The way the ‘curb appeal’ phenomenon applies to a Southern California home for sale is explained simply enough. Like the packaging on a store shelf item, its mission is to break through the competition—to strike a responsive chord with potential buyers.
That is the goal, but no Southern California home that’s up for sale can possibly ‘bat a thousand’ when it comes to curb appeal, since buyers start out with differing mental images of what constitutes an ideal home. For some, it’s a well-kept colonial; for others, a clean-lined contemporary. Today, most house hunting begins with the online local area listings. Each offering is introduced via its exterior glamor shot…making it possible to form quick impressions of the whole gamut of properties for sale in Murrieta. Those pictures comprise today’s first pass at curb appeal—the photographic kind. For homes that pass that first hurdle, the next test is the three-dimensional, pull-up-to-the-curb experience. Making the most of that first impression can shape all that ensues.
A survey of hundreds of landscaping and photography “tips” for maximizing curb appeal for the most part confirms what common sense would tell us anyway: cut the grass; plant more flowers or shrubbery; keep everything neat and clean…and one even recommended “planting more shade trees—certainly the least practical ‘tip’!
Of course, as showings become imminent, every homeowner will hose off the walkway, sweep the porch, broom out the cobwebs. But before that stage—before the listing photography is done, it’s a worthwhile exercise to step back and take in the overall impression that first-time visitors are going to get. Step out front—then take the same walk your visitors will be making, but seeing it the way they will.
If the siding isn’t really fresh-looking, it’s worth considering whether a professional power wash or exterior paint touchup might make a substantial improvement. Getting rid of even traces of grime can subtly turn an ‘okay’ impression into a strongly positive one. A fresh doormat is a simple addition; likewise, scouring or replacing tarnished or pitted hardware (like address numerals, doorknobs, locks and door knockers) can subtly transform many a first impression.
When you allow yourself to abandon your everyday perspective, fresh ideas and energy have a way of materializing. Putting your house up for sale is also infinitely easier when you have an experienced Southern California real estate professional helping out from the very start—giving me a call early on is the first step!
Jason M Gailliot
“the Gailliot Group”
Casa Bella Properties