curb appeal - clean and tidy

A wonderfully simple, appealing curbside view

The home’s exterior is an equally important (but often overlooked) home staging priority.

Curb appeal is when potential buyers pull up to the curb in front of your home and see it for the first time. First impressions are lasting, and if buyers have a frown on their face as they leave their cars and walk to your front door, you have problems.

Here are some tips to stage the exterior for maximum curb appeal.

  • Go out to the curb in front of your house with a notepad and pen. Jot down anything that “leaps” out at you.
  • And here’s an idea. Get a friend to do the same thing. Others may see things you’ll miss for one reason or another. Then combine the lists and you’re off and running.
  • How does the paint look? How about the front door and shutters? Make sure everything looks as if it was recently done.
  • A mowed and trimmed lawn and garden beds are a must. Depending on where you live you may have to mow and trim every few days to keep things looking first rate. 
  • Mulch your garden beds and trim flowers and shrubs. Mulch is inexpensive and easily available.
  • Use potted plants to brighten up the entrance area. There is evidence that yellow should be the color of choice. Look at the picture here and notice the effect of the yellow flowers among the red. Psychologists suggest yellow makes people comfortable and at ease. Take advantage of it. And potted plants can be moved around to create different effects.
  • This next item falls into the “I don’t want to…” category for many people, but it is really a must-do. Make sure there are no weeds in the garden, and look several times a week because those pesky weeds can sprout overnight. Oh, and keep looking right up until the house sale closes.
  • In the fall, be sure to rake leaves from your lawn and also from flower beds. Do this every couple of days, or as needed to keep the lawn free of leaves. Trim bushes and trees as needed to give a tidy appearance. In particular, make sure they are not blocking windows or doors.
  • Make sure windows are spotless, and this means inside and out. Be sure the window frames and shutters are thoroughly cleaned as well. This adds a lot to your overall curb appeal.
  • If you have a porch with railings, make sure they’re clean.
  • Is the porch large enough for furniture? Does it look inviting as a place to sit and relax? If so, give careful consideration to putting some comfortable furniture there if you haven’t done so already.

Remember, the outside of your home is the first impression. Make it count!