Selling a home is as much an art form as it is a science. Staged homes spend less time on the market than a house that's not in show condition. The reason is psychology. Buyers are more likely to buy a cozy, welcoming home they can easily imagine themselves living in than a cold, empty house. Staged homes spend seventy-nine percent less time on the market than non-staged homes.
While most staging efforts focus on the interior of a home, staging outdoors may have an even greater effect impacting curb appeal. Seventy-one percent of buyers say they base their buying decisions on first impressions. Here are six tips for staging your outdoor living space.
1) Plan(t) Ahead While you can decide to sell your home on the spur of the moment, you’ll be far better poised if you plan ahead. If you'd like to move next fall, you should start preparing and planning your landscaping this spring. Remove any dead or dying plants, shrubs, and trees, and take a critical look at your yard. Schedule core aeration before getting your lawn treated, and red-sod any bare lawn spots Your planted landscape should make your home look welcoming, beautiful, and well-maintained. Overgrown shrubs need pruning, flower beds should be full, and trees should be healthy with no dead branches. If you're trying to bring focus to a specific area, red or yellow flowers can help direct the eye.
2) Give Outdoor Areas a Facelift Cracks in the walkway, sagging gutters and drainpipes, and stained hardscapes can make your home look neglected. Take the time to have peeling paint and torn screens on exterior windows repaired and repainted. Power washing hardscapes can give them a new lease on life. Believe it or not, garage doors command a great deal of attention. Make sure yours is clean and in good repair. If the garage doors are dented, saggy, or discolored, repair or replace them before you list your home for sale.
3) Maintain Meticulously From the moment you know you'll be listing your home, begin a maintenance regimen to ensure the outdoor areas look their best. If you have a pool, keep it sparkling clean. Clean all your windows. Keep all walkways edged, grass mowed, and landscapes cut back, fertilized, and re-planted as appropriate. Remove dead leaves and mulch all flower beds for a crisp, fresh look. If you maintain continuously for a season or two, you'll spend less time and money than if you try to do a big cleanup before listing.
4) Add Human Touches Remember, the goal of staging is to create a space a potential buyer can imagine themselves in. Add a welcome mat to the entry. If you have a patio area, make sure to have a small table and chairs, as well as a good grill and a sunshade. These small touches can make the backyard feel friendlier.
5) Remove Visual Clutter If you’ve got basketball hoops, lawn ornaments, pool toys, or any other miscellaneous personal items in your outdoor areas– tuck it away in a garage. While these things may add to your enjoyment of your yard, they look like junk to most potential home buyers. Best to keep them out of sight when showing your property.
6) Let There be Light Outdoor lighting might not seem like a big deal– after all, you’ll be showing your home during daylight hours. But when having professional photographs taken for your listing, some tasteful lighting will make nighttime shots more appealing. Solar lights lining pathways are an inexpensive way to make your home more inviting to a potential buyer during an evening drive-by.
While there’s no need to go overboard with outdoor improvements, some simple fixes and tweaks can help you get your asking price, quickly. The goal of outdoor staging isn't to increase your home's value, but rather to have your home spend less time on the market. It can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
United Country Real Estate is the leader in lifestyle real estate, that includes country homes, land, waterfront property, recreational and hunting property and farms for sale. Learn more at www.UnitedCountry.com.
William Dukes is a freelance writer and home decorator. He spends most of his time landscaping and fixing up and flipping old houses. He and his wife enjoy home DIY projects and recently built a new barn for their ranch