Staging Your Home for Curb Appeal

Why is Curb Appeal #1 when it’s time to list your home for sale?

Paying attention to your home's curb appeal is the first step to making a good impression on buyers.

First, today’s buyers begin their search online and we’ve already talked about how important good photography is. But no matter how good the photographer, if the home’s exterior lacks curb appeal, the photos will not pop.

Second, once buyers have found some homes online, they love to drive around, take a look at these communities, and see the homes in person. At this point, two things can happen:

  1. They love what they see and immediately call their agent to schedule a showing, or
  2. They’re disappointed. Either the entire neighborhood, street, or your home just doesn’t measure up and they never take the next step.

I have often scheduled showings of homes for sale with buyer clients but when we pulled up in front of a home they say “Don’t bother. let’s move on to the next.” Paying attention to your home’s curb appeal we can ensure future buyers will want to come inside to see more. A Princeton University study found that people judge others within one-tenth of a second of meeting them. How long do you think it takes them to get a first impression of your home? The answer, of course, is not very long and this first impression lends itself to home listings, too.


Proven Ways to Maximize Curb Appeal

In Delaware, much of your competition is from new construction, but more specifically, the model homes in these new home communities. So I searched to find what the experts recommend and then selected the top things you can do to maximize your curb appeal based on our personal experience in Delaware.

Powerwash the exterior

The best advice I can give you is to make your home spotless inside and out. Powerwash the siding, the walkways, stoop, and patios. Make your home sparkle and it will tell buyers that this home is well-cared for.

Clean up flower beds

Trim overgrown bushes and trees, weed all the gardens, keep the lawn trimmed, and edged. Regular maintenance is the best way to make a good first impression.

Reseal or replace gravel in the driveway

Your home may be beautiful but if the driveway is cracked and unattractive, it creates an overall negative impression.

Replace the garage door

Wherever I looked, this was one of the most highly-rated projects to increase your home’s value. Replace the garage doors with ones that enhance your home’s appearance and bring more light into the garage interior.


A Remodeling.com study named garage door replacement as the curb appeal project that has the highest ROI nationwide at a whopping 98.3% and at a relatively affordable cost of around $3,500.


Paint or replace the front door

If your home is slate grey, perhaps a bright yellow door is the answer. Then, add or repaint window shutters to coordinate with the front door. Drive through some new communities and see what the current trends suggest. If your budget allows, you might replace the front door with one that has sidelights, especially if that is what the competition offers. Pay attention to the knocker, handles, peephole, or other door hardware. Spruce up the door with new hardware.

Dress the entrance

I see so many suggestions for adding potted plants, new seating, replacing lighting, painting, or restaining a porch and adding a new doormat. Each home is unique, so take advantage of its strengths and think of how you can dress up the entrance.

Fence in your garbage cans

Another great suggestion is to build a fence around your garbage cans and perhaps around your central AC unit as well. A nice hedge would work also but do something to hide necessary but unsightly items.

Remember, the goal of curb appeal is to entice potential buyers to make an appointment to see the inside. Don’t lose them by neglecting this important first step. Start with knowing your competition.