Curb Appeal- 10 Points to Consider When Selling Your House.

Home Stager with Room Service Home Staging

You hear about Curb Appeal when selling or buying a house, but what is it and how do you get it?
Does it means the house has nice curbs?  Well, that's a good start but Curb Appeal to the buyer means that when they curb appeal-beforesee a picture of your exterior on the MLS, a mental "check mark" is placed by your listing.  
Curb Appeal means that when a Buyer drives by your house, they want to schedule a viewing appointment through their Realtor.

Curb Appeal means that when Your Buyer pulls up for their appointment, they want to go in and they are eager to see the rest of the house. 

Curb Appeal sets the tone for the rest of the viewing.  Your Buyer is now predisposed to want to like the house.  They are hoping the interior will match what they just saw.                                                                                                                                  

So, how do you get it?  Here are  10 points to consider:

1. Take a Walk!  It's not just a healthy thing to do, but sometimes we're complacent with our surroundings.  So, take a walk (or slow drive ) around your neighborhood and look at the curb appeal of your neighbors.   You might see that your lawn is not really green but yellow/brown/green when compared with your neighbors.    Make note of the houses that appeal to you and what stands out.  


staging-before curb appeal
2. Pay Your House a Visit!   Most of us enter our homes through the garage or back door.  When is the last time you "called on" your own home?  What you see is what your Buyers will see.  Don't be shy.  Start at the driveway or by the curb and pretend you're looking at your home through a buyer's eyes.  Take a critical look.  


 Cracks in the sidewalk?  Are you dodging overhanging limbs?  And what does your Welcome Mat say??  One of my favorite mats was at a friend's back door.  It said, "Go Away".  I love it, but.... not for welcoming your buyers.  
     If you have planters and pots who have been waiting to host a new, healthy plant for a few years now, then ditch them.

3.  Off with their heads (or legs).  Take a look at your poor neglected flowers.  Time to "deadhead" them.  Remove the flowers that have seen their best days.  And particularly here in Florida where plants can grow several feet overnight, it's important to take a look at some of those plants that have gotten too leggy.  You know the ones I mean.... you start to see more stem and branch then green leaves.  Trust me, those stems are just going to get leggier and the green will be at the very top of the bush.  
     Why is this so important?  Neglected landscaping says to your Buyer that there are probably other areas of or in the house that have also been neglected.



4.  Color My World!  Like your interior paint scheme, adding "pops" of color in your landscaping takes it from being all green and bland to exciting.  
     You can take a large clay pot and fill it with whatever colorful flower is in season.  Caution: Do not plant anything that will take daily watering and care if your schedule will not permit that.
5.  Cover it Up!!   It's amazing what a layer of fresh mulch does for dirt.  Think of a 3 layer chocolate cake with raspberry filling.  Without the ganache frosting, though, it's just cake.  Add the frosting and now you have a beautiful dessert. Same thing with mulch.

6.  Get a Handle on it!   Your buyer walks up to your front door with her Realtor.  More than likely they will spend cobwebssome time there as the Realtor has to fidget with the lockbox or whatever and then fiddle with the keys to open the door.  
     What are the Buyers doing???  They're eying the place!  They have plenty of time here to notice that your once beautiful door handle is now rusted or tarnished.    Or they may see your former beautiful wood door is discolored and fading.  
     Time to hit Home Depot or Lowes.  It's a very small investment for the return you'll get.

7.  Oh, what a Tangled Web We Weave... As mentioned in #6, your buyers will have plenty of time as they're waiting to enter your home to size it up.  If they have to walk through spider webs to even make it to your front door, then unless they're into long nature walks, this is not a good feature.   Also look up by your door and garage.  Check out the corners for those pesky webs.  


8.  Heads UP:  What takes up a large part of a buyer's visual space when they approach your home?  Your roof!  It has to pass inspections anyway so take care of whatever needs to be done BEFORE you list it.  Can it be cleaned?  Re-shingled?  
      What you don't want it to say to the Buyer is:   "That's another $30,000 we have to put into the house if we buy it."

