Curb your Enthusiasm: Homes with Spruced-Up Outsides Sell at Premium

Inner beauty is something we all strive for. But when it comes to selling homes, that may not be enough.

Keeping lawns freshly cut and outdoor spaces in tip-top shape could result in greater rewards for sellers. A new analysis of Google Street View and data from nearly 90,000 home sales found that, on average, a property with strong curb appeal sells at a 7 percent premium to a comparable home in the same neighborhood with less curb game. In buyer’s markets, that premium shot up as high as 14 percent.

The findings from the study conducted by University of Texas at Arlington professor Sriram Villupuram and the University of Alabama’s Erik Johnson and Alan Tidwell were published in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics and reported by the Wall Street Journal. The study gauged curb appeal by factors such as lawns and landscaping, and used machine learning to assign values to the dataset of homes in the greater Denver area.

Current appraisals generally bake in factors such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage and any home improvements. Villupuram told the Journal that the findings could help large-scale real estate investors and lenders make better estimates about property values. [WSJ] — TRD Staff

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