Will my home sell just as well if it doesn’t have a fence?
If I install a fence, will I recover the cost when I sell it?
If you’re a homeowner, questions like this are important, and we’re here to help. We asked a panel of professionals to share their informed opinions on the value of fences in the real estate market.
Check your neighbor’s homes and fences
There isn’t always an easy answer to this question. A fence around your home can, in theory, add some value to your property as long as it is properly installed in the right area, well-maintained, and aesthetically pleasing. However, there is some debate as to whether buyers will pay more money for your property solely because of the fence.
Of course, many homebuyers are looking for homes with backyard fences. That fenced-off area creates an ideal private environment to relax, host get-togethers, and let your pet run free. Does that automatically mean that a fence increases the value of a property? Not necessarily. If your property is the only home in the neighborhood with a backyard fence, that feature may not add much value to your home. On the flip side, if every other home in the neighborhood has a backyard fence and yours does not, then your property’s value is likely less than the others surrounding your home. The value that fence poses to your home is partially dependent upon the trends of the neighborhood.
The person who will have a say over the value of your fence will be the home appraiser. They will evaluate your property during the sale to determine an accurate price point for your property. During their inspection, the appraiser will examine your fence and determine whether it adds value to or subtracts value from your property, based on its condition and what other buyers in the area are looking for.
Essentially, this means that your fence needs to consist of quality materials, be well-installed, and in great condition. If you already have a fence installed on your property, take the time now to evaluate its condition on your own and make a conscious choice to either replace your fence or restore it with some new paint and some elbow grease. If you don’t have a fence installed, you may want to consider gathering some estimates from various contractors about fence installations.
At the end of the day, there are many other home features and home improvements that will add more value to your home in the long-run. It is most likely wiser to invest your time, energy, and money into other more tangible home improvements, such as your home’s interior, your appliances, or other areas that need some TLC. Sometimes it’s better to focus on key renovations and home improvements, and just let the homebuyer install the fence that appeals the most to them.
If it offers high usability
While a fenced yard could result in lower homeowners’ insurance rates, it’s not seen in the industry as a primary way to add value to a home. Preference on adding value is more towards focusing on improving the actual living space of the home, such as renovating the kitchen or bedrooms or making structural or systems repairs.
Fencing comes into play if your neighborhood features a lot of fencing, as the market value of a home is determined by comparing the features of surrounding homes to the features of your home. And using fencing as a safety measure could add value, such as adding fencing around a pool area.
And if you have an existing fence that needs improvement, you need to take care of it before you list to maintain curb appeal.
Otherwise, adding fencing could prove to be an additional headache while you’re trying to prepare to sell. If you make a mistake regarding your property lines, it can cause issues when it comes time to sell. And depending on your neighbors, they could escalate issues regarding property lines and maintenance costs, which could turn into a legal situation.
Also, if you don’t have the budget for high-quality materials such as wood or vinyl fencing and choose chain-link fencing, you may actually reduce curb appeal.
So fencing can add value, but only if it’s in the appropriate context, offers high usability, and has an attractive appearance.
If it defines your space
Yes, fences do add value to a property BUT only to a certain extent. That is, if there’s a need to add a fence, it will contribute to the home’s value. Fencing is not necessary for every home, especially those that block the view of a beautiful property. How does it add value then? *
1. If it adds to your home’s curb appeal. Live fences (those not made of wood but of trees and plants) are on-trend now, creating a well-manicured lawn impact. Vinyl fencing, on the other hand, is recommended for high-end homes.
2. If it contains your pets and children. This also prevents outsiders from accessing your lawn, especially if you’re living in rural areas.
3. If it defines your space but does not obstruct the facade of your property.
Take note that the type of material for your fence, the length, and the type of fence can all affect the value it contributes to your home too.
A return on your investment
Having a fence can add value to a home. Appraisal valuations just care if the property has a fence or not, regardless of the material. Having a fence adds about $2,000 to the value of the house. This information is based on one of my recent appraisal reports. Therefore, if a homeowner can install a fence for an amount less than the valuation, then they would get a return on their investment.
Can add curb appeal
The answer is not as much as they may cost to put in. People with dogs and small kids find them to be a bonus, and they can add curb appeal. Yet, if you’re looking at investing your money into something to help sell the house then spend it on the inside, fixing, or updating items in the house. Fences are like clothes, everyone has their own style they like anyway, so let them buy that themselves afterward.
Huge value-adds for dog owners
The answer is definitely location-specific. I live and work in “Dog City, USA,” otherwise known as Asheville, North Carolina. Fences are huge value-adds for dog owners here in Asheville. I’ve had clients with dogs relocate here because it’s such a dog-friendly city. And when these dogs owners are house shopping, their dogs are definitely on their mind. Second to proximity to parks and trails is “does the house have a fenced yard?
Dylan Lennon, Realtor, PhD
Dylan Lennon is a Realtor in Asheville, NC. After graduating from the University of Florida, he worked at Harvard University before ultimately joining Keller Williams. He has gone on to sell hundreds of homes and is a consistent multi-million dollar producer. Web: dlasheville.com
Increase a home’s market value
Yes, fences can add value to a home based on the chosen material and condition when it will be evaluated. Since fences can add to curb appeal and promote privacy and safety, they increase a home’s market value and will impress most prospective buyers with families.
Additional selling feature
In my opinion, a fence doesn’t add value to a property. Most buyers want to have the expectation that they will install it themselves for whatever property they choose to purchase. In most cases, a buyer will prioritize many other items on their “wish list” over the fence, such as a new kitchen, so having a fence won’t have a big impact on the overall value of a property. However, it is an additional selling feature that may help sell your home faster to a buyer looking at a similar property that doesn’t have a fence.
For safety and security
There is no guarantee that a fence will raise the value of your home, especially depending on the cost of the fence, which can range from a little over $1,000 to several thousand dollars. However, there is one thing to keep in mind. Many people who move can have kids, pets, or even both with them. The fence provides safety and security for kids and/or pets and some may pass on houses without them. Even if the fence provides no return on investment, you can count on more people viewing your home and a faster sale.
Determined by the lifestyle of the homeowner
I don’t think that a fence directly adds value to a home. The need for a fence is truly determined by the lifestyle of the homeowner, and the type of fence a buyer might choose may differ from your vision. I wouldn’t recommend that a seller add a fence in order to increase the value of a listing, in general. That being said, making sure that any existing fencing is in tip-top shape is extremely important to the curb appeal of a home.
This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors are not necessarily affiliated with this website and their statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.