Lately we’ve been talking a good bit about creating excitement for your home from the street. With all the prep work, and a new coat of fresh paint, your house probably outshines every other one on the block, but the business of styling properties goes beyond this major improvement. (Painting the exterior of your home will nearly pay for itself when the time comes to sell your home. This improvement can result in a 95 per cent return on your painting investment.) Painting the facade of your home, however, is incomplete without just a bit more attention to detail.
Your home’s street appeal is a major factor in the ultimate sale of your property. Potential buyers generally make buying decisions quickly, based on the first impressions your house makes. It follows, then, that finishing the outside makeover represents money in the bank.
Give your entry a few final touches. Paint the front door a bright and eye-catching colour. (We always recommend that you discuss the colour with your home stylist first to be sure you are on the same page with the largest segment of prospective buyers.) The key word for your entry area is “welcoming”. Transforming what is essentially your home’s handshake means making it as friendly as possible. This means adding eye candy – flowers or greenery, perhaps a pair of wicker chairs if there is space.
What about your path? The way in which your visitors and potential buyers approach the front door matters more than you can imagine. Remember, this is the first impression your buyers will have of your home. If the entry path or the driveway are in poor shape, take the time and find the money to improve where possible. Fixing the problems with either of these entry essentials can be less expensive and far easier than you might imagine.
Call in a concrete specialist to refinish your driveway or overlay your entry path and steps. Lay pavers. Consider adding stone. Depending on your budget, you can make major improvements to your street appeal in a short amount of time with any of these suggestions. Making your home irresistible is one of the things styling properties is all about and sometimes street appeal is the place where the most dramatic changes can be made. Talk with your stylist about how and where your street appeal can be improved on.
The Growing Things: Your professional home stylist can help you identify who will buy your house in the end. These pros study potential buyers with the help of the extensive research the industry funds, leaving the stylist with an incredible amount of information, which is especially important when it comes to landscaping. If the successful bidder for your house is a baby-boomer on the road to retirement, a large lawn and garden space may be particularly appealing. If your buyer will likely be a millennial who works eight days every week, the easier the yard is to care for, the better.
In the end, having a well-manicured lawn with healthy growing things is a good place to start. Even after you’ve listed your home and moved to temporary housing while you wait for the sale, don’t forget to have the yard watered and mowed regularly.
Finally: Be sure that the mailbox is in good shape and that the house numbers are easily read from the street. Stand across the street and look for a bit. What you should see is a big happy smile that says, “Come in and be comfortable”. It’s this kind of message that will give a big boost to your potential sale.
Every part of the process of styling properties is an important one, but careful attention to your house’s street appeal is of critical importance. The big welcome is the first thing buyers are likely to see, even from the internet which is where 90 per cent of buyers begin. Unless your house can capture the attention of prospective buyers, a sale is unlikely. If, on the other hand, you can create a “love at first sight” moment, it’s very likely that your home will be on its way to happy new owners.