Let’s face it, first impressions matter. We care about how we dress for a job interview, and we spend extra time in front of the mirror before that first date. When it comes to selling a home, first impressions matter too.
For years, Buyers formed their first impressions of homes by observing its “curb appeal” while standing in the street or from sitting inside the car. Before Listings appeared online, a Buyer would get a phone call or fax from their Agent about a new listing. The initial drive-by and “curb appeal” would determine whether or not they would go for an actual showing. Sellers would spend tedious amounts of time sprucing up the landscaping, making the exterior of the home appear clean and well maintained. Curb appeal still remains a vital piece of a home’s first impression. But, it’s not quite as important as it once was.
With online Listings and 3D Tour technology now a fundamental part of the current real estate market, almost every Buyer forms their first impression from a home’s online photos. Now, instead of doing a “drive-by” to your home, Buyers simply scroll through loads of pictures of both the outside and the inside. They do this before ever stepping foot inside.
The exterior still remains important, but the new “curbside appeal” includes the entirety of the home. “Web appeal” has become the new curb appeal.
Your home needs to be depicted in its best light, and if your home doesn’t photograph well — either because you didn’t have it professionally shot, didn’t post high-resolution photos, or you haven’t taken the time to stage it with a professional— then the outside curb appeal won’t make a difference.
Sellers need to spend ample time preparing the inside of their home and getting great photos, so Buyers will form the best possible impression.
The downside for Sellers is that they have to work much harder than they did just a few years ago. In our ever-more-visual society, Buyers make immediate judgments about a home within seconds of clicking on the new Listing.
Sellers only have one chance to make a good impression. The home still needs to look good from the curb — but to get the Buyers there in person, it needs to look great on the Internet too.