:

  • An entry should reflect the home’s interior.
  • Install a decorative light fixture to not only illuminate the front entry but also to enhance it.
  • Consider applying molding to the sides and top of a doorway.
  • Add contrasting shutters or trim.
  • Make sure porch and stoop railings are in good condition and match the home’s main features.
  • Replace corroded or broken shutters and downspouts.
  • Even your mailbox might need a makeover. Think paint, decals, or a new box entirely.
  • Make sure your garden beds are in shape by pruning, mulching, planting, and weeding.
  • Keep your lawn cut and manicured.

According to the National Association of Realtors, “A house that looks good will sell.” If a buyer drives past a house at five or ten miles per hour, the front of the house should be alluring enough for that buyer to stop the car and write down the real estate agent’s name and number.

The NAR estimates that curb appeal is responsible for selling 49 percent of all houses. The one thing a seller won’t be able to control is how the neighbors take care of their homes and yards. As for the seller’s house, the NAR web site recommends keeping the lawn mowed and watered, garden beds groomed, the trash picked up, and garbage cans stowed out of sight.

While living in the home, it’s always a good idea to maintain it by fixing anything that breaks, cleaning anything that gets dirty, and adding enhancements, as the years go by. Keep in mind that curb appeal will be a buyer’s first introduction to your home, but, once they get inside, they’ll expect to see an equally nice interior.

It’s like love at first sight. That initial attraction could lead to a huge disappointment if what’s inside doesn’t match what a person sees on the outside. That kind of unfulfilled interest soon dwindles.

What begins as curb appeal, ultimately, could end with a binding contract.


Selling your home in Ocala, Florida? Roberts Real Estate specializes in personal service backed by a deep knowledge of the local community. We have professional, knowledgeable, and dedicated agents who follow through from the beginning to the end of the transaction. Call (352) 351-0011 to speak with one of our agents today.