Why Staging a Home Starts Outside at the Curb

By Steve Flanagan

It’s the largest space any seller has to stage, but it’s often the most overlooked. Before buyers see your spacious living room, newly remodeled kitchen or master bedroom with walk-in closets and its own Jacuzzi, what’s the first thing they’ll see? The outside of your home. More than 90 percent of all buyers use the Internet during their home search, and an exterior photo usually appears next to search results on real estate websites. Buyers often drive around neighborhoods even before showings or open houses are scheduled And we all know first impressions are powerful.

Before you take photos in preparing to list your home, walk across the street and take a look back. What’s the first thing that you notice? What’s in good shape? What needs to be fixed? What needs to be painted?

Use these questions to evaluate your home’s curb appeal:
1. Are your soffit, gutters and facia in good shape, on the house and the garage?
2. Does your wood trim need to be painted?
3. If your home is brick, does it need to be tuckpointed?
4. Are your sidewalk and driveway level and crack-free?
5. Are your garage doors, overhead and side entry, well painted and in good working order?
6. Do your front door and storm door look attractive from the outside?
7. Can you see the window treatments clearly from the outside, and if so do they frame your windows nicely?
8. Is your chimney properly capped?
9. Is your outdoor furniture clean and inviting?
10. Is your landscaping in good shape, or could it be improved with just a little effort?

Take notes while you look over your home’s exterior, then make a plan to fix or update what you can within your budget. Once you’ve given your curb appeal a boost, snap away! Go photo crazy. You’ll want to have lots of choices when it comes to deciding which photos to use in your marketing efforts. You don’t need to hire a professional photographer if you have a digital camera and put a few photo-taking tips to use.