Exterior home staging counts!
Let’s face it – not everyone (including myself) is a green thumb or enjoys playing in the earth. But, when you want to sell your house, exterior home staging needs to be considered and addressed.
So, let’s look at the minimal and easy steps which can be taken to get that Curb Appeal which will attract more visitors to your house. Remember, the first impression your potential buyers will get is from the outside!
Disclaimer: this is not my house but it is a house I recently staged. It was fully renovated and put back on the market.
The basics of Exterior Home Staging
- Remove any garbage bins, toys, hoses and maintenance equipment from view
- Inspect your front door – does it need a coat of paint or, at least, a good cleaning?
- Look for cobwebs and remove them
- Review the mail box, the address number and the exterior lighting. If they are rusted, old, non functional or generally unappealing, clean, paint or replace them
- Clean windows
- Pressure wash the exterior walls, stone, and concrete, if needed
- Fix the lawn – pick up leaves, branches, pull up weeds and re seed to make it lush
- Add a few plants or small bushes to your landscaping, if needed and annual flowers
- Add a colorful flower pot or two in front of the entrance (if your climate allows)
- Maintain the front and back yard – water, mow the grass regularly and pull the weeds out
The extras of Exterior Home Staging
No one wants to invest a lot of money into a house they are selling. But, sometime, it is necessary to do some bigger projects to help you sell.
Frequent questions I get on the topic are:
What to invest on and how much to invest on exterior look of the house?
It is obvious that the better the house looks, the easier it will be to sell. My take is always to go with the minimum amount of investment you can afford and which will make the biggest impact on the look of your house.
For example, an old and broken garage door is definitely an eye sore. See if it’s fixable and can be cleaned and repainted if you don’t want to replace it.
Another problem I see often is the walkway and/or steps in poor condition as well as foundation cracks. It is a tough one, as the replacement can cost several thousands of dollars. Remember, the buyers usually want as little work as possible when they buy, so if you don’t do it, they will have to and they will certainly negociate the price for it. Especially the foundation cracks need to be fixed and the foundation painted. Try to fix what you can (if it is possible and within your means).
As a personal example, we replaced our front steps and redid our walkway last year – a big and expensive cement job – in preparation of potential sale of our house. As my landscaping was damaged by the work, I purchased small and inexpensive bushes and planted them on each side of the walkway this spring to let them grow over the summer. I added a few annuals and the curb appeal of my house went up tremendously. I already got many compliments from family, friends and neigbours!
In conclusion, exterior home staging will probably NOT bring you a direct Return on Investment but it will help you find the right buyer quickly!