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Exterior Staging, It’s a Thing

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The effectiveness of staging is no longer a secret, nor up for debate.  It’s widely accepted in residential real estate dispositions that “staging sells!”  Even if the home would have eventually sold without staging or for the same net profit after the cost of staging is factored in, the reality is: staged properties sell faster (and for more money).  Don’t forget, there’s not only a value to more money, but also to less time on the market.  Getting multiple showing requests a day means having to leave your home for an hour per showing.  Since most homebuyers also work 9-5pm, forget about dinner and Netflix at home for the next while, you’ll be camped out in your car or at a Timmie’s most evenings while your property is listed for sale.  How many weeks would you like to do this for?  1 week or 10?

Now I can hear muttering to yourself through your computer already, “Yeah Jon, we know staging the rooms in our house is effective in showcasing the space for how it could be used and allows the buyer to best envision themselves living there, so what??”  Well, you aren’t wrong, but why does that logic go out the door when you..well..walk out the door?  Why isn’t the same approach taken outside as indoors?

Coming from a landscaping background where I’ve been helping homeowners increase their curb appeal since I was 14 years old, I can personally tell you that big transformations can be made for very little money.  How many of you have ever driven by a house frequently that you’ve never been inside of, but have always dreamed of owning?  How many of you love to soak up the sun, grill up some burgs, and pour a cold adult bevy on a hot summer day with friends?  Or how many of you would like a private oasis out back, giving you the ability to feel like you’re on a vacation from the city without actually having to leave?  But whatever, right?  “The next buyers can pull some weeds and plant a row of privacy cedars, we have stainless steel and hardwood inside.”  Wrong!

62% of home buyers decide if they’re going to purchase a house before even stepping inside.  Did I just make this stat up?  Of course, I did.  But you believed it, even if just for a second.  When marketing your property for sale, we need to do the same thing.  We need to make prospective buyers believe they want to buy your home before they’ve even opened the front door.  With the right vision and a little bit of elbow grease you can take a front yard from “Wow what an eyesore” to “wow I hope the inside is as nice as it is out here!”  Examples of low cost updates that make a high value impact in the front yard are: weeding, trimming/shaping shrubs, cutting a fresh edge on the garden beds, topping gardens up with new mulch, a stone front walkway, pops of colour with annuals, re-painting the front door/garage door/shutters, power-washing siding/fascia/eaves, and the list goes on. 

Outback you tend to have even more opportunity to essentially create an extension of the living space.  You can take a backyard from “Oh man it’s a jungle back here” to “oh man I don’t think I’ll ever need to go on vacation with a yard like this!”  Some additional tips for rear yards