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Did you ever realize just how important exterior home staging is? However lovely a home looks inside (which it will if it is professionally staged) you have to capture prospective buyer’s interest before they get through the front door, and that is where exterior home staging comes into play.
There are a number of ways exterior home staging can be utilized to help you achieve your goal of selling your home faster for more, and they include all the following:
- Make buyers feel immediately welcomed
- Make that all-important good first impression
- Convey to buyers right away that the home is well cared for
- Highlight any and all opportunities for ‘outdoor living’ the home offers
However, the primary factor here is curb appeal, and it’s more important than you might think. A National Association of Realtors survey found 71 percent of buyers factor in a home’s first impression – ie the one that it makes as they walk up to the front door – in their buying decision. A joint NAR–Google survey found 90 percent of buyers shopped for their home online, a domain where great visual appeal reigns supreme. Even for those folks who drive around neighborhoods on a Sunday afternoon, your home’s exterior is just as important.
So now that you know how important exterior home staging is in the home sale process just what should you be doing to help ensure that the outside of your home is as impressive as the interior? Let’s take a look.
Exterior Home Staging Basics
There are some basics that any homeowner should ensure are taken care of before anything else in terms of exterior home staging, and these are some of the most important of those:
- Clean all windows, inside and out, and repair screens.
- Pressure wash the exterior walls, stone, and concrete.
- Rake up dead leaves, clear dead branches, pull weeds.
- Plan on more frequent mowing, edging, and weeding while your home is on the market.
- Put basketball hoops, bikes, toys, lawn maintenance equipment, hoses, etc., in storage.
- Replace exterior light bulbs. Add new (affordable) lighting if needed.
- Freshen up your house numbers. Polish, paint, or redo them as needed.
- Replace your storm door and front door, if needed. Get a welcome mat.
- Fix your lawn: re-seed bare patches and re-sod if you need to.
- Add fresh mulch to existing flowerbeds.
- Add accent plants to flowerbeds and the entryway. Yellow‘s a good color choice. It’s a bright, welcoming hue that is still very neutral and the number of yellow flowering plants you should be able to find at the local garden center is extensive.
- Consider a fresh coat of paint, especially for shutters, doors, and trim.
These are, individually, all fairly small projects, but together they will make a big difference. But if you really want to wow with your exterior home staging than you will need to go a little further.
Setting the Scene
The concept of outdoor living has become huge over the past few years. Everyone wants a special space where they can sit outside and relax, perhaps entertain friends or just watch the world go by. And almost every home can be staged to provide that, even if the outdoor space the home actually has to offer is limited.
The goal here is to set a scene. Outdoor space needs to be staged so that it tells a prospective buyer a story. A story about how they would be able to head out onto a patio in the morning with a cup of coffee and a newspaper to start their day in peace. Or how they would be able to unwind out there in the evening with a glass of wine.
If you have a deck, you may want to create a narrative that shows buyers how easy it will be to invite everyone over for a cookout. If there’s a yard you may want to showcase how beautiful it is and yet not so difficult to maintain.
The best person to help you decide what story to tell is a professional home stager. We are trained to come in with our ‘buyers eyes’ and figure out the right ‘tales to tell’ both inside and out. And in doing so we help home sellers sell their homes faster and in many cases for more than they might have expected, so that they can move on quickly to begin settling into a new home and continuing their own story there.