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RISMEDIA, March 3, 2008-When it comes to purchasing a home, buyers do judge a book by its cover, according to a new survey of real estate agents commissioned by JELD-WEN® Windows & Doors.

The JELD-WEN Real Estate Agent Community Trends (REACT) survey found that curb appeal is essential to getting buyers in the door and fostering a sale. Specifically, 82% of agents said they have had buyers decline to look at the interior of a home based on the exterior appearance.

“This research speaks volumes about the importance of window and door curb appeal when it comes to home sales,” said Elizabeth Souders, product manager with JELD-WEN. “It confirms that windows and doors play a major role in the overall home value.”

Other findings from the REACT survey include:

90% of respondents felt a buyer’s first impression of the front entry was important to their ability to sell a home; 91% of agents agreed that a prospect’s impression of a home’s outer shell is equally important as the interior.
Other than first impressions, real estate agents pointed out the amount of a home’s natural light (75%), overall appearance of windows and doors (71%), energy efficient products (63%) and environmentally friendly materials (29%) helps them appeal to potential homebuyers.
A majority of agents have used energy efficiency as a selling feature. Two-thirds, 66%, said they have mentioned energy-efficient doors and windows in their listings.

Sixty-five percent of agents in the REACT survey said that the number of buyers looking for universal design features, such as a master bedroom on the main floor, has increased in the last few years.

Given the importance of the front entry in the sale of a home, agents were shown pictures of an average 2,000-square-foot home and asked to estimate its value in their area. When shown the same home with updated entry and garage doors, agents estimated the property to be worth an additional $16,000.

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