Curb Appeal is Just the Beginning: How to Buy and Sell Quality

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“Buyers begin to fall in love with a house at the curb,’ says Real Estate Agent Gerri Walczak. “If the entry door is unique to the home and has ‘Wow’ factor, buyers will expect the whole home to match that quality and will want to see more.”
She notes the details that contribute quality to a home are trim, flooring, appliances and solid-core doors, among others. “Savvy home buyers looking to upgrade from their existing home will immediately notice nicer finishes like these,” says Gerri, because they know what they want.”
For less-experienced buyers, she takes the time to point out these details, even having them open and close the cabinet and interior doors as they walk through the house.
Gerri shares three quick tips for creating an “upgraded” versus a starter home feeling:

  • The front door should be unique to the home. “I don’t want the door to fade into the background when we look at a home from the street.”
  • Make the outside speak for the quality of the interior. “The love story only starts at the curb, so start with high impact outside and keep up the finishes and details inside.” This includes:
    • Upgraded appliances
    • High-end flooring options such as hard woods and tile
    • Quality cabinetry
    • Detailed trim and finish work
  • Choose solid-core over hollow-core doors. “The door is the easiest thing to change in a home and a solid core door just has a nicer feel to it; there’s more weight when you swing and shut it,” she says. “I’ll walk through 10 to 15 houses on average with clients and buyers will begin to feel the difference between the types of doors, and notice the different acoustics walking into the room with the solid door. They’ll know when they’re walking into a solid-core home versus a hollow-core home.” When building a custom home, Gerri points out the cost to upgrade the whole house to solid core doors may seem like a chunk of change, but “amounts to pennies on the dollar over the span of a 30-year loan.”

Gerri sums it up: “Over about 20 years, I’ve worked with several clients building custom homes and these were the top features that are worth the upgrade,” says Gerri. “That’s when I had an ‘Aha’ moment and thought back to all of the nicer homes I’d been in and realized these really are the elements that create the most value to homeowners and buyers alike.”

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