In the past few years I have gotten pretty into sprucing up my homes curb appeal. Today I’m super excited to talk about how to stage the outside of your home to prep for a quick home sale! Of course anything you do in preparation to sell your home is going to be different than doing long term planning, but I’m still excited to talk about ways to stage your outdoor spaces to list your home to sell.
Before you start tearing things out or rush and buy a ton of plants stop and take a good hard look at your exterior. Like all things, having a plan in place will help you know where to focus your efforts. Walk around and look at your house. If there is any peeling paint it needs to be taken care of. Our first house had all wood siding and we had the backside of our house scraped and repainted. We also power washed the retaining wall on the side of our driveway and repainted it, it was amazing how clean it made it look! (And simultaneously made me face palm as to why we didn’t do it years before.) Take a hard look for any maintenance issues. If you find something, make a note of it so you can plan to repair or disclose it.
Now that you know what the weak parts of your exterior are make a list of the places you want to highlight.
Curb appeal focal points for home staging:
- Front entrance/porch
- Front landscaping
- Any landscaped beds
- Back entrance
- Any entertaining spaces
For your front and back entrance give it a good cleaning and evaluate if anything needs a fresh coat of paint. For us that meant power washing the front porch and rails. If you have space on your porch consider adding a few size appropriate chairs or other furnishings. Medium to large (don’t go to small with any accent, it won’t translate in photos and will just look like clutter) flower pots with colorful flowers will help your entrances pop. Shy away from trendy colored pots and go with something neutral and traditional. I recommend adding flowers right before your home is to be photographed. That way you can ensure that flowers are in bloom and are the color that you want.
Here is a selection of flower pots that would be easy and affordable additions (affiliate links):
Before you remove or add any plants to your landscaping give everything a healthy trim. You want your landscaping to appear tidy & easy to care for. Take the extra time to trim each bush and to weed eat everything. Once your lawn has had a good haircut you can begin to see the full picture. At this stage I would recommend standing at the street or edge of your property and taking a photo of the house. I don’t know why but often things just look different in a picture! Now that you have a photo in hand you can reevaluate your focal points to see if they are standing out or being hidden. If you have plants that are over grown or hiding your focal points then those may need to be removed. When your bushes and plants are trimmed and planted to perfection then top with fresh mulch.
Here is where I’m going to go against professional advice. I don’t think that every mature bush should be removed. We had two large evergreen shrubs in front of our home. (You can see them on the left hand side of the top photo.) The stager who came to our home told my husband to get out the chainsaw and cut them down. Then add a basic bed filled with mulch and perhaps a few annuals. The space was about 10 feet wide and at least 6 feet deep. It was in a shaded area, where not a lot of stuff would grow. We felt that this would have been a huge disservice to the next owners in addition to creating a whole project for us that we didn’t feel was necessary.
On the flip side of this is my good friend bought a house where the owner had done this exact thing. She now owns a home where the entire front of her house has a giant mulch bed. She now has the headache of trying to plan a giant bed and establish new bushes. So, I guess the moral of all of this is, before you remove an established bush consider if it is necessary and how the new owners may feel.
Lastly if you have a sun room, patio, deck, fire pit or other door focal point then you need to stage it for how it would be used. If you have a gathering spot then add the appropriate furniture to it. Set it up so that it tells a story. Often times these spaces get neglected and it’s a real shame. Outdoor spaces are a huge bonus in any house, so make sure to amp them up! If you have the ability to show that your home is indoor-outdoor friendly that is huge. It could honestly set your home apart from similar houses without good outdoor spaces. In my own home I made sure our front porch, sun room, deck, patio and fire pit all had seating. I staged small tables with cups & books in several of the spots. Set up a story and buyers will fill themselves in as the characters. When they do that expect an offer!
Also don’t forget to give driveways and walkways a good pressure wash. Make sure to dust off outdoor light fixtures, wash the outside of your windows for extra shine and keep your porch swept. All of these little things add up!
Don’t forget to pin!