It’s a saying that doesn’t make much literal sense, but everyone knows what it means:
“The more things change, the more they remain the same.”
Literal or not, the message is dead-on: some truisms are as valid in 2021 as they were in grandma’s day. For real estate, one of those observations is about the undeniable importance that curb appeal has for selling your home. Like “first impressions are lasting” and “you only get one chance to make a first impression,” it’s simply true that human beings seem to be hard-wired to tend to stick to initial reactions. Undoing them can require an inordinate degree of persuasive information and experience.
Without challenging the validity of the “the more things change, the more they remain the same” rule, when it comes to today’s real estate, there’s an addendum. ‘Curb appeal’ in is still very important, but now there really are two curb appeals—two first impressions. There is the traditional, get-out-of-the-car-and-have-a-look version that inspires conscientious sellers to enhance their home’s curb appeal. It motivates to do things like making sure the street address numbers are easy to spot and easy to read (that follows the “thou shalt not irritate thy buyers” commandment).
But today, there is an extra curb appeal moment: another opportunity for a different kind of first look—the one that potential buyers get when they discover the online listing. The ‘hero’ shot—the photo at the top of the listing screen—can also be a do-or-die impression-maker. It can fire a desire to find out more about the property or to pass it up. In the online world, the ‘curb’ may be the bottom edge of the computer monitor or the cellphone’s screen, but the ‘appeal’ that results (or doesn’t) can be as decisive as the real, three-dimensional one.
The reason to point out this other curb appeal is a practical one for homeowners who may only suspect that they might be putting their property up for sale in a year or two. Because there are times of the year when the weather cooperates to make your place look especially gorgeous, it’s a very good idea to go outside from time to time and take your own photo that captures those moments. Even if right now there’s no inkling that you might want to put your own home on the market anytime soon, having an in-focus, nicely composed snapshot safely tucked away in your ‘Photos’ folder just might prove to be a godsend later on, if waiting for the seasonal cycle to come around wouldn’t be practical. If and when the notion to sell begins to become less of a maybe, I hope you’ll call a great agent!