First Impressions

First impressions are everything. When preparing to sell your home, good curb appeal is invaluable. Everybody has heard the term "curb appeal," but what exactly does it mean?

When you drive down any residential street, take the time to quickly analyze the appearance of the homes. There will always be some that stand out, appearing much more attractive than others, and often there will be one or two that really look inferior. Usually the exterior appearance of a home provides a good indicator of what you will find on the inside.

Most people unconsciously make quick judgements. usually you are either attracted to a property, or you think to yourself, "Gosh, who would wan to live there?" Prospective buyers usually try to envision themselves living in the home they are viewing. Working on your home's curb appeal can greatly increase your home's desirability and value.

Homeowner associations within a Common Investment Development routinely work on improving the appearance of their whole neighbourhood. Not only does this provide the owners with satisfaction, but it can greatly improve the value of each home.  

There is no question that a fresh coat of paint probably does the most to enhance a property for the least amount of money. The colors you choose can be very important. Drive through nice neighborhoods and see which homes really stand out. These homes can provide you with color combination ideas. You might consider using three separate colors to accent certain details; for example, think about using an overall beige color for the home, paint window ledges  and trim a white color, and finally use a third darker color to bring out the front door and shutters.  Many paint companies provide brochures with recommended color combinations. 

You should also take a hard look at your landscaping. Well maintained lawns, shrubs, and flower beds can make a huge difference. Improving your landscaping by cutting back bushes and planting attractive flowers can do wonders. Having a clean, well-kept year is crucial. 

You might also consider updating doors and windows. There is nothing like a beautiful front door with designer glass insets to set a home apart. New dual-pane windows are excellent energy savers and can provide an updated look to your home. Shutters can often add charm and appeal to the outside appearance of certain styles of homes. Pay attention to detail. Look carefully at homes that really stand out. Then select ideas for your home from the mast attractive examples you find. 

Why wait until your thinking of selling your home to make these improvements? Do it now and enjoy them for yourself. You never get a second chance at making a good first impression.


This article was published on Sunday, March 29th of 2015 in the San Francisco Examiner.

Articles are written by Eric Ruxton and Larry Aikins, owners of Terrace Realty, Inc. and Terrace Associates, Inc. in Redwood City. Terrace has been in business more than 55 years and in addition to being an independent Brokerage Company, also owns and operates rental properties.