Does your front entrance invite buyers in or scare them away? I was inspired to write this post when I pulled into this driveway for a recent staging consultation.
Not one, but two "No Trespassing" signs? This home has been on the market for over a year and a half. And, no, it's not just those two signs that have kept it from selling, or the two rather menacing looking statues on the lava-rock walls. However, a combination of those elements plus a large amount of landscaping debris sends a subtle message to buyers before they even walk through the front door. Looking at this photo, are you anxious and excited to walk up the front stairs and see what is beyond? Hardly. Yet beyond the gargoyles and the no trespassing signs this home boasts a drop-dead, bi-coastal panoramic ocean view.
Are you excited to see the home in the photo below? It's not only "No Trespassing" signs that send a prospective buyer the message that the home is not welcoming. This photo is taken three-quarters of the way up the driveway, and yet there is only a hint of the front stairs and entrance through the trees on the left.
Once in this driveway, you can not exit the car on either side without shaking hands with the overwhelming palm fronds. This home is built on a standard 8,000 square foot South Maui lot. While everyone likes a little privacy, unless you want buyers to fall in love with and remember your garage door, why not thin out the vegetation and showcase the home and the front entrace--which, in this case, boasts a beautifully carved wooden door.
In the third photo we finally get to see an actual front door--well most of it.
Prospective buyers shouldn't have to dodge around the landscaping to get to your front entrance. In this photo there should be a complete view of the front door--which is painted a warm and inviting color. However, the plants on both sides are overgrown, and behind the plant on the right is a bench. When buyers approach the door they are forced into an awkward single file.
Feeling crowded out front? This home is only around 1700 square feet, so "small" is not the best first impression to make on a prospective buyer. It would take this homeowner less than 10 minutes to trim back the vegetation and really open up the front entrance. Only place a bench at your front entrance if you have lots of space. In this case, where the entrance is narrow, the bench should be removed, since it can't be seen and serves no useful purpose.
In this next photo, the homeowner is close to getting it right.
The vegetation is groomed to completely open up the walkway, the door is visible from the street, the front walkway is neat and clean--it's just a bit on the bland side. I'd love to see the homeowner paint the front door an eye-popping shade of red, but I'll settle for some interest being added with a simple pot of vibrant-colored flowers.
There, much better. Now don't you want to go inside? Buyers will, too.
In this market, leave nothing to chance. As a home stager I look at every aspect of your home, from the front entrance to the rear lot line. Everthing makes an impression on a buyer, and home stagers make sure that each and every impression is as favorable as it can be. Wonder if your front entrance is inviting enough to lure in offers? Consult a home stager in your area to find out.