Curb Appeal Tips: You Can’t Sell It If You Can’t See It!

A first impression of your home starts as a guest or buyer drives up. They see the lawn, the driveway, the mailbox. As they wait at the front door to be let in, they will have time to admire everything in the entryway – the door itself, the house numbers, the front steps, the light fixtures, the garden. The quality of care of these features reflects the owner and what to expect inside the house. If you are selling a house, this is a particularly crucial part of staging! There are many buyers who will literally skip even going inside a house if they don’t like the way it looks on the outside. Curb appeal can be key to a successful sale!

With that in mind, here are some of the most helpful tips for maximizing curb appeal:

1. Make repairs and touch-up paint in the entry way. Start at the end of your driveway and do an evaluation of your home. Take a walk-through from your mailbox all the way to the front door. What do you see that has seen better days? If your mailbox is rusted, bent, or just dingy-looking, repair it if possible and freshen it up with a coat of paint. For an even easier option, consider swapping it out with a brand new one. Polish or replace house numbers. Clean up or replace any outdoor light fixtures. If the front steps or porch (including railings) look bad, make any necessary repairs and spruce them up with paint, staining, or other options depending upon the materials. Touch-up the front door and siding (if applicable) with fresh paint.

2. Pressure wash your house and driveway. If your house and/or driveway looks stained from dirt and mold, consider having it pressure washed. A pressure washer is a high pressure mechanical sprayer that can be used to remove loose paint, mold, grime, dust, mud, and dirt from surfaces and objects such as buildings, vehicles, concrete surfaces, etc. (Wikipedia) You can hire a local company to do this for you or you can rent a pressure washer from places such as Home Depot and Lowes to do it yourself. You’d be amazed by how big a difference a good cleaning can make to curb appeal!

3. Clean up the lawn and garden areas. Landscaping is crucial to curb appeal, but you don’t have to spend thousands to make it look nice. A small investment like putting down mulch, resetting stone or bricks that border gardens, cleaning out weeds and dead plants, and planting some fresh flowers can breathe new life into curb appeal. It’s also important to trim back branches that are obscuring your home from view because it’s hard to sell a house that no one can really see!

4. Clean out or replace gutter systems. Many home owners forget about the gutter systems, but this is something that buyers and home inspectors will look at. Make sure they are cleaned out. If they are falling apart or rusting, a complete replacement might be in order. Exercise good judgment and remember that every investment in the curb appeal and staging of your home is an investment in a faster sale with more profit to you.

5. Bring in color and symmetry to front door decor. To create a more inviting entry way, add a pop of color through fresh flowers, lanterns, welcome mat, wreath, plant pots or by painting your front door in a color such as red or blue. Use symmetry when arranging decor around your front door to keep things simple and pleasing for all buyers. (Example: A topiary on either side of the door.) A symmetrical arrangement will also help draw buyers’ eyes to the front door (which we want to make sure they are excited to walk through!)

Hope these tips have inspired you to take a second look at your curb appeal and give it some love. Good luck!

Warm regards,
Megan

Photos courtesy of Houzz.com

Evoking A Sense of “Home”

Whether you’re selling a home or just trying to add some warmth to your own, there are some easy ways to add decor to a space so that it evokes a sense of “home.” It’s one of the most important parts of home staging because while furniture definitely fills a room, the details are what give it warmth. Here are some of my own examples of those special home staging touches:

Having the table set at all times makes the dining room look full of life and adds interest for the eye. Don’t stop at the plates – bring in extra color with a bottle of wine and fruit arrangements.

Beautiful bedding and pillows are the best place to start in a bedroom, but don’t stop there, especially when staging to sell. Add a tray with some glasses and a bottle of wine to help buyers imagine living there. Ever noticed they do this a lot in model homes? Because it works!

This is another great option for the bedroom, either for the bed or an ottomon with a comfy chair nearby: a breakfast setting with a teapot, fruit (for color), wrapped flatware and a book.

Don’t forget the outside! Try staging your patio or front porch with plantlife and a nice bench. Adding some outdoor pillows and a couple of books gives it some extra color and warmth. Imagine how different this corner would look if it were bare. Much prettier this way, isn’t it?

Try some of these ideas if you’re staging a home to sell or if you just want to add something fresh to your own home. To learn more about home staging, check out my book Stageology: How to Stage to Sell or if you’re in the Orlando area and would like to hire professional staging services, check out ProfessionalStaging.com. Happy staging!

Warm regards,
Megan

Home Staging Trick: Book in Bloom

You’ve probably heard this before: Beauty is in the details. This is definitely true in home design and staging. The accessories pull the room together and add those little touches that truly make a house feel like a home. Here’s a cool tip that comes from one of our MHM team members, Heather Isaac:

Open up an old book halfway and fold inward two pages from the right and two pages from the left. You’ll be left with this beautiful (yet very simple and inexpensive!) design element that you can place on a coffee table, next to a bed, or even on an ottoman beside a comfy chair.

What are some of your favorite accessorizing tricks? Let me know in the comments!

Warm regards,
Megan

Follow the Red Door

Nothing grabs your attention like the color RED. That’s why (when used smartly) red can be a fantastic design element, even in staging. Yes, it IS best to use neutral color palettes when staging a home for sale, but occasionally that right pop of red is just enough to grab someone’s attention. Examples: A pillow, a piece of art, a basket of apples on the kitchen counter, or even…

A red front door! Really catches your eye, doesn’t it? It’s not for every property, but sometimes it’s that extra something that can really make a home stand out. What is your favorite way to use the color RED? Let me know in the comments!

Warm regards,
Megan