Potential home owners do what they call a “drive by.” How does your home look in a “drive by”? A drive by is exactly as it sounds. They drive by the house to see if they like the external look of the house. If they like it, they will make an appointment to see it. If they don’t, they keep on driving by. It’s that simple. The house may be stunning inside, but some people don’t want just a stunning house inside, most people want the outside to match the inside. Take a look at the front of your house objectively.
The exterior of your home should look as polished as the interior.
Walk across the street to get a real good look at it. What does it look like? Be honest with yourself!
Is the paint fresh and contemporary looking? Or is it faded and dated looking?
Is the porch fresh and inviting or in need of a new paint job or stain? Are the garbage and recycling bins discreetly hidden away?
1. What statement does your front door say? Your exterior?
Clean or paint the front door.
A front door makes a quick first impression. If its fresh and contemporary, its making a positive first impression.
If your front door is worn or a dated color, it makes a negative first impression. It’s telling people that your house is not well kept and cared for.
Polish or restain wood doors and trim.
All wood doors should look clean and fresh, especially the front door for that important curb appeal. Painted doors and trims also needs look to fresh. It may mean that you need to paint over them, especially if the door is from the big box store and you haven’t gotten around to painting it. Trim should be repainted if its chipped and showing wear and tear. Especially in high traffic areas.
How about that garage door?
It too can make a positive or negative statement about your home!
Does the trim on your house complement or detract from the overall look of your home?
Your trim can make or break the overall appearance of your house. If your trim is too skinny, your house may just feel off and you’re not sure why.
If you have cream or earth tones on your exterior, and your trim blends in too much into the same color as the brick, siding or stone, the trim can appear non-exist and again, feel off. Trim is the icing on the cake. It’s the earrings to your evening outfit. It’s that extra something that gives the total look pop. It’s meant to stand out and make a statement.
Trim color is not a one size fits all! You need to look at the exterior colors of your home like your brick, stone and/or siding colors(s), and the color of your windows.
2. Is your garden neat & tidy?
Are the bushes and tress overgrown? Do the bushes block the windows and thus the natural skylight coming into the house? Bushes need to be neatly trimmed. Flowerbeds need to be weeded and looking fresh.
Mow the lawn. Trim the trees and shrubs. Weed the gardens. Add colorful plants or foliage to fill in bare spots. Edge the gardens and walkways. If you’re not a gardener, ask a friend to help.
3. What message does your porch give?
Regardless if you have a large porch where you can have porch furniture displayed or you have a small one which will only take potted shrubs on either side of the front door, your porch needs to look clean, tidy, contemporary and inviting. A porch can do that if its a row townhouse, a bunglow or a mansion. It has nothing to do with the style or size of the home but everything to do some creativity, grit and perhaps a few upgrades.
4. Replace, shine or paint light fixtures.
Light fixtures are a relatively inexpensive way to transform the exterior of your front entrance not to mention adding value to your home at the same time. Lighting needs to be in keeping with the style of your home, and in keeping with the neighborhood. Replace any light fixtures that are rusty and beyond repair.
5. Replace or shine brass hardware on doors & mailbox.
Door knobs and mailboxes can take a beating over time, especially if they’re brass, and look worn and rusted. Even if they are not brass, it may be time to update and replace your door hardware and mailbox. Be sure to pick a style that is in keeping with the style of your home and neighborhood. Again, this is an inexpensive upgrade that can have an impact on the value of your home.
6. Replace doormats that are worn and torn.
Doormats need to be replaced frequently, especially in high traffic areas and after a long winter if you’re in an colder climate. Replace the doormat with a decorative welcome mat.
7. Sweep & shovel the walkways & driveway.
Keeping the walkways & driveway tidy from tree droppings or snow in the winter, is key to making your house show worthy for potential buyers. It gives the message that your house is inviting and well kept. On the other hand, if the walkways and driveway is unkept, it gives off a negative message that the inside of the house potentially looks like the outside.
8. Hose off the exterior of your home.
Take a good hard look at your house. There may be areas or may be the entire exterior of your home that may need hosing down, especially if you have a wood or vinyl siding. Pay close attention to entrances and other high traffic areas. Use siding cleanser to get all the dirt off.
9. Wash the windows.
Not only do you want to let the natural light shine inside your house, you want your entire exterior to look clean and fresh. Clean windows shows off your house.
10. Hide your garbage cans & recycling bins to the back of the house.
Potential buyers should never see your garbage cans & recycling bins. It just gives off a negative first impression. But wash them out first before you put them away.
Paying attention to the details to the outside of your home will increase the value of your home. But the key is, is will make home look more sought after in the eyes of potential buyers which in turn, will motivate a buyer to act quickly to put an offer in on your house to avoid it getting snatched up by someone, or to avoid a bidding war.
Getting your house ready to sell? Need help? I offer a range of online staging and color consult packages to help you stand out from your competition, sell your house quickly and as for as much money as possible.
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I help busy homeowners, just like you, to style their house to make it a stunning retreat, where they can live and enjoy their home. I help homeowners, make money beyond their wildest expectations from the sale of their house by guiding them when they’re getting their house ready to sell.
Hi! I’m Debi Collinson. Designer. Real Estate Investor. It all started back in 2006 where I nervously staged my very first home. But the sellers liked their newly styled home so much that they turned down an offer for full asking price. I went back to design school and the rest is history. In my spare time, LOL, I buy “fixer uppers” to fix up & either sell for a healthy profit or to rent. I’m currently living in my 8th “fixer upper.” Sign up to receive my e-mails of how to make your home stunning, how to sell your house for top dollar AND how to become financially independent one fixer upper at a time!