9.  Mail Call!  In front of some of our houses here in South Florida stand manatees with mailboxes for their mouths.   Now I love manatees but in reality, they're not a pretty animal.  I've also seen mailboxes that finally got tired of being before- mailboxstraightened after being endlessly hit and have now given up and have a defeated look to them.  
     Get my drift?  Sellers, your mailbox is one of the first things your buyer will see.  Make it count.


10.  Valet, please!  Everyone in the family has a car now.  There's probably one waiting for your 10-year-old when he or she comes of age.  Unless you have a super-sized driveway and front yard, filling your driveway with all of your cars thus making your buyer have to walk a maze to get to your front door detracts from the experience.  
      When showing your house, arrange to have your cars either in the garage or elsewhere.  Let your Buyer see the house!

What all of this boils down to is that you want the viewing experience for the buyer to be a positive one and that will start with the curb appeal of your house.   The investment you make can pay off with a quick sale.
For more information enlist the services of your local professional home stager.


Re-Blogged 22 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lou Ludwig 06/09/2010 04:53 PM
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  18. Cindy Bryant 06/23/2010 04:29 PM
  19. Steve and Jan Bachman 07/22/2010 02:09 AM
  20. Ritu Desai 07/22/2010 02:23 AM
  21. Michele Harrison 09/21/2010 11:46 PM
  22. Karen Baker 10/09/2012 12:46 PM
  23. Winston Heverly 02/06/2013 08:42 PM
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Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker
Kathy: I cleaned up all the spiderwebs outside of my home this weekend. Didn't realize how many there were. Just an example of how we don't see some of these things but a buyer would. Ditto dead leaves and branches. Time to freshen up even if you are not selling. You want your house to have a good reputation for when you do.
Oct 07, 2012 12:53 AM #97
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Great info to think about before putting your house on the market.

Oct 07, 2012 12:56 AM #98
Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...
Kathy ~ this is definitely reblog material to pass around on my outside blog and website. Thanks!!
Oct 07, 2012 01:15 AM #99
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Kathy,

Deadheading & spider webs are things that need doing every week or couple of weeks, when you have your home on the market, because things keep growing and spiders keep weaving in their favorite hunting corners.

Oct 07, 2012 01:39 AM #100
Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta

Curb appeal is very important when you are trying to sell your home. It's your first impression for your home. Buyers will make assumptions on what your home is like on the inside from the exterior appearance. It happens for sure in the Flagstaff real estate market. These are great tips!!

Oct 07, 2012 01:46 AM #101
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Great list! I think people often forget about those spider webs - and how fast they grow. I ran into one at my house a couple weeks ago - when walking out of a door that I use every day.

Oct 07, 2012 02:02 AM #102
Tom Esposito
Alpharetta Home Solutions - Alpharetta, GA

Wow!  Great information.  More than I ever wanted to know about curb appeal, but highly useful to share with potential home sellers.  Gives them something to work on that actually helps sell their home.  Thanks for sharing.  I'll use this. 

Oct 07, 2012 02:05 AM #103
Sylvia Jonathan
Coldwell Banker Platinum Properties - Irvine, CA
Broker Associate, SFR

Your blog addresses some sore spots that are usually omitted in Realtor's curb appeal blogs: cars in driveways, cobwebs on front porches and MAILBOXES. I have seen more than one well-to-do home with a ratty mailbox out front. What can a seller do if the association is in charge of mailbox conformity and the seller can't replace it? Go to the HOA meeting!

Soon after I put an example, with photos, in one of my neighborhood newsletters, the entire tract sported new mailboxes. Did the board or management company read my newsletter? No, but I bet more than one homeowner put in a motion for change, and it happened.

Oct 07, 2012 02:06 AM #104
Ann Steinemann
Russell Realty,Westlake, Ohio 419-602-0339 - Westlake, OH

Kathy, thank you for some fresh tips on curb appeal. The funky mailboxes and cars in driveway both resonated with me. I live in a subdivision where everyone does a great job of keeping their lawns and landscaping in tip-top shape. It's almost like a competition between neighbors. That said, it's amazing how many of these same people have mailboxes that have seen better days. It's also interesting how people use their driveways as a parking lot so they can fill their garages with other stuff. It's always a trick to show a home when you and your clients can't find a parking space in the driveway.

