Staging the Outside
If a car’s paint is faded, chipped, and peeling, what are the odds it’s nice inside? Slim. Would you trust a luxury clothes store with broken windows and a dirt parking lot? I don’t think so. [perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”#dd1f1f” class=”” size=””]We’ve heard not to judge a book by its cover, but life teaches that most covers reflect their book.[/perfectpullquote]
While we should never judge people by their appearance, other things often prove a correlation between the outside and inside. So if your home is nasty on the outside, no matter how shiny its inside, the value will suffer in the eyes of potential buyers. Let’s look at some things you can check to get the best first impression, curb appeal, and a better bottom dollar.
How is the wood paneling beneath your roof? Does the paint look good? What about the bricks or boards that make up the siding? The walls of your home are its skin, so do all you can to give it a clear, unblemished complexion. Fresh paint goes a long way, though fresh materials may be needed in cases of damage or rot.
When my sister moved into her new home, my Dad and I had to climb atop the roof, remove wire mesh, and rake out accumulated leaves and trash in the gutter. Blocked gutters can hold water up to the roofline and lead to leaks, rot, and other damages. [perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”#dd1f1f” class=”” size=””]Blocked gutters can hold water up to the roofline and lead to leaks, rot, and other damages.[/perfectpullquote]
So while this should be a regular activity for household maintenance, now is the time to be sure gutters are cleared and functioning properly. If they’re hideously rusted or deformed, consider replacing them – the difference could be quite significant.
While I’ve discussed the importance of front doors before, it bears repeating: a scarred, dirty front door does irreparable damage on a first impression. Replace or repaint it with a light, neutral color and a quality knob for best results.
How much space does a garage door cover on a house’s front? 30%? 50%? Regardless, think of it as a moving wall that can wow buyers in positive or negative ways. If it’s old and rickety, replace it with a carriage-style door or one with windows to improve the aesthetic of your home.
Light makes dark walks across the lawn safer for you and your garden gnomes, but it also creates a feeling of security and comfort. Accent lights can add flair to an otherwise ordinary home, so consider them as well. Buyers may not see the effects of light during daytime showings, but both nighttime pictures and visits can allow your improvements to work in your favor.
Front Porch Furniture
It’s amazing how welcoming two empty chairs on a front porch can be. Of course, they’re most welcoming when free from dust and spiderwebs/wasp nests, so make sure they’re cleaned like everything else.
Last but not least, cultivate a good relationship with Mother Nature. A recent national survey found that 84% of participants “agree that the quality of a home’s landscape/yard would affect their decision about whether or not to buy it.” And while mowing, weed-eating, and edging are essentials, Tyler Smith says you need to “think beyond” these basics because “Planting flowers and adding mulch can make a big difference.”