There are many things to consider when staging a house, but you cannot underestimate the importance of curb appeal. The front of the property, from the curb all the way up to the front door, is the first thing potential home buyers will see. You want the home to appear inviting and well-maintained every step of the way.
The front door
When trying to improve curb appeal, it often helps to start at the front door and work your way out to the street. Take a critical look at the front door. Is the handle rusted and worn? If so, it’s easy for the homeowners to swap out a shiny new one. A fresh coat of paint can also bring life to a front door, but be sure to check with the homeowners’ association before changing the color. If the front door is in great shape, see if it would look better with an inviting wreath or door hanging.
The front porch
Step back from the front door and look at the surrounding porch or stairs leading up to it. Is the area clean and in good repair? If there is a porch, is it cluttered with unnecessary furniture or other items? Take some time to arrange furniture and decorative items to the best effect. Flowers in urns or pots at each side of the door add a lovely touch.
Check exterior light fixtures on the front of the house for signs of wear. The homeowners may be able to fix up the existing lights with a good cleaning and a coat of paint. If they decide to replace the lights, remind them to check with the homeowners’ association first, as they may need permission for outdoor changes. Make sure the porch lights will be turned on at night in case potential home buyers drive by in the evenings.
Landscaping and the front yard
Homeowners don’t have to spend a lot of money to spruce up their yard and landscaping. Make sure the grass and current plants are properly trimmed and mowed before the house goes on the market. An overgrown flowerbed might look better with some selective plant removal, just as a bare front yard can be dressed up with some annuals or simple plants.
When you’re really pressed for time, it may be okay to overlook a mailbox that is only slightly worn. However, replacing the mailbox is usually an easy job that helps the home’s overall appeal. Depending on the style of the neighborhood and the homeowners’ association rules, the homeowners may also be able to dress up their mailbox post with a fresh coat of paint or plant some flowers at the base.