Real estate in the Valley is hot right now. It's definitely a seller's market. Buyers are paying top dollar for properties across the state and one way to increase interest is with curb appeal.
A study done by Michigan State University showed that a home with landscaping and effort put into curb appeal could potentially increase perceived home value by five to 11 percent.
Local real estate agent Elizabeth “Elle” Ciurdas of Century 21 Toma Partners grouped with Stacy Dragos, has become something of an expert when it comes to staging and getting homes market-ready.
“Having good curb appeal cannot be underestimated,” Ciurdas said. “We know that first impressions can leave a lasting impact and this is especially true when purchasing a home.”
She adds that good curb appeal can either make or break a sale and can sometimes be the biggest determining factor in capturing a buyer's interest in a property.
Ciurdas believes it is important to create a space that is welcoming to any buyer. That starts on the outside when the buyer first drives up or even when they are viewing the property online. “Many online listings show the exterior in the very first photo,” she said. “If it doesn't look attractive they will likely keep scrolling.”
While neat landscaping with a weed-free yard is very important, it is the small details that can really add the most impact to create that welcoming environment Ciurdas is so passionate about. She emphasizes that the size, location, or value of a home doesn't matter—it is always a good idea to stage a home for sale and put focus on the exterior.
“A welcome mat and an outdoor bench with coordinating pillows can add a nice flow to the entry,” said Ciurdas. “Plants and greenery add an earthy feel. It's details like this that can add the spark that can lead to the sale and even a higher price point.”
Ciurdas earned her real estate license four years ago and has been with Century 21 Toma Partners for almost two years. She always had an interest in design so when she was asked to help clients with home staging it was a natural transition. Her passion and flair for her work have earned her an extensive client list and she is in the process of launching her own domestic design company—Dwelle and Co.—slated to open for business this month. “It's a play on the word dwell and my nickname 'Elle',” she said.