Where else to begin with staging than at the outside of your home? Not only the important seconds of first impression start running immediately when potential buyer enters your street and notices the property, but great exterior appearance can attract additional buyers, whose eyes will be accidentally seduced by your home and “for sale” sign. Yard, patio, pool, deck or terrace are almost equal to interior, when talking about home staging.
Before you begin, you have to understand the basic rule – this is going to be a new home for somebody else. And the new owner will probably see some things in a completely different light than you. Your beloved plants covering half of the façade may be seen as overgrown shrubs, the porch balustrade made by your grandfather is just a little bit obsolete and the hole in the lawn you always wanted to level up but never had time will be the first thing potential buyer will notice. So maybe it can be nice idea to invite some friends with critical eye to help you figure out the main weak points.
Begin with technical details. Roof state is important sign of overall home quality, so even if the structure is completely fit, replace all cracked or missing roof tiles to underscore the visual effect. Clean and check the gutters, replace any leaky and rusty parts. Test the function and cleanliness of windows and shutters. If your house lacks fresh colors, think about buying colorful vinyl shutters or even window boxes. Finally, repair all exterior electric works like lights or doorbells.
No matter what time you spend with details, overall effect stands on the facade quality. If there are cracks and poor painting on the outside walls, don’t hesitate to repair it, it’s definitely worth the money. Replace also old and damaged woodwork. Finally, pressure wash pavements and home exterior.
Go on with the lawn. Many realtors have lawn moving contractors or make sure to take regular care of your lawn yourself. Add some fresh flowers, but not too much – potential buyers want to visualize his own style and if your front yard is a jungle (no matter how neat and nice), it can be a bit difficult for them. Try to place some flowerpots also on the porch. As the last step, clean and declutter the lawn. In the worst case, use nitrogen fertilizer to kickstart the neglected lawn.
Landscaping is the most artistic part. Small pond or rockery with bonsais are real eye catchers, but also a big challenge for inexperienced stager. If you don’t feel for it, place at least rock edging, trim trees and shrubs and freshen up your ground cover. Don’t forget also about the backyard, especially when you are expecting new owner to be family with kids.
Congratulations, almost done! Now, before you invite first buyers, prepare the last details. Place trash bins into shed (or garage if you don’t have any) and clean them out so they don’t smell. Arrange some nice furniture in the porch – patio table with plates and fruit basket for example. Finally, small investment into nice outdoor lights and their careful placement will help you to stress the strong points of your house and make potential buyers take note of your home after sunset.