"Honey, Stop the Car!" The Importance of Curb Appeal.

By
Home Stager with Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services

This is probably one of the most important aspects in Staging and Selling a home.  You must draw that person out of the car, unto the sidewalk and up to the front door.  Color, landscaping, walkway, driveway, neighbors... all give a feel to the home.  In order to show the home to a global buyer, it must look pristine from the street to the doorknob.

If a home is taking longer to sell than the average there may be a good reason. What is the first thing you notice when you drive up to the home? How does the home make you feel?  Do you want to get out and see it? How does it look compared to the other homes in the neighborhood?  These are questions you need to ask yourself when preparing your home for sale.  

Well, you can't change the neighborhood, and you probably didn't budget for a complete front yard makeover.  So what can you do?

Here is a start:

Walk across the street or as far way as you can.  View your home by at least 3 angles such as the right side, front and center and left side. Now take a really good look at it.

#1. Can you see it?  This sounds funny but if you can't see your home, you can't sell it. Trees and shrubs are great and should be trimmed so that you can still see the house.  I usually suggest trimming trees up to the rain gutter line or the top of the highest window.  Shrubs should follow a same line as the bottom of a window trim. If a lot of trimming needs to be done, do it several weeks before so that the plants have a chance to recover.

#2. How is the paint?  Is it a neutral color?  Does it flow with the rest of the homes on the street?  Painting your house bright Blue will attract attention for sure, but not when you are selling.  Remember, with global buyers... neutral is key here.  Start with the trim if you can't paint the whole house, especially around the front door and front porch. It can be as simple as painting the front door a different color.  That can be a quick and easy fix.

#3. How is the driveway?  Are there cracks, oil stains, garbage cans?  The driveway is the largest hard area near the home, the material and look of the driveway and garage have a huge impact on curb appeal.  Clean it up and clear everything off.

#4.  Is your walkway to the front door defined?  Does it lead buyers to the front door or front entry? Make sure people know where your front door is, and then work on drawing people toward the front door. If the front entry area has a patio, create an outdoor sitting area.

#5.  How is the landscaping? Make sure that the grass is well watered, edged, and mowed. Flowers, flowers and more flowers. These little pops of color make us happy and cheerful.  Add some pots near the garage and plant away.

Curb appeal is really part of the whole package, which means the small details are as important as the big picture. A manicured front yard means a manicured home in a buyer's eyes.

Finally, don't forget to tidy up. Remove the garbage cans, hide the hose, pick up the paper, etc. Curb appeal means a place that looks neat and clean, the kind of place you'd like to live.

This is the first in a series of Blogs for Preparing your Home for Sale.

Lori Kim Polk

Artful Journey Designs and Staging...Exceeding your Expectations!

I am so excited about this nomination... Please vote for me, I so appreciate it! Please click HERE to vote for me!

Lori Polk Pro Stager

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Lori Kim Polk is owner of Premiere Home Staging, a full service Home Staging and Design Corporation and nationally recognized leader within the home staging industry located in Roseville, California.  Lori Kim has a warehouse full of unique accessories and quality artwork to better serve their growing list of clients in the Sacramento areas. She has been featured in Staging Standard Magazine, Sacramento Magazine, Sacramento News and Review, KFBK radio and SMUD's Home of the Future.  Proudly serving realtors, homeowners and investors in Granite Bay, Rocklin, Lincoln, Sacramento, and surrounding areas with exceptional home staging.

Lori Kim has helped stage and market hundreds of homes in the Sacramento, Roseville, and surrounding areas since 2005. Our stats say it all.....current DOM with our staging is 12 days.  Call us today at 916-300-0402  for our premier services. "We are changing this market one home at a time!"

  

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Rainer
647
Joy Gabler
The Staging Contessa - Alpine, CA
The Staging Contessa

I am new to this blog world! I am a home Stager in San diego and I am just getting started! I liked your guidelines on trimming trees and shrubs! Thank you! Joy.....The Staging Contessa

Sep 18, 2007 05:15 AM #28
Rainmaker
267,066
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento
Amanda.. thank you for stopping by. It really does not take alot to make the front yard appealing for buyers.  Sometimes it is as easy as watering the grass ;)))
Sep 18, 2007 12:04 PM #29
Rainmaker
267,066
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento
Cheryl Ann and Tina.  One of the best things that homeowners can use is the Detailed Report. This gives THEM the chance to do what they need to do to prepare their home for sale. I leave them the list and also check back with them before their MLS pictures to make sure that they are "picture ready". Tina.. that is why you send in the trusty Stager to tell them what they need to do.  Then you can focus on what you need to do as a Realtor to sell the house :)
Sep 18, 2007 12:12 PM #30
Rainmaker
267,066
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento
Thank you for stopping by Joy!  I really like your name... The Staging Contessa.  Welcome to AR, buckle up, and prepare for a great ride!
Sep 18, 2007 12:14 PM #31
Rainer
73,199
Cheryl-Anne Priest
Inviting Spaces - Home Staging Calgary - Calgary, AB
Inviting Spaces - Staging Calgary
Lori Kim - my clients have embraced the Detailed Report together with photos in assisting them in preparing their homes, putting them in control.  Once they have done their part, I then go back in to fine tune and take the final photos.  It is a win/win situation.
Oct 07, 2007 12:25 AM #32
Rainmaker
267,066
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento
Thank you for stopping by Cheryl-Anne.  With our winters approaching, Curb appeal is even more important.  It darn well better look good or we won't get the buyers out of the nice warm car to see the house :)
Nov 07, 2007 05:28 PM #33
Ambassador
1,552,806
Karen Kruschka
RE/MAX Executives - Woodbridge, VA
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"
Curb appeal is at the top of my list when I visit with a homeowner to discuss a listing and curb appeal includes includes painting the front door - one of my pet peeves, Karen
Nov 07, 2007 08:56 PM #34
Rainer
251,734
Kathy Riggle
STAGING SMART N SOLD - Houston, TX
Houston Home Staging

