I have had people try to convince me curb appeal for their new barndominium is not important. Their reason has ranged from, “I am never going to sell this house” to “It is far into a forest no one will ever see it”.
A shocking reality – some day, someone will be selling your barndominium.
Here is a case in point. My great grandparents bought my family home outside of Spokane, Washington in 1937 from its original owners who had it built for them in 1909. Nine years later, they sold it to their son and my grandfather passed it along to me in 1990. It has been in our family for 83 years.
Never in my wildest dreams did I expect this home to not be in our family. However my lovely bride Judy was in a tragic motorcycle accident nearly five years ago and her being a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair did not match up well with a hillside home full of stairs. My three biological children, who grew up in this home, are scattered to the wind in Tennessee, Oregon and Massachusetts and are either buying homes of their own, or are settled into life at their present locales.
So, we are selling.
We’ve all had the experience of driving or walking down a street and seeing a house so adorable, we have to stop, stare, and imagine what it would be like to live there. Architecturally and aesthetically it looks warm, inviting, and happy just to exist.
Meanwhile, next door is a home looking like a big box, no overhangs, very flat roof, everything making it look… well, not quite so nice, rather like a warehouse. Imagine if those two homes were for sale — even if this second one were bigger, do you think a buyer would jump as readily to make a high offer on it as he would the first?
Besides me learning I did not want to golf, architecture school did teach me you have only one chance to make a good first impression.
First impressions last, and nowhere is this more evident than in real estate. If you are listing your barndominium, the initial impression it makes on a potential buyer can be the difference between a speedy sale and a house languishing without offers for several months.
Curb appeal describes a potential buyer’s feeling of a home as he or she approaches it, based on how it looks from outside. In recent years, this initial impression has extended beyond just physical and into a realm of virtual reality. How a home looks online can also greatly influence a buyer’s interest — in fact, in today’s highly competitive market, this is where curb appeal really begins.
Buying a home is an emotional experience. It is, therefore, critically important a seller sets a proper stage in generating a positive emotional response from a buyer. Whether a buyer sees a property online or physically pulls up to it, they’re either connecting or not connecting with this property in those first moments. How it looks from the outside brings about expectations of what the inside looks like once they enter.
Buyers and agents are looking at the big picture when viewing a home, but this doesn’t mean they are immune to little details. Everything is taken into consideration from the moment they see your house, including garage/shop, front door, and architectural details.
If you’ve already set a good impression with your barndominium’s exterior, it will allow for a more hopeful expectation of what a buyer will see inside. However, if you set a poor example, any positive emotional experience you’re looking for becomes an uphill battle. No matter how beautiful your interior is, a potential buyer’s mindset has been influenced before they’ve even stepped in your front door.
You can’t negotiate with a buyer if you can’t get them to your house, and if you don’t present your property online in a way compelling someone to want to hop in their car and see it firsthand, there won’t be a sale.
In most cases a wife or female human significant other is going to be the decision maker when it comes to buying your property. Many guys are like me – I don’t care if it is painted pink outside, as long as it has a great shop for me to tinker. Most wives have a lesser interest in a barndominium appearing to be all garage or looking like a warehouse.
Tune in next Tuesday for ideas on how to create attractive curb appeal.