Oct 07, 2012 02:24 AM #105
Peggy Hughes/pha logistix, inc.
pha logistix inc - San Francisco, CA

Kathy - these are all great tips no matter where the property is located. And, congratulations for getting post listed in the daily drop!

Oct 07, 2012 03:38 AM #106
Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent
Professional Realty Services® International - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

Thank you for the good list and effective pictures. 

Oct 07, 2012 05:04 AM #107
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Excellent post, you began with the most important element concerning curb appeal. Hopefully, sellers will heed your advice and perhaps many other agents will too. 

Oct 07, 2012 07:28 AM #108
Tyler Soulliere
Windsor Realtor - Windsor, ON
Appreciate the tips thanks so much!
Oct 07, 2012 10:51 AM #109
Brad Baylor
ERA Coup Agency - Milton, PA

Kathy - All good tips.  Thanks for the great post!

Oct 08, 2012 12:23 AM #110
Jean French-Turner
Southport Realty, Inc. - Southport, NC

Great list! You spent some time on it. I do believe that people become immune or unaware to their surroundings-thanks for great tips!  

Oct 09, 2012 05:14 AM #111
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Chris- I don’t think you have to turn a house into a model home to sell it.  It would
be nice but not everyone has the budget for it.  I do agree, though, paint and landscaping can make a huge difference.

Kathy-I love mulch, but I really don’t like the red kind.  Putting out mulch is like placing icing on the cake.

Bob-oh how funny!  I’d need a lot of help with this one.

Sharon- many thanks.  I know that when I’ve been looking for my own home I can remember standing there staring at the light fixtures and everything right around the door.

Valerie- Hope this gets the points across to your sellers.

Hella-so many of us rarely enter our house through the front door.  We almost forget it’s there.  Those litlle old spider webs can pop up overnight.

Lyn- my husband actually refused to go into a house because of how it looked on the outside.  Our Realtor was with us and she had to cancel the appointment.

Frank  & Karen- thank you for the reblog. Best of luck with it!

Dorte-those spiders to keep spinning, don’t they.  Our summers can get so hot that I always suggest to my sellers that they plant heat tolerant plants.  If they won’t have time to water and care for them I suggest getting a plant that can be neglected.

Sylvie-location doesn’t matter, does it.. curb appeal matters.

Marte- we’re all alike.  We see the same things every day as we walk around our own home and don’t pay any attention to them.  

Tom-hope our sellers get the point.

Sylvia-the HOA can be a good source, or a sore spot.  I’ve pulled up to more than one house that  needed a lot of help with their curb appeal.  It sets the tone before the buyer even steps out of their car.

Ann- isn’t it something that some homeowners will take such amazing care of their home but never even consider their mailbox!

Peggy- Thank you so much!  I couldn’t figure out why people were commenting on my post that I wrote so long ago!  

Liane- oh dear.. I wrote this post so long ago, I need to “stage it” a little better.

Hi Kimo- I’m so glad that you liked it.

Tyler- Hope the tips can help your sellers.

Brad- don’t know what your experience has been with curb appeal but it really does make a difference.

Jean- you’re absolutely right.  All of us become immune to what we see every day.

Oct 09, 2012 09:22 AM #112
Dana Smithers
PRES Staging Resource Centre - Vancouver, BC
PRES Staging Training, Redesign Training & Busines

Love your sense of humor!  Great post and I totally concur! As a home stager we know the value and impact of that first impression. And since 80+ of buyers look on the internet first that first impression needs to be WOW from the outside in!  I have written an ebook Creating Curb Appeal That SELLS! and I would be happy to share it with anyone reading this post. Go to my facebook: and do a post asking for this ebook and I'll email it to  you so leave your email address!

Oct 10, 2012 05:47 AM #113
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Great curb appeal is so important and this is where you get the most bang for your buck.

Nov 09, 2012 01:30 PM #114
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
REcampus Fully Accredited Florida ONLINE & Classroom Training in Destin, Pensacola Florida - Panama City Beach, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

Good Morning Kathy, Great pointers as always, your blogs are great!

Feb 06, 2013 08:45 PM #115
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

So very true, folks do judge by the cover, first impressions count.

Feb 06, 2013 09:55 PM #116
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Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224
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