Home Staging - The Great Outdoors

Home Stager with JenJen's Home Staging

Never discount how important curb appeal is when selling your home. When my husband and I were searching for our current home we went out several Sundays to take a look dozens of homes. We were new to the area and wanted to see the neighborhood, the stores, and the houses for sale in the area.

If the “curb appeal” was unappealing we crossed the house off our list. If the home had good curb appeal we made a note to schedule a showing with our agent.

A home seller must show the buyer that they have taken good care of the home. This is an investment for the buyer and if the buyer sees that outside of the home has been well taken care of they will know the rest of the home has also been well taken care of. Everything counts when selling your home.

Here are some tasks for the seller who wants their home to have over the top “Curb Appeal”.

The Front Door

  • If the paint is dull, cracked, or worn, paint the door.
  • If you have a natural wooden door, check it inside and out. If the stain is faded, touch up the areas if possible or re-stain the entire door if needed. Repair any damage.
  • If the door has glass panes ensure the glass is spotless. Any caulking around the panes should be clean and fresh. If the glass is cracked or chipped it should be replaced.
  • Clean the door. Outside doors get hit with the weather so wash the door wellIs the front door handle in good shape and size appropriate for the door? If not, replace it.
  • Does the door squeak when it opens? Oil the hinges.
  • Do the hinges look old, rusty or worn? Replace them.
  • If you have a storm door, it should be working properly, the screens should be in good shape, the glass should be clean and it should
    open and close easily.
  • The porch light also needs to be up to date and size appropriate for the home. If not, replace it. Remember, changing the lighting in a home is inexpensive and gives you the biggest bang for your buck.


  • If the paint is dull, cracked or chipped, paint them.
  • If there is damage to any of the shutters, repair the damage or if necessary, replace the shutter.
  • Make sure the shutters are clean. No dirt or spider webs.
  • I think the house looks better when the front door color matches the shutter color. Of course this applies to doors that are painted.
    I am not recommending painting a nice, natural wooden door but if the door is painted, have it match the shutters.


  • Windows should be clean, inside and out.
  • Any cracked glass or broken seals mean they pane needs to be replaced.


  • Verify your gutters are working properly. Get the garden hose and run water through them to make sure they don’t leak and the water runs away from the foundation of the home. Rarely do we see our gutters while it’s raining so take the time to find out. If a buyer comes to see your house when it’s raining and your gutters are overflowing or leaking it will not look good for you.
  • If the gutters are chipped, rusty, falling off or just look bad, repair them. Clean them well and apply a coat of paint if necessary. Replace downspouts, if necessary. You will be amazed at how fresh your home will look with clean, newly painted gutters.

Welcome Mat

  • This seems like a small, almost petty item to focus on but believe me, it’s the small things that a buyer appreciates. The buyer knows that if a home owner cares enough about the little things, like a welcome mat, then they care enough to take care of the big things.

The Lawn

  • Water frequently to keep the lawn green. And don’t stop watering because it’s winter. If your area is dry and your lawn isn’t getting much moisture you need to water at least once a week.
  • Mow the lawn at least once a week and twice if you can. Keep the mower blades a little higher to protect the roots and your soil.
    You never know when there will be a showing.
  • Always trim the lawn. I suggest mowing twice a week and trimming once a week.


  • Shrubs should never block your windows. Not only is this bad for curb appeal but it blocks light from getting into the home.
  • Keep shrubs trimmed and neat.

Flower Beds

  • Add fresh mulch to all flower beds.
  • Weed flower beds frequently. Never have weeds anywhere.
  • Keep the flowers fresh. If it’s the end of the season and the flowers are looking tired and worn it’s better to remove them and replace with mulch than to leave them in the flower beds.


  • Planters should be clean and in good shape.
  • Make sure the planters don’t block entry to the home.
  • The plants should look fresh. Replace the flowers or remove the planter.
  • Never use fake, plastic flowers in planters.


  • Fencing should be in good shape. Replace any damaged slats and stain the fence if it looks weather worn or if it’s never been stained. Even an old fence can look new with a fresh coat of stain. To save time, rent a sprayer from your local home improvement store and get the job done quickly.
  • Gates should open and close easily. The latch should work well and be in good shape. If rusty or hard to close, replace it.

Wash Your House

  • Rent a power washer and wash every inch of the outside of your home.
  • Power wash the porch, driveway, walkways, and carport.
  • Don’t forget the patio in the back of the house as well as your patio furniture.

Back Yard

  • Patio furniture should be in good shape.
  • If the chair cushions are faded from the sun, replace them.
  • Potted flowers should be fresh and again, never use fake flowers.

A serious buyer will walk around your home and look at everything so make sure you do the same. Take the time to look at the entire outside of your home. If repairs need to be made, make them. If something needs to be cleaned, clean it.

Remember, everything matters when trying to get top dollar for your home and ensure your home stands out from the other homes on the market!

Good luck!

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Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Jenny-really lots of good information, particularly about how the buyers see the home, how important that first impression is.



Sep 24, 2011 08:50 AM #1
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

Oh my goodness - what a detailed and productive list.  Thank you!! :)

Sep 24, 2011 09:46 AM #2
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