Hello, all you graceful home makers!
I am working in my kitchen this week, but thought you might like
to see some befores and afters of other spaces.
This will remind me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
As you may or may not know, I am a home stager.
As you also may or may not know, it is not a glamorous job,
an easy job, or even a "fun" job.
It is hard, hard work.
BUT, I LOVE IT!
I have been staging since mid 1990s, taking jobs when I "feel like it".
My main job, as you know is making my own home.
My plan is (maybe God's plan, maybe not)
is to work Full Time when Miss A goes off to college in three years.
Today I wanted to talk about the importance of curb appeal.
I am using as an example, a $445,000 home that, after staging was complete,
got 4 offers in 34 days.
This same house was on the market 6 months before it was staged,
with only a few lookers.
Upon first glance, this grand, stately home is attractive.
But, let's slow down the car, and pull up in the driveway, park, and head to the front door.
You'll notice that the driveway is covered in mildew
and needs to be pressure-washed.
What else can you see that needs attention?
and the Crape Myrtles need to be pruned.
This is the view from the car, when parked in the driveway.
What do you notice now?
Potting projects left waiting.
What's wrong now?
A concrete graveyard of yard art.
Piles of autumn leaves, a hose, and mildewed brick.
Weathered paint on the front door,
and landscaping that leaves a lot to be desired.
Plantation shutters that are telling lookers to stay out.
What are your first impressions of this home?
That it is unloved?
Here is the home after we showed it some love.
The first person I call when preparing a house's exterior is my pressure washer.
He does the necessary areas:
driveways, patios, front stoop, garage floor, gutters, and roof.
In addition to remedying the cons listed above,
solar lights were also added to the walkway for night drivers-by.
The shutters were opened.
And placed in each window, are lamps on timers,
set to come on each evening at 7 and stay on till dawn.
All it took was a few cans of black spray paint and
THRILL, SPILL and FILL plants
(A formula for planting eye-catching combinations in containers.
Select a tall, colorful or exotic plant for the thrill.
Add a vine or trailing plant to spill over the side
and then fill with other compatible plants) for these urns to say "Welcome!"
If you are planning on staging your home to be sold,
here's how you can capture buyer's interest and keep it, all the way to the front door:
- Remain detached emotionally from your house. See your house through buyers' eyes. It is not your home any longer. It is a building, a commodity that you want to sell for the highest amount possible!
- Park on the other side of the street, sit in your car and just study your yard and house. If you were thinking of buying your house, what kind of impression would it give you?
- Walk around your yard and make a list of areas that are great and a list of areas that need improvement.
- Take digital pictures, and look over them to see what you may have missed while walking around.
- Just before evening, do this exercise again. Your house will get more drive-bys in the evening than during any other time. Your home must also have evening curb appeal.
- Put some lighting along the driveway, sidewalk and beds.
- Re-mulch. Very, very important.
- Open the blinds and window treatments to let the interior light out. This is very appealing to a drive by prospect.
- Make sure your house is visible. If you are in a neighborhood, or subdivision and there are trees or shrubs blocking the view through to your front door, prune them so the front of the house and your house number are visible.
- A fresh coat of paint on the front door, a new door handle, and a new door bell button always make a great first impression.
- The BEST cure-all for a dingy home exterior: PRESSURE WASHING. The outside of the house should be clean to let buyers know that you have taken good care of their future home.
Why should you create CURB APPEAL?
So that buyers will:
like what they see on the outside,
want to see the inside,
and want to buy your house!