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They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but if you notice the cover you’re more likely to pick it up and at least read the forward. The same goes when you’re selling. As a buyer we look on line at what our search presents us and hear ourselves saying “This one looks good, what do you think? ”
Step two is the open for inspection. That’s when street appeal has a huge influence on the buyers psyche, how the home’s facade and garden either excites you or welcomes. As a seller, this is the first opportunity to start tugging at those emotional heart strings, where you want potential buyers to start creating their own dreams for this home.
Let’s break street appeal up into a couple of stages.
Remove the clutter
The first step is removing the clutter and anything that isn’t thriving. Prune dead leaves and branches, and remove weeds and uncontrolled undergrowth. Clean the windows and remove any spider webs from the eaves or window surrounds. A good hose down and new bark or mulch in the garden beds will make a difference. If a home is well maintained then it appears maintenance free.
From the street to the door
Ah, that magical journey from the street to the front door. From the car, can you see an obvious and inviting point of entry? It’s human nature to we feel more comfortable if we are directed or guided to a point of entry. While the front door is the entry to the built environment, it’s that journey from the street to the door that can start the imaginative juices flowing or have them already uncomfortable and looking for negatives.
If the home you’re selling has an obvious point of entry like a gate, work with that and make sure it’s in pristine condition. Standing on the street, identify what draws your attention to that point. This could be a nice letterbox, obvious street number, possibly a small garden bed that contrasts from the surroundings. If there is no obvious point of entry, create one!
It’s very important to understand humans want to be guided and that directional guidance puts us at ease. It can be very simple to achieve a sense of welcome with a small garden bed and a letterbox with some simple stepping stones to the porch or front door. This can also be done with staging, larger potted plants, and a vibrant colored door will draw attention and give a feeling that you’re welcome. I have never put a home on the market that doesn’t have a nice welcome mat at the front door.
Understanding the buyers demographic is also very important at the entry to the home.
Home styling is a great investment inside the home and it’s equally important to include styling or staging for the facade and streetscape. One thing I can promise you, a serious potential buyer will always do a drive buy at night, so where possible think about how lighting will add to that sense of welcome, security and warmth.