Buyers Can't Buy It if They Can't Find It!

Home Stager with Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY

Prosepctive buyers always talk about looking for a house, but could they be talking about your listing, literally?2014-08-23 14.45.47

Problems with actually finding a listed property happens a lot more often than you might think, in both rural and urban settings. Many communities and HOAs do not allow broker signs, and GPS is imperfect, reception can be sketchy in all sorts of areas.

The Refreshed Home looks at ALL aspects of preparing Westchester County properties for sale, and yes, that does include making sure the property is easy to find, because buyers can't buy it if they can't find it.

There are communities I work in where buyers buy expressly for the privacy, NOT to be easily found. If that is your property and your buyer, your agent will know the best way to proceed. But if your property and buyer will fall into the other 99%-where being easily find-able counts, take this Westchester County Home Stagers' counsel:

The Approach

We rarely notice what is familiar, why such simple and obvious things get overlooked. Next time you're on the way home, slow down, really look at what buyers will see as they try to find your house. What catches your eye? If it's your gnome collection, trash cans on the side of the house, or holiday lights anytime between January 15th and November 30th>that will hurt you.

Regular readers know I push yellow flowers. It's the highest visibility color, and represents hope, optimism and change>all happy thoughts. Use that to direct buyers, draw them to the proper entry, even signal where the lockbox is. Very helpful if there are a few visible entrances, or you're on a corner lot, with the driveway on one street, with the front entrance on another. Deer tend to be averse to marigolds and mums, but natural repellents can ensure longevity.

Street signs

  • Are they pointed the right way>or still reversed, courtesy of a local prankster from three Halloweens ago?
  • Are they there at all?
  • Are they readable and unobscured? Glad I'm not trying to sell a house on this street!!

House numbers

DSC03937If you have a mailbox at the curb, have big new contrasting-even reflective- numbers on each side.

If it's a corner property with the driveway/walkway on the other or on a road that changes names, the street name on the mailbox and numbers on the garage wouldn't hurt, either. Bright yellow flowers at the base will increase the visibility

Days are getting shorter-whether on the house, a light post or a free-standing sign: is your house number in obvious place(s)? Are they well-lit, and large enough to be seen from the road?

If you live in an apartment or multi-residence property, are all the things that will get agents with buyers in, and to your door in place, and in good working order: a clearly marked directory, a working intercom, etc.

Getting In

Big fences, overgrown shrubs, shared driveways, un-obvious walkways, and agents' favorite-where the *#%! is the lockbox!-will all cool down a buyers' interest while you all try to figure things out.

Home Staging makes it easy for buyers to say yes...

but buyers can't buy it, unless they can find it!


Coloring Your Wold: YELLOW-Letting the Sun Shine In

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Our spaces affect us profoundly...and so many other parts in our life fall into place when our spaces and possessions serve us in the best way they can. But getting there is much more than a pursuit of pleasing aesthetics.


Decorating and Staging are different, but much of the skill sets overlap, and each creates unique solutions that considers the needs, goals, resources, expectations, hopes and dreams of each client.

Bettering Westchester, Putnam and lower Fairfield counties since 1981, The Refreshed Home works collaboratively, and brings a thoughtful approach to the creative process. Proud to make a difference, as well as make a living. Offering specialty services such as remote and buyer consults, listing photo/video styling, guided and accompanied shopping, and accessory rental. We get in, get out, and you get on with your life.  Talk to me TODAY about how we can better your space!




Marie Graham ASP, IAHSP, IDS Your Stager With A Mission!

QUESTIONS? Don't hesitate!! 914.607.2895 

email               web               blog

Comments (49)

Aaron Poling
Long & Foster - Martinsburg, WV
Working to get YOU the BEST Deal!

Great tips here. In my area the GPS on addresses doesn't get updated very often, so many buyers/agents have to rely on the directions on the mls sheet. I have had many instances that the directions are incorrect, signs are down, etc... which means that they may lose the showing, or the buyers will be so agitated by the time they arrive they aren't going to like it anyway. The key to solving this problem, is to spend more time on your listings and signange! Thanks Aaron

Aug 25, 2014 02:20 AM
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

Congrats on your latest gold star!  Great tips throughout this post, Marie!

Aug 25, 2014 02:24 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Some good ideas, I like the photo of the entry way, very inviting.

Aug 25, 2014 02:49 AM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Marie, it seems so obvious that the house numbers must be visible when a home is on the market, but it's surprising how many times I've had trouble finding them ... either they're old and faded, or a tree has grown and partially concealed them, etc.  Good post!

