5 Simple Ways to Stage the Exterior of Your Home Before an Open House

If you’re selling your home, chances are good you’re familiar with the concept of staging your home. Real estate agents recommend your home look its best to prospective buyers, and home staging is a great way to ensure you receive top dollar. But did you know you should stage the exterior of your home too? Failing to update the look of your home’s exterior can cause buyers to get a bad first impression when they initially arrive to view your home.  Whether your audience are luxury home buyers or you are selling your starter home, staging the exterior of your home will have a major impact in the sale of your home.  If you want to put exterior home staging to work, here are five elements you should consider tweaking.

Clean Your Exterior Windows and Screens

Nothing says poor maintenance like dirty windows and window screens. If your windows are caked with dust or muck from the last rainstorm, open house visitors are going to wonder what other maintenance jobs you haven’t attended to. Don’t give visitors the opportunity to question whether your home has been properly maintained or not; clean those windows and screens before authorizing an open house.

Refresh Your Gardens and Walkways

Just like dirty windows are a real estate faux pas, so are unkempt flower beds. Weeds and overgrown bushes tell visitors you can’t be bothered with the small stuff. Spend a day removing weeds and trimming flowers, or hire a professional landscaper to refresh your gardens.  It is amazing what a refreshed garden can do to your home’s curb appeal.

Refresh Your Home’s Siding

No, you don’t have to replace your home’s siding prior to an open house. A quick power wash could be all it takes to remove years of dust and grime. You can attempt this task yourself, but it might be worth your while to hire a professional. Some homeowners have been known to damage their home’s siding by using too forceful a water stream. This is one task that is often best left to experienced professionals.  The last thing you want to deal with is replacing siding before an open house.

Update/Clean Door Fixtures and House Address Signage

Something as simple as a new doorknob or address signage can give your home a refreshed look. You needn’t spring for a new door; just update the faceplate and/or doorknob. Purchase new address numbers from the local hardware store and you’ll have tweaked the look of your home’s exterior in just a few minutes.

Clean Patio Furniture

Whether you have chairs on your front veranda or a dining set on your back deck, tired patio furniture can cost you big dollars when it comes time to negotiate with a potential homebuyer. Dilapidated patio furniture instantly gives a bad impression and can cause potential homebuyers to request replacement furniture as part of their deal. Spruce up your existing furniture with a quick power wash, or replace it if it is beyond cleaning.

Simple tweaks to the exterior of your home can have a big impact on your home’s final selling price. By spending just a few days improving the look of the outside of your home, you can increase the amount buyers are willing to offer and make your home the cleanest real estate listing on the block. Will you be trying these exterior home staging tricks when you list your home for sale?

 

Posted by Charles Muotoh on RISMedia

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10 Fabulous (And Real) Front Doors

Who wouldn’t feel welcomed by this cherry red front door?

Ornately carved, brightly painted, or gleaming in glass, each of these stunning doors makes a bold design statement.

A front door is a home’s first chance to make a good impression. And if you’ve ever asked your real estate agent to skip past a showing appointment because of a house’s unwelcoming exterior, you’ve noticed firsthand just how important curb appeal really is. These 10 homes for sale on Trulia all boast pretty portals — the perfect inspiration for your personal home search.

Cowabunga(low): $414,999, 3009 Elizabeth St., Bellingham, WA 98225

A tangle of grapevines on twin trellises adds curb appeal to this craftsman bungalow in Bellingham, WA. The two-bedroom, one-bathroom home is already as cute as a button, with its cranberry-red front door and a location along one of the city’s lesser-trafficked roads. Built in 1926, the charmer has been modernized with a keyless entry, hardwood and tile floors, a subway-tiled kitchen with recessed lighting, and an open floor plan that makes the most of the bungalow’s 1,150 square feet. The master bedroom opens to the large, private fenced yard.

Making waves in Carolina: $539,000, 1031 Bennet Lane, Carolina Beach, NC 28428

Just a seashell’s throw from the coast, this contemporary on a cul-de-sac welcomes guests with a front door painted a happy shade of sunshine. The door’s skinny windows provide a peek at who’s outside, but a fuller view is offered by the high-tech doorbell, which is loaded with a camera and an intercom. After guests identify themselves, they’ll cross a threshold into a 3,071-square-foot space that’s flooded with natural light, from the quartz-bedecked modern kitchen to the ground-floor home gym. But if you ever choose to venture out for a workout, you’ll have easy access to the Carolina Beach Fitness Loop.

