How important is curb appeal?

By Kelly Leighton | Oct. 5, 2016 | 3 min. read

Nearly all Realtors® – 99 percent- believe curb appeal is important when attracting a buyer, according to NAR’s research department’s 2016 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features.

Realtors® reported that standard lawn care program, overall landscape upgrade and a new patio are the top three projects that appeal to buyers. A landscape upgrade, new patio and new wood deck are the most likely to add value to home for resale, Realtors® said.

To perform a standard lawn care program, which the survey described as six applications of fertilizer and weed control on 5,000 square feet, would cost an estimated $330, with an estimated cost recovered of $1,000, making the value recovered 303 percent. Three-quarters of Realtors® recommend sellers do this to help boost their curb appeal.

An overall landscape upgrade, described as installing a front walkway of natural flagstone three feet wide and 30 feet long, adding two stone planters six feet long and two feet wide, installing five flowering shrubs and one deciduous 15-foot-tall tree, and mulch with landscaping bark, was recommended by 47 percent of agents. The estimated cost is $4,750, with the estimated cost recovered coming in $5,o00, for a 105 percent value recovered from this project. However, consumers felt a positive response to having an overall landscape upgrade down, with 75 percent reporting they have a greater desire to be home since finishing the project. Perhaps they won’t be selling after all?

New patios were recommended by only 4 percent of Realtors® to add appeal to a home before selling, but the estimated cost recovered is still 102 percent, making it a win for both sellers and buyers. However, of consumers who added a new patio, 82 percent said they have a greater desire to be home, and 74 percent said they have a greater sense of enjoyment when home since the addition.

A new wood deck was recommended by 10 percent of agents, with an estimated cost recovery of 106 percent. However, this is a more expensive project, with an estimated cost of $9,450. Nearly half of consumers report adding the deck to improve livability and add features, and 77 percent reported having a greater desire to be home since adding the deck.

Meanwhile, members of the National Association of Landscape Professionals also believe that curb appeal is important to consumers, especially those who hire professionals. According to the NALP, two-thirds of new business brought to their members is thanks to homeowners who do not have time to do their lawns or landscapes, and 65 percent is brought to those who don’t know how to do it. Nearly one-third on new business is from homeowners looking to make their landscape look good for an event, and 21 percent are trying to sell their homes.

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