The house that you own is probably your biggest investment. However, for most homeowners, these investments are temporary, as the average person moves more than 11 times in their lifetime. Chances are, the time will come to sell your current house and move.

The hope is that during the time that you have lived in your house, it has appreciated in value. However, when you watch the homes around you that are for sale, it may be hard to tell why one house sits on the market for months while the one next door sells over list price in just a few days. It can be even more challenging to figure out which home improvements will bring the best return on investment.

The fencing, or lack thereof, may play a significant role in how quickly your house sells. It may also influence the final sales price. If you don’t currently have a fence, or your fence needs repair, you may want to address that issue before you put it on the market.

Curb Appeal and Visual Aesthetic

We have all seen pictures of the quintessential American family house. It is modest in size with a large front porch, a two-car garage, and a beautifully manicured lawn—all surrounded by a white picket fence. It looks like a wonderful place to live. But can you imagine the same house without the fence? It would lose some of its charm and appeal.

The right type of fence can enhance the curb appeal of your home, which is the first thing that every potential buyer will see. In this digital age, most prospective buyers will see your home online first. What they see in those pictures will form their first impressions of the house. They may even decide from those pictures whether or not they want to look at the house at all. A good-looking, well-built fence can draw in more potential buyers and increase the likelihood that your home will sell more quickly. More competition may lead to a higher sale price as well.

Not just any type of fencing will do, however. While a white picket fence is inviting, a chain-link fence may give buyers a very different impression altogether. Buyers may see a chain-link fence as a practical, but unsightly, add-on, while a well-maintained cedar privacy fence will be viewed as a beautiful upgrade.

Safety and Security

Fences are a great way to define your property line. They can keep people from entering your property both accidentally or intentionally. Having this well-defined boundary gives homeowners a sense of personal space and safety.

Every homebuyer has different criteria when searching for a home. It is essential to know what shoppers in your area want. Currently, a high percentage of those in the housing market are millennials (those born in the 1980s and early 1990s). Roughly 80% of these buyers have pets, which plays a critical role in their buying decisions.

For these pet owners, a fence is not only a perk, but a must-have. If your house already has a fence, they don’t have to add one to keep Fido close and safe. This benefit may make the difference between making an offer on your home or the house next door.

Add to the number of pet owners the number of prospective buyers that have young children, and the demand for a fence grows even greater. This demand for a fence may continue to escalate if your home is near a busy street, a stream, or other potential hazards. A proper boundary makes a home feel like a safer place to raise a family.

Functional Appeal

Fences can help to conceal undesirable features that may surround your home. Potential homebuyers would much rather see the privacy fence that you installed, than look at the overgrown weeds in a neighboring yard or lot. The fence may also block out some of the noise from an adjacent road or school.

In rural areas, a fence can accentuate the size of the property. A fence way off in the distance on the property line makes the lot seem to go on and on. However, without a fence, the size of the property is ambiguous.

Bottom Line: Will a Fence Increase the Price of a Home?

It depends. Beautiful landscaping, of which a fence is a part, can add up to 20% to the value of your home. However, there are other factors to consider.

  • If most of the neighboring homes do not have fences, your fence may look out of place.
  • The wrong type of fencing may also look out of place. Choose a material that will complement your home and neighborhood.
  • Take care of the fence that you have. Make sure to seal or stain wood fences to make them last longer.

While your return on investment when building a fence may not be 100%, a beautiful fence will attract more buyers and make your home a more desirable purchase.