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Top 10 Most Important Curb Appeal Features, According to Realtors

Written by Adam Graham

Published on May 9, 2024


Top 10 Most Important Curb Appeal Features, According to Realtors

Real estate experts from across the country weigh in and tell us the key features to achieve the best curb appeal.

To provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information, we consult a number of sources when producing each article, including licensed contractors and industry experts.

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If you’re looking to sell your home, you need to think about curb appeal. Curb appeal considers the overall aesthetic of your home and the first impression to potential buyers. It entails various aspects such as landscaping, colors, decoration, and functionality. Having great curb appeal can be the difference between a quick sale at a good price or your home sitting endlessly on the market. As Debra Dobbs, General and Team Lead of The Dobbs Group, points out “I have clients who did not want to view a property based on their negative impression of an unattractive or poorly maintained home.”

But which aspects should you be upgrading? To help you prioritize your exterior home improvements we spoke to realtors currently working in the industry. To understand which are the most important curb appeal features, we asked them to rank various characteristics. 

Here are the survey results of what the professionals say are the top 10 most important curb appeal features.

1. Landscaping 

91% of realtors selected landscaping as one of their top 5 features

Your front yard is the first space a potential home buyer will see and experience. Having a well-maintained front yard gives a positive impression that welcomes people to your home. Aesthetic appeal is what curb appeal is all about and landscaping plays a major role. Eric Bramlett, Realtor and Owner of Bramlett Residential, agrees “Landscaping is undoubtedly the first thing buyers notice as they pull up. So it's critical to take time nurturing your yard's aesthetics.” This is why a vast majority of 91% of real estate experts believe it is one of the most important areas to focus on. 

2. Driveway and Walkway

55% of realtors selected the driveway and walkway as one of their top 5 features

Located alongside or forming part of your front yard landscaping is the driveway and walkway. Ensuring it is in good condition leaves homeowners satisfied with a feeling that the home in general has been well cared for. The driveway and walkway are also functional features and need to be safe as well as look good. Colten Claus, Associate Broker at 8z Real Estate says that the driveway and walkway “ lead the eye and foot traffic to your home, so ensuring they are in good repair and aesthetically pleasing is important.”

3. Front Door Color

55% of realtors selected front door color as one of their top 5 features

Front door color plays a far more significant role in the overall appearance than its size might suggest. While way smaller than siding or roofing, the impact of its color can be just as big. Color can tie in well with the architectural features of a house. It also adds a bit of personality, making it feel more homely. Michelle Accetta, realtor affiliated with Beach City Brokers advises that “If a seller is looking to improve their curb appeal I would always start with the front door as it gives the first impression. An easy upgrade is to paint the front door a color that compliments the house. Always make sure that the hardware is easily operable as you don’t want someone struggling to get in.”

4. Front Porch

49% of realtors selected the front porch as one of their top 5 features

A front porch enhances the overall appearance of the home as well as providing a sheltered welcome for guests. It’s an impactful feature that can make or break a home’s curb appeal. As James Heartquist, Owner of Modern Property Solutions, points out “It's a space for decoration and functionality, setting the tone for the entire house.” Home buyers want a warm, homely welcome as they step onto the front porch, making it essential to have it well-maintained, well-decorated, and well-lit. 

5. Outdoor Lighting

42% of realtors selected exterior lighting as one of their top 5 features

A home’s curb appeal is as important at night as it is during the daytime. While curb appeal is important when selling, it is also important for homeowners to come home at the end of the day and feel house proud. Having sufficient lighting can help with this. Rather than a dull appearance, lighting can highlight features, light up walkways, and create a calming ambience. Bramlett comments “Soft front yard lighting guides buyers' eyes to your home's best features after dark.”

6. Decoration

33% of realtors selected decoration as one of their top 5 features

Decoration enhances your front porch, door, and yard. Certain items can bring color and homeliness to the space. For example, Paige Robinson, a real estate expert at Home Buyers says “Decorations, such as door mats and potted plants, can add a personal touch and make the home feel more inviting.” However, decoration largely comes down to personal taste. Creating an outdoor area to please yourself is easy, but when it comes time to sell, you may need to adjust. While you might find big quirky gnomes adorable, it might distract potential buyers from focusing on other important aspects. 

7. Fencing and Gates

33% of realtors selected fencing and gates as one of their top 5 features

The fencing and gates act as a frame around your home’s landscaping. An old, tattered fence can ruin the overall look of a well-kempt front yard. Both fencing material and color complement the home’s exterior and add to design cohesiveness. Properly erected fencing and working gates give buyers a sense of security and privacy, which are all essential in making the best first impression. 

8. Siding Color

30% of realtors selected siding color as one of their top 5 features

Siding color plays a huge part in a home’s curb appeal. The color of your siding can dramatically change your home’s appearance. All the while the color compliments the style, matches the roof color, and doesn’t break any rules set by your HOA, a new siding color could be the difference between your home selling or not. Claus says siding “can have a substantial impact on a home's curb appeal, influencing buyers' first impressions and perceived value of a property.” For example, it may be worth investing roughly $2,700–$5,500 to paint vinyl siding to give your home a lift. 

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9. Window Style

30% of realtors selected window style as one of their top 5 features

Windows occupy a large amount of space, playing a big part in a home’s facade. The style and shape of windows can make the difference between a home having a traditional or contemporary look. If your windows are old then this may result in poor home energy efficiency which can be off-putting to buyers. It costs an average of $7,500 to replace windows and may be worth it either for selling or to improve your home’s energy efficiency rating, saving you on bills in the long run. 

10. Siding Material

27% of realtors selected siding material as one of their top 5 features

Similarly to siding color, the material itself dictates a home’s appearance. Almost a third of realtors believe siding material is one of the top 5 most important features when it comes to curb appeal. As Claus explains “Since the siding covers a large area of the home's exterior, its material and color greatly influence the overall aesthetic and perceived upkeep of the property.” Therefore, when selling, it’s important to make sure your siding is well-maintained and clean. 

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Written by

Adam Graham Construction Industry Analyst

Adam Graham is a construction industry analyst at Fixr.com. He has experience writing about home construction, interior design, and real estate. He communicates with experts and journalists to make sure we provide the most up-to-date and fact-checked information. He has been featured in publications such as Better Homes and Gardens, and written for various outlets including the National Association of Realtors, and Insurance News Net Magazine.