Hi Lori-

Good suggestions on viewing the house from across the street.  Trimming off lower tree branches and trimming down the bushes to make them much smaller makes the style of the house so much more noticable.  Kinda has that "new model home" look on the outside.  Makes the house stand out!

Kathy

Nov 08, 2007 08:49 AM #35
Rainmaker
267,066
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento
Now is the time to start thinking about how you will make your home stand out.  Will buyers want to stop and look? What will draw them to YOUR house?  Take a look and start now! 2008 will be a very competitive year. How will YOU make your home stand out among the rest? Start with your curb appeal.
Jan 07, 2008 02:57 PM #36
Rainmaker
212,384
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.
You don't get another chance to make a first impression.  The first impression gets them in the door, no two ways about it.  Good post.
Jan 07, 2008 06:31 PM #37
Rainmaker
267,066
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento
Right Terrylynn. What is stopping buyers from driving right on by? It must make a solid first impression from the moment they see it on the net... to driving up in real life. You want them to love it.. and they haven't even stepped inside yet ;) Then, they are hopefully hooked.
Jan 12, 2008 07:34 AM #38
Ambassador
1,023,021
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

In the course of preparing for a garden club presentation on the importance of curb appeal, I did a search for statistics on the NAR website.  The first article listed on this page http://www.realtor.org/libweb.nsf/pages/fg303 is your post.  Don't know if you're aware of that, so I thought I'd send along this link.  That could be another post altogether!

 

Mar 18, 2008 02:11 AM #39
Rainmaker
267,066
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento
Thank you Margaret. Yes, it is my Blog. I was very fortunate to be picked up by NAR, but I didn't know I was the first one ;) Thanks for reminding me to get started on another one!
Mar 18, 2008 10:24 AM #40
Anonymous
Adrianne

Awesome... I loved the part were you talked about exactly where trees should be trimmed up too.

However I am in a situation. I have a chain link fence that goes around my entire house. blahh..

I think it's awful for curb appeal. It's not inviting although its in good condition.

It has been great for keeping in the puppies and kids.  We also live in a not so noticeable but yet high crime area.  All the neighbors have the same chain link fence.

Should I take it down? 

Apr 22, 2008 05:24 PM #41
Rainmaker
47,843
Kim Dillon
Creative Eye Home Staging - West Chester, PA

This is so well written.  Thank you!

Kim Dillon, Creative Eye Home Staging

Apr 23, 2008 12:41 AM #42
Rainmaker
184,074
Christina Cavins
Irongate Inc. REALTORS - Centerville, OH
www.BuySellOH.com Search Ohio Homes For Sale

Lori,

I wrote a similar article, check it out here http://activerain.com/blogsview/574769/1-Ways-to-Boost

Jul 01, 2008 11:03 AM #43
Rainmaker
288,936
Pippa Mac
Chevaux Group Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring - The Woodlands, TX
The Woodlands TX Real Estate

this is sooo true ... there are sooo many homes that i can't believe they can't see the entry!

Jul 01, 2008 01:06 PM #44
Rainmaker
33,644
Susan Zanzonico
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Morristown, NJ
Sellers/Buyers Agent, Morristown NJ Real Estate

Great post.  First impressions are important.  If the home is all set up to show nicely on the outside, a nice addition might be  the flyers infront.  The potential buyers will see the home, like its look and want to know more information...stop the car and grab a flyer.  Be sure not to give away the shop though...leave a reason to call!

Jul 24, 2008 09:17 AM #45
Rainmaker
212,384
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

Lori, awesome post when written last year and still true today.  Thanks for the reminders that you can't get them inside if the outside doesn't pass the test.  and look at this over 10,000 reads of this post!!!  You are an amazing fount of information.  You should put this in your next Luxury newsletter girlie.

Jul 25, 2008 03:16 PM #46
Rainmaker
267,066
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento

Wow... thank you everyone for your support on this very important issue. I can't believe I have had that many views. I am so honored. This one blog has received the most publicity for outside sources and permission to reprint. What does that tell you all about curb appeal?  When 87% of buyers are looking on the net... why wouldn't this be top on our list of preparing a home for sale?!!!!

Jul 25, 2008 03:34 PM #47
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