Smooth around the edges: $765,000, 3019 E. Bonanza Road, Gilbert, AZ 85297

This 3,637-square-foot residence in Gilbert, AZ, sits about 20 miles southeast of Phoenix. The home welcomes guests with a circular brick driveway that’s echoed in a colossal arched front door. The wood- and stone-adorned interior features more curved lines. Arched doorways create a sense of grandeur within the already-stately residence, while an arched portico shades the poolside patio. Fun fact: The ceiling of the home takes inspiration from a villa in southern Mexico and contains 234 Saltillo tiles between the wooden beams.

A pivot(al) moment in the desert: $825,000, 24 W. Linger Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85021

Ever heard of a pivot door? Here’s a crash course: A pivot door is mounted using a set of pins in lieu of a traditional hinge. The pins are set in the top and bottom of the door frame, not the side, which allows for a better weight distribution and enables the (generally larger-than-usual) door to swing both in and out. With its clean lines and architectural flair, a pivot door lends itself to modern design. That’s probably why one was custom-built for this contemporary home in north-central Phoenix, just a few miles from downtown. The frosted glass-and-metal door hints at the 3,168-square-foot stunner’s airy feel. The fully remodeled home is heavy on glass and organic materials like wood and marble.

Verona by way of South Jersey: $849,000, 283 E. Kings Highway, Audubon, NJ 08106

Supported by a quartet of columns, this home sits just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, PA. A Juliet balcony offers views of a tree-lined, residential street in South Jersey. Underneath, a pendant light illuminates two leaded-glass doors that hint at what’s to come: a center-hall Colonial with a decidedly traditional aesthetic. The foyer greets guests with a curved staircase and a glimpse at the four-bedroom home’s double-height living room, complete with a black marble fireplace and a 20-foot-high coffered ceiling. Custom moldings and trim can be found throughout the home’s 3,704 square feet.

A modern-day Hobbit house: $925,000, 3395 SE Hidden Valley Way, Olalla, WA 98359

The front walkway might lead you to believe you’re entering another time and place, but be assured that this modern-day Hobbit house is in Olalla, WA — about 20 minutes southwest of Seattle. Built in 1982, the home welcomes you inside through handmade wooden doors with extensive ironwork. With four bedrooms and 2,800 square feet, the charming cottage lures buyers in with a rarely encountered selling feature: a complete lack of right angles. Those rounded corners contribute to the home’s quirky charm, which borrows a page from the storybooks with stained-glass windows, stone fireplaces, hand-carved wood beams, and rounded doorways. Frodo, are you in there?

Ahead of the carve: $3.1 million, 44 Beech Hill Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583

Standing guard in a display of glass and ornately carved wood, twin front doors mark the entrance to this 6,500-square-foot residence in the posh Beech Hill neighborhood of Scarsdale, NY. Loving the doors’ medieval vibe? You’re in luck: This place is full of it, thanks to the previous owner’s penchant for woodwork. You’ll see it in the home’s coffered ceilings, tigerwood floors, decorative mantels, and mahogany elevator. Besides four bedrooms, a heated garage, and a showstopping garden, this home features a top-notch chef’s kitchen and a Mediterranean-inspired wine cellar.

Sliding in from the slopes: $3.9 million, 14235 Mountainside Way #6, Truckee, CA 96161

Whether you enter from the road through an all-wood door or kick off your skis and head in through the glass slope-side door, you’ll be entranced by this home’s mountain-modern design. You can’t get much closer to the mountains than this 3,450-square-foot modern marvel. With direct access to the Northstar California ski resort, it’s cantilevered over a ski run. Inside, the alpine abode boasts four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms. Plus, those floor-to-ceiling windows offer uncompromised views of the surrounding mountain peaks. Once the skis come off, you can thaw out in the home’s private hot tub or beside the fire pit, or head to the community lodge for a dip in the pool.

Champagne taste in the Sunshine State: $3.95 million, 7035 Greentree Drive, Naples, FL 34108

The owners of this 3,032-square-foot home, steps from the white-sand beaches of Naples, FL, took a no-expenses-spared approach during its 2016 remodel. The white-hot interior was outfitted with custom cabinetry and top-notch Wolf appliances in the gourmet kitchen and Italian porcelain plank floors throughout. Out back, a brand-new saltwater pool and outdoor kitchen offer a private oasis. The arched front door follows suit: Its ornate design was custom-made using luxurious mahogany. The surrounding community offers plenty of options for further relaxation, including a 570-acre nature preserve, exclusive-access beaches, a fitness center and wellness studio, and a cultural center.