Aug 25, 2014 03:45 AM
Marie Graham
Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY - White Plains, NY
Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager

Thank you Patricia, and Jim is right>use color to direct people.

Sybil-it IS the little things that matter!

You're the best, Mercy-THANK YOU!

Karen-the red flower in your head shot tells me you already know how to use color to stand out!!

Hi Aaron>you're right, whatever any of us can do will raise the bar for all of us!

Thank you sister stager Julia!

Trudy and Nick-did that last summer, all together about $35.00 inc pumpkins,  

                        here's B&A of how it looked from the street.

Aug 25, 2014 03:46 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Think guy in audience far away, not playing Christopher Columbus looking for properties. Those guys and gals late at night are looking for your videos, those open houses on demand. Not behind the wheel of a car for the street scene hunt and peck. Looking for the silent salesman.

Aug 25, 2014 04:47 AM
Susan Jacobsen
The Alliance Group Realty - Hilton Head Island, SC
20 Years Providing WOW Real Estate Service

Marie - these are such great tips - just like that squeeky door inside or the lock that doesn't exactly work correctly, the exterior is equally important and I love how you emphasize the location - we all drive around and drive right to a property but for buyers unfamiliar with the area it's not quite that simple - great remarks!

Aug 25, 2014 05:02 AM
Jason Boone
Duke Warner Realty - Bend, OR
Principal Broker, CRIS, RENE, SRS, PSA

Great tips.  In our area we've had a lot of growth and until recently a lot of locations wouldn't show on many popular online mapping tools and/or GPS.  With such a vast amount of information online about available properties, knowing where to find a specific home is imperative.

Aug 25, 2014 12:06 PM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

We have this issue in certain areas of our town because some areas have changed the zip code, as well as the actual home addresses. If you don't have an updated GPS system, you may not find the new address.

Aug 31, 2014 07:45 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@Properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hi, Marie!  Just to let you know - I included this post in today's Last Week's Favorites!

Aug 31, 2014 11:46 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

If I can't find a house; I know most Buyers will have the same problem. Your post is on target!


Aug 31, 2014 03:21 PM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

We have that problem with new construction homes.  Sometimes they're too new for google maps.  

Aug 31, 2014 11:12 PM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Marie. This is wonderful and so well written. Glad it was featured. Enjoy the day.

Aug 31, 2014 11:22 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Some great suggestions for finding those hard to find homes, and even those that are not. We have some rural areas here, along with some screwy numbering on streets, that make finding properties in some areas a challenge. And sometime the signage is terrible, and the GPS even gets confused


Aug 31, 2014 11:58 PM
Marie Graham
Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY - White Plains, NY
Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager

Andrew-I think that means you think this makes sense...? THANKS!

Hi Susan-it's true, just like anything else, we just don't 'see' what is so familiar

Jason-my eye have really been opened to this obstacle that new construction faces

Hi Troy- wow,changing street names and ZIP codes, that's got to be fun

Thanks again Patricia>appreciate this, and your work as an AR Ambassador!

Paul-it's always the little things that can trip us up!

Hi Sheila! ALWAYS good to see you, thanks for ALL your support!

Jeff-I do travel prepared, had a ladder and snippers in the truck; if that sign post had been on my clients' street I would have snipped those vines away


Sep 01, 2014 01:18 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

I had one of those weekends and had to drop by, again, to re-read this.  I try to make it a fun game now . . . like hunting for Easter eggs!  

Sep 01, 2014 02:43 AM
Melissa Brown
Helen Adams Realty - Charlotte, NC
Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale

Marie, I think your post is fantastic!  You have so many ideas - all helpful to get the house sold.  I will start encouraging yellow flowers.  And I love that you hit on my pet peeve - showing homes in condo/townhouse complexes where there are multiple buildings and you have no idea where the unit is!

Sep 01, 2014 03:12 AM
Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton
The Nines Team At Keller Williams - Stockton, CA
The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton

Marie - like many, I'm sure the directions to the property is often the biggest frustration.  I especially (don't) like the ... "Use GPS" as a direction ... what exactly is it you're selling?

Sep 01, 2014 07:16 AM
Holly Biltz
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Saint Cloud, FL
I sell the dream of Home Ownership!

Great post, good informamtion, thanks for sharing.

Sep 01, 2014 11:04 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
So many things hide in plain sight if they're too simple. Don't be afraid to be a little different, a little colorful or even a little personable and to go above and beyond to maintain wellness while also being professional. It is a line I walk constantly. It's totally worth it though!
Sep 01, 2014 11:45 AM