If Your Home is For Sale it Better NOT Be a Pleasant Surprise!

Home Stager with Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon CCB #180695

Last week I toured several Albany Oregon homes that have been on the market for a LONG time with agents from several different real estate agencies.  Our mission was to establish why these homes hadn't sold and to make recommendations to the home seller and selling real estate agent.

One home I just can't get out of my mind, along with the reactions of the group when we entered the living room.  Every one of us said:

Wow!  What a surprise!  or . . . Isn't this lovely!

Now you may think I've lost my mind - home sellers WANT buyers to think their living rooms are beautiful - right?  The problem?

Based on our impressions of the exterior, we were surprised at how the living room looked. 

Yikes!  Now the exterior wasn't horrible - just rather blah and uninteresting.  The home's exterior design needed some help to give great curb appeal, the flower beds weren't interesting or memorable and the lawn needed some reseeding/fertilizing.

When putting your home on the market, curb appeal and web appeal are key selling factors.  You may have the cutest interior in all of Oregon, but if you want to make sure buyers see it the exterior has to be great as well.

Hopefully I'll be able to post some great before and after shots of this home's exterior soon! Meanwhile, here's a pic from a prior staging job. 

 Don't you just want to see more of this home's interior?

When marketing your home make sure it catches buyers attention from the first glance and provides a continuing good impression in each room. 

No surprises - just a good impression that flows throughout the home!


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Comments (44)

Barbara Kornegay
REMAX Essential - Wilmington, NC
Wilmington NC Real Estate, Homes

This happens all the time here...  More and more people are becoming sedentary and are spending all their time, money and energy on the inside of their homes, forgetting the outside completely

Mar 22, 2010 11:48 PM
Richard Strahm
American Foursquare Realty - Lansdale, PA
Lansdale and North Penn Real Estate

I am working with some clients where the husband bases his decision on whether he wants to see the home on the one exterior picture of the home.  The wife has a bit more reasonable attitude.  But it goes to show that if the curb appeal isn't there, then the showings won't be either. 

Mar 22, 2010 11:58 PM
Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ


One of my listings just was professionally staged. Seller spent time and money mulching and planting to increase curb appeal too. Nothing has bloomed yet but it sure looks better!  And, yes, I did my part updating all photos and video tours.

Mar 23, 2010 12:04 AM
Margaret Oscilia
Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon - Salem, OR
Home Stager, Salem Oregon

Lori and Bruce -- Yes I'm sure you see it all the time that the exterior of the home may not reflect the interior! 

Mike - I agree that first impressions are important, but think they start at the curb not at the front door!

Christine -- I agree - many times when selling condos there is little that can be done about curb appeal -- I've been known to get creative - have even mowed the neighbor's lawn before!

Phil - I've seen this done before on listings, but I think the disappointment of driving up to a home that doesn't look fantastic is one buyers don't have to put up with in this market!

Jason - Thanks for the comment -- Don't you love it when the momentum starts at the curb and just continues throughout the house!



Mar 23, 2010 12:28 AM
Barbara Altieri
Better Homes and Gardens RE Shore and Country Properties - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

I wrote a post last week about my buyer who did not even want to go into the house when we drove up.  I coaxed her into the house, and long story short, she loved it! There's more to the story but the point is that you are so correct -- web and curb appeal are SO important.

Mar 23, 2010 12:32 AM
Rene Fabre
ARFCO Media - Renton, WA
Practicing Philosophical Eclectic of the Arts

Good tips, great looking blog, and congrats on the feature! Nice work...

Mar 23, 2010 12:35 AM
Joyce Thomas
The Thomas Group Brokered by eXp Realty - San Tan Valley, AZ
Your Home Sold Guaranteed!

Margaret, nice home!  Too bad it was "hidden".  Curb appeal and staging is the most important thing to make a home presentable.  Then it comes to price.  Presentation and price will help a home sell.  Nice post.

Mar 23, 2010 01:11 AM
Jim Allhiser
Perfection Inspection, Inc. - Salem, OR
Salem, Oregon Home Inspector

Margaret, Great points as usual.  Interesting to think that a positive surprise is actually telling you some negative things....thanks!

Mar 23, 2010 01:35 AM
Jenna Dixon
Momentum Real Estate Group LLC - Marietta, GA
55 & Over | New Constructions | Horse Farms

I had a very similar experience with a home that I had listed.  Only there wasn't really anything wrong with the exterior.  It just wasn't interesting.  It was a ranch built in the mid-90s.  It was just SO TYPICAL.  I had sent the listing info to agents in my office & one said she thought she had a buyer that might like it.  But when she sent the info to the buyer, she said, No.

Well, long story short, for weeks I kept asking the agent to take her buyer...finally she did & they LOVED IT, BOUGHT IT, & LIVE IN IT TODAY.

What I learned was, it's not always necessary to lead with an exterior picture of the front of the house.  Sometimes what makes it special & unexpected should be the lead!

Mar 23, 2010 02:33 AM
Damon Gettier
Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert - Roanoke, VA
Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE

Curb appeal is something that is hard to convince a home seller of.  You just have to hope that they will  have a little faith that you do know what you are talking about.

Mar 23, 2010 05:47 AM
Sonja Adams
Keller Williams Realty - Purcellville, VA

I went into a ranch home this weekend that just was not appealing to the eye at all....but inside it was nice.  Big rooms, updated bathrooms, much nicer than I anticipated from the outside...it does pay to have curb appeal as this house is getting overlooked because it is not pretty on the outside.

Mar 23, 2010 06:52 AM
Billy Studstill
Victory Realty, first time home buyer, foreclosure - Mount Juliet, TN
First Time Home Buyers, Foreclosure, Luxury

Great thoughts! Curb appeal is critical. Professional photos help a lot!

Mar 23, 2010 08:51 AM
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

The decision is made at the front door sometimes. It's really important to stage the outside also.

Mar 23, 2010 11:51 AM
Marianne Cherico
Interiors by Marianne Cherico - Foxboro, MA
Home Stager -Massachusetts and Rhode Island

Yeah-curb appeal is so important. You have to "Get the Buyers at hello" and keep drawing them in. Looking forward to the pictures.


Mar 23, 2010 02:53 PM
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA

Curb is #1 of my 5 key strategies to selling a home!! Great post Margaret!!!!!!!

Mar 23, 2010 04:25 PM
Cindy Bryant
Redesign Etc. Home Staging - Houston, TX
"Houston Home Staging Pros"

What a cool looking house.  If it's not attractive on the outside why would a buyer want to see the inside?  They wouldn't, they'll just keep going.  Curb Appeal is huge!

Mar 23, 2010 05:23 PM
Toronto, ON

Curb appeal is important to many buyers.  It seems that some straightforward changes could help the seller sell the house faster.

Mar 23, 2010 11:07 PM
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Curb appeal is everything, and yes it does get the people through the door. That's what it's all about.


Mar 24, 2010 01:40 PM
Connie Hall
All Brokers Real Estate - Portland, OR

You are so right, I have had many clients get an email from me with a listing and drive by and not even want to see the inside based on what they saw on the drive by. Doesn't matter what is inside, if you don't like what you see on the walk up to the house.

Mar 25, 2010 12:36 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Margaret, Just wanted to stop by and say hello. The reason...I was reading my first blog I wrote for AR, and you were the first to comment on it....November 21, 2008 My first blog....   So, thank you!!!! 

Great post....never know what kind of surprise you will find inside a home :)   Curb appeal is so important...and as you stated, you want people to want to come into the house.

Mar 28, 2010 10:24 AM