Calm, cool, and collected: $7.145 million, 1900 Sabal Palm Drive, Boca Raton, FL 33432

You’ll be the first to live in this new, 9,650-square-foot estate in Boca Raton, FL. Its futuristic facade is marked by massive, marine-grade steel double doors. Enter and find an open floor plan with all the markings of modern design: clean lines, abundant glass and metal, and a so-cold-it’s-hot neutral color scheme. The huge retracting windows in the living room help redirect some of the focus from the 12-foot-long linear fire feature to the view. (This six-bedroom home sits just beyond the first fairway of the world-class Royal Palm golf course.) Fore!

Posted by Julie Davis on Trulia

The Most Popular Exterior Paint Colors

Here’s a breakdown of the most popular colors for your house’s siding, trim, and architectural accents.

Changing the color scheme of your home’s exterior is one of the quickest ways to give your house a face-lift, whether you’re preparing to list it for sale or just want to increase curb appeal (or both!). You might be surprised at the number of outside elements at play that you should consider before you choose a color scheme. Things like the hue of your brick chimney (is your brick more orange or brown?), the color your neighbor chose for their house, and your area of the country can all influence a color scheme. Plus, you’ll probably have to coordinate at least three colors — for the siding, trim, and accents. And this is a big investment, so it’s not very easy to change if you don’t love the end result, making what seems like a simple decision trickier than you might have expected.

We talked to paint companies to get information on their bestselling exterior paint colors, then consulted with color specialists on what to consider when planning your own home’s color palette.

Choosing a color for the siding

When it comes to sheer square footage, a home’s siding takes up a lot of visual real estate and is usually the most difficult (and most expensive) area to paint. Consequently, you should decide on a paint color for your siding first and then match your trim and accents to it. To start your color selection, realize your home actually isn’t a blank canvas. You have a lot of fixed elements to consider when establishing your color palette.

1. The roof

If you have a brown roof, steer toward a warm siding color, like Sherwin-Williams’ Avenue Tan. If you have a gray or black roof, you can go cooler — Olympic’s Coast of Maine is a popular choice. Take a step back and observe any other fixed, unpaintable elements on your home’s exterior, like copper awnings, stone chimneys, and brick features.

2. Consider your neighbors

If one house next door to yours is navy-blue and another is white, you shouldn’t veer into warm-color territory or paint your house navy-blue or white (no one likes a copycat). Instead, match their home’s color intensity. Something like Benjamin Moore’s Wedgewood Gray would pair well: It stays in the cool spectrum and doesn’t duplicate their selections. You want to have personality but not stand out in a bad way.

3. Don’t ignore local cues

Beyond the colors on your block, do some research (you can probably just drive around your town!) to make sure your color scheme is historically and regionally appropriate. “Imagine the colors you see on homes in Key West,” says Amy Krane, an architectural color consultant. “Pink and turquoise feel natural in a tropical region but would be wholly out of place in the Midwest.”

4. Keep scale and depth in mind

The color of your home can trick the eye. For instance, painting your home a light color like Benjamin Moore’s November Rain can make it seem larger than it is and visually brings it forward to the curb. Conversely, dark colors can make a home look smaller but more substantial and set back — Benjamin Moore’s Boston Brick has this effect.

5. Test before you commit

Always paint a test patch and observe it at different times of day to see how the sunlight affects it. Keep in mind that all colors will always appear lighter on the exterior of your house than on a paint chip in the store. “Natural lighting makes everything appear lighter and brighter,” says paint color specialist Kristie Barnett. “Always go darker than you think you’d want.”

The best colors for trim

A house’s trim color is easy to overlook if it marries well with the rest of the house but impossible to ignore if the color is even slightly off. Trim that’s matched exactly to the siding color can feel flat; dark trim, especially around windows, can make them appear small or oddly framed.

1. Keep it in the family

For this reason, a safe bet is to select a trim color two shades lighter or darker from the siding color or to keep it simple with a fresh white or cream shade. Sherwin-Williams’ Panda White and PPG Paints’ Oatmeal are popular selections for warm-tone homes; Benjamin Moore’s Frostine is an option for cool-hued homes.

2. Use trim to blend

Keep in mind that less-attractive elements of your home, like gutters, garage doors, or vents, should be painted the same color as your trim so they blend in. Picking a trim color can be tough, so this is an opportunity to talk to a pro — see if the paint company you’re working with has preselected color palettes based on architectural style or color range. These can be incredibly helpful when matching your trim to your siding.

Now for the fun part: accent colors

After you’ve chosen the foundation for your palette — the siding and trim colors — it’s time to have some fun playing up the accents, like the front door, shutters, and other architectural details. Accent colors present an opportunity to make a statement and differentiate your home from your neighbors’ houses.

1. Keep it classic

When it comes to front doors, some colors will never go out of style: Behr’s Black Lacquer, for instance, or a red door like Glidden’s Rusty Red. Or pick a color that gives a nod to a classic: Something like Sherwin-Williams’ Indigo Batik is similar to navy-blue, but the gray undertone is slightly more modern and fresh.

2. Look inside

Besides coordinating your front door with your siding and trim, when picking a color, consider the interior of your house, says color consultant Barbara Jacobs. “For one of my clients, as soon as you opened the front door, they had a beautiful oriental rug and piece of art,” says Jacobs. “We pulled a lilac color from these elements to use on the front door, and it created a stunning impact as you entered their home.” Colors like Benjamin Moore’s Super Nova and Breath of Fresh Air are unexpected hues that can ooze this effect.

3. Add more color

Other architectural details can match the front door, but they offer another opportunity to introduce a new hue. Barnett says it’s wise to pull other accent colors from fixed elements on the home. “If you have orangey brick on the base of your house, you could do a copper-color shutter,” she says. Or, a shade like Behr’s Cinnabark would work well with dark brick. “If you have a black roof, you could do black shutters and a pop of color on your front door. Whatever you choose, by syncing these details, it looks like you had a plan!”

Posted by Liz Olech on Trulia

Think Outside the Box: Exterior Considerations When House Hunting

Most home buyers focus on what’s on the inside of a house, but neglecting the outside could cost you.

It’s easy to get tunnel vision while house hunting. When you fall hard and fast for a house, you may be willing to do just about anything to make it your own. But even if you’ve found what seems to be your dream home, take a closer look outside before you make an offer. Any home you consider calling yours should go through a thorough exterior inspection.

Read on to learn what outdoor considerations you should keep in mind while home shopping.

Trees and foliage

Susan Krus of Texas Realty One suggests evaluating trees and foliage first. How close are trees to the foundation of the home? When trees get too big, they can cause foundation problems. And if a mature tree is removed, the foundation can drop when the roots decay.

“It may be worth calling in a foundation expert during the inspection period,” Krus says. If you’re unsure of whether or not the trees are healthy, get a professional arborist to evaluate them.

It’s also not uncommon for mature trees’ limbs to extend over a house. If this is the case with your potential property, check to see if the roof shingles are damaged. Squirrels, possums, and rodents love to use branches to access homes. “They can find a small opening in the soffit or fascia and set up residency in your attic,” says Krus.

It may also be worth asking the seller to prune foliage away from the house. If your potential home has bushes in direct contact with the house, you may have termites or carpenter ants hiding. Krus advises getting a termite or wood-destroying insect (WDI) inspection and treatment as well.

Foundation

Cracked concrete may seem minor, but “cracks allow moisture penetration and deterioration of the concrete, especially in areas that [freeze in winter],” Krus warns. “I would have a contractor estimate the cost of repair, and consider that in your negotiation.”

In areas that are subject to foundation issues, Krus suggests potential buyers consider the soil grade against the house. “Make sure that the foundation is exposed by about two inches and that there is a slope away from house, so that water doesn’t pool against the foundation,” she says.

Pool

Krus offers the following must-ask questions if the home you’re interested in has a pool:

  • What is the age of the liner or gunite?
  • Has it been resurfaced?
  • What is the age of the equipment?

She recommends having a proper inspection done by a pool company.

Find an issue?

Just because you may have discovered an issue or two with the exterior grounds of your potential house doesn’t mean your dream home is gone forever.

Once inspection reports are completed, make a list of the issues found in your landscape inspection and request that the sellers complete the repairs, or offer compensation to have them done after purchasing the property.

Or pass with flying colors?

Even if your landscaping inspection report shows zero issues, keep in mind future maintenance care for the exterior of your home.

  • Keep foliage pruned, and monitor insects around bushes that come in direct contact with the house.
  • Confirm that you know the exact kind of grass you have, and water accordingly.
  • Regularly check your landscaping irrigation systems and watering timers.
  • Regularly evaluate your landscaping lighting.

Remember, too, that regional considerations vary. If you live in dry, desert areas, considering potential wildfire hazards is a must.

Curb appeal goes beyond a pretty mailbox

Curb appeal isn’t just about updated flower boxes and shutters. Sure, the yard may have a picturesque tree and tire swing fit for a postcard, but what you see isn’t always what you get. Don’t skip out on having expert inspectors assess the exterior areas of your potential home. And if you find something, know that there’s usually a way to negotiate the fixes.

Posted by Sarah Pike on Zillow