When you’re ready to sell your house, a lot of thought, care, and time goes into artfully staging each room. You clean out every closet, de-clutter every countertop, and fluff each pillow until everything looks exactly right. After all, you’re working to create a clear vision for future families who can see themselves living there, which means the interior of your home should communicate not only its function but also its warmth. Cleaning, organizing and arranging the inside of your house can take up so much brain power that it’s easy to forget a key aspect of the selling process: exterior home staging.
The outside of your home is the very first chance you have to make an impression on a realtor or potential buyer, and that makes it the one place you simply can’t afford to overlook. Unfortunately, a surprising number of sellers dedicate their focus solely to the interior of their home, making only a half-hearted attempt to spruce up anything extending beyond their home’s four walls.
Dingy siding, lackluster landscaping, or even a rusty mailbox can have a big impact on how quickly you sell your home or whether a prospective buyer even makes it through the front door. If you want to impress people with how beautifully the interior of your home has been updated and staged, then you have to sell them on the outside first. When it comes to staging outdoor spaces, these are suggestions you don’t want to skip.
Start at the Curb
Start your list of must-dos for exterior home staging by literally standing at the curb and pretending you’re a buyer. Write down anything that appears distracting or less than appealing. Your list will likely include things like edging the lawn, trimming trees, raking, pruning bushes, handling any minor repairs, and cleaning exterior surfaces. Notice everything from the condition of the house to the number of anthills and bare patches of grass. Plan to take care of these items first.
Even if you’re staging a house on a budget, there’s a lot you can do to add curb appeal without spending a dime. For starters, you can trim bushes and hedges, pull up any weeds, remove toys or tools from the yard, and mow the lawn. These seemingly small tasks can make a big difference in what kind of first impression your house makes, especially for buyers who are looking for something move-in ready.
Wash the Exterior
Unless you’ve had it done recently, one of the most important things you can do is pressure wash the exterior of your home. This brings a fresh, clean look to the house and instantly brightens its appearance. It also prepares the exterior surface for a new layer of paint, which can be a selling point for buyers who want to add their own touch of style after they sign. For another buyer-friendly boost, have windows professionally cleaned, and re-paint the doors and trim.
Walk the Perimeter
Once you’ve freshened up the front of the house, it’s time to work your way around the perimeter of the home. This step gives you a chance to tackle both big and small tasks that gives your home overall “yard appeal” in addition to curb appeal. Remove any old play equipment or unused fixtures, such as an old basketball hoop or tangled garden hose. Replace dislodged patio stones, and make repairs to a fence or deck, if needed.
This is also an ideal opportunity to add creative touches that make your house more attractive to a newcomer. These quick landscaping ideas include things like adding colorful flowers to window planters or building decorative borders to gardens and flower beds. You may also want to add wood chips or gravel to the base of beds to freshen them up.
Add Your Own Style
Now that you’ve cleaned up the overall look of the exterior, it’s time to add a little flair to the outside of your home. The same furniture staging ideas you used for the inside of your house apply outdoors as well. If possible, place exterior seating in the front of the house. A wooden bench with a small table offers function while also feeling inviting. Place lush, brightly colored welcome mats at every door, as well as eye-catching potted plants or flowers. You’ll also want to pack up any flags, garden gnomes, or big toys — save these for your new home when you arrive.
For added style, update old light fixtures and door hardware to match the style of your home and reflect current trends. Ensure the outside of your home is well lit for any interested buyers who may do a drive-by viewing at night. Inserting a row of pathway lights along either side of your driveway or along the walkway up to your front door is an especially nice touch that’s affordable and easy to DIY.
Finally, take a look at your neighbor’s houses. Make sure your changes reflect the style of your street as a whole, and take inspiration from any nearby houses that already have major curb appeal.
Exterior home staging doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Use these tips to bring the same energy and enthusiasm to creating a welcoming first impression. For budget-friendly home staging furniture and decor (both indoor and out), CORT Furniture Rental can give your home the lift it needs to attract just the right buyer.