Buyer: “OMG, you’re not really going to show us that house over there, are you?”
Real estate agent: “Wait until you see the inside of that house; you’ll love it!”
Unfortunately, the seller above didn’t pay any attention when his real estate agent had told him when listing the house that it was necessary to do some serious work on the curb appeal.
Most property sellers drive home every day and take their surroundings for granted, however what a house’s exterior looks like is the first thing a buyer sees when looking to purchase a property.
In an ActiveRain article on Trulia, U.S. realtors shared opinions on the importance of curb appeal when selling a home. They all agreed that the color of the house for sale is the first thing to work on and to make sure the exterior walls are not painted in yellow, purple, pink, or any blue color, but especially Smurf Blue.
First of all, you should listen to what the real estate agents can tell you about the curb appeal of your house (as well as other recommendations they can make), a good agent has the experience and the eye to pick out the important features that negatively catch the eye of a buyer.
In Costa Rica, many homes are on the market for years. The main reasons for not selling quickly are usually because the asking price is much too high or because the property looks terrible when it is shown to a buyer.
Luckily, there are five things you can do to add curb appeal to your home:
- Go across the street with pen and paper and look at every detail
- Clean up the sidewalk and repair cracks
- Paint the fence if you have one
- Landscape the garden
- Paint the front door
Of course, there are things in your immediate neighborhood that you cannot control. Unfortunately, if the neighbor’s house is painted in an awful color or if their garden looks like a junkyard, there is not much you can do except talk to your neighbor or invite them over for coffee or a beer and tell them you are planning to put your house on the market soon and you are worried about the curb appeal.
You could even offer to cooperate with a clean-up or promise them a 3-day cruise in the Caribbean as soon as your house sells if they make their property look spic ‘n span until that happens, if the neighbor’s house is a real eyesore. Whatever you do, make sure that your house has some serious curb appeal.
Ivo Henfling, a Dutch expat who has lived in Costa Rica since 1980, founded the American-European Real Estate Group back in 1999 which was the first functioning MLS with affiliate agents from coast to coast.