Understanding Home Staging Part 3
In the first two blogs of this series, we explained why Home Staging is a good idea and what is the process of home staging. This blog looks at the importance of ‘Street Appeal’ or ‘Curb Appeal’ when marketing your home for sale.
Why street appeal is important when selling a home?
There is only one chance to make a good first impression so the appearance of your property from the street is important. Buyers tend to believe that the condition of the front of the house is a reflection of the interior. A home with strong street appeal will entice buyers inside while a scruffy exterior may see potential buyers drive away.
Here are 7 areas you can work on to improve the street appeal of your property:
1. Lawns – Overgrown, dead or weed-ridden lawns are a turn off. Green up the lawn by implementing a program of soil wetter, fertilizer, watering and regular mowing (fortnightly in the Perth summer). Remember that it takes several weeks to get a good improvement so start early.
Tip: If possible, get a professional to mow and edge the lawns prior to photos/home opens. Their large mowers and edge-trimmers will give the lawn a manicured look.
2. Paintwork – Peeling or faded paint, rust and outdated colours will have buyers imagining that the property will but run down on the inside. Take a close and critical look at walls, doors, windows, gutters and downpipes and make a list of what needs attention. If you can DIY, painting is an inexpensive treatment that will have a big impact on the look of your home.
Tip: Take a drive and look at the colours being used in new developments. Make note of how darker and lighter colours are used together. Before making a final decision, check that the colours you have chosen will blend with your existing roof and driveway colours.
3. Entrance – The driveway and pathway to the front door need to be weed-free. Cracked and broken paths should be repaired or replaced. Lift and re-lay pavers that have subsided or become uneven.
Tip: Pressure cleaning can remove years of ingrained dirt. You can hire a pressure cleaner or pay a professional.
4. Windows – Check out how the windows look from the street. Trim bushes that are obscuring windows. Paint the frames if required and make sure the glass is sparkling clean.
Tip: It looks better if the window treatments for all windows facing the front appear the same from the street – i.e. the same colour and at the same level of opening in all rooms.
5. Gardens - Take a critical look at the garden beds. Remove and/or replace plants that are past their prime, have grown too big for their location or are blocking access to paths, letterbox or driveway. Give all other shrubs a light trim, removing any dead branches and spent flowers. Mulch all garden beds.
Tip: A large pot or urn can fill in a gap in a garden bed while adding drama and interest to the garden – and they don’t need watering!
6. Lettterbox – The humble letterbox is the first thing we see when looking for a house number but is often very neglected. Make sure it is in working order with no obvious chips or cracks. There should be clear access to both sides. Invest in some shiny new numbers.
Tip: The suburbs are littered with letterboxes that look like small versions of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. If yours has developed a tilt, do what is needed to straighten it back to the vertical.
7. Front Door and Porch – Clear the porch of clutter but if it is feeling cold and unwelcoming, consider whether a pot, bench or outdoor wall art will improve the ambiance of this area. For older homes, replacing the front door can boost street appeal and make a significant difference to the look and feel of the entrance. It can also be an opportunity to let more light in through the use of glass panelling within the door. If painting the door, choose a colour that fits with the rest of the façade but strong enough to draw attention to itself as the main entranceway. Check that the doorbell and exterior light works!
Tip: When choosing a pot, think about the relationship between the colour, size and shape of the plant and the plot and how these work with the colours of the walls and trims.
Louise House is the Director of House Matters. House Matters offers consulting services to help homeowners and real estate agents stage homes to sell quickly and for top dollar!