For homebuyers, the first impression is key — which is why these charmers are bound to go fast.
Homebuyers are a bit like speed-daters. According to real-estate website Zillow’s 2014 Home-Selling Season Survey, a first impression — or in real-estate lingo, “curb appeal” — is the ticket to wooing buyers. Whether they consciously know it or not, buyers react strongly to features such as exterior doors, window frames, planters and shrubs. And the attraction, or aversion, starts way before they put their foot in the door.
“The first thing any buyer sees is an exterior photo online,” says Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group broker Aaron Share (call 773-710-9932). “The second thing they see is the exterior when they drive by or at a showing. Whether consciously or subconsciously, it creates a connection to the house.”
How to bump up a home’s curb appeal? Be willing to add a coat of paint to the exterior, replant the yard and trim branches, improve the exterior lighting and change out hardware. Enhanced features like these make Share’s listing at 2448 N. Monticello (above) a charming Logan Square option for $550,000. “The inside is gorgeous,” Share notes. “Long story short, the owners were very willing to do a couple of things to make it pop on the outside.” The vintage three-bedroom abode has brand-new siding, a trimmed front tree, new address numbers and mailbox, new mulch and planters. While the amped-up exterior might catch more eyes on an MLS site, the first impression lasts: “A house’s exterior is a reflection of the house on the inside,” Share adds, “and of its owners.”
“A lot of people fall in love before walking inside a house,” says Coldwell Banker broker Ed Jelinek (call 312-943-1959). Which is why Jelinek asked the owners of three-bedroom 3800 N. Lawndale to concentrate on pruning and showing the landscape — so the incredible corner lot, craftsman details and old cedar shingles showed up in pictures and to passersby. The $629,000 Irving Park listing now shows its “charm and appeal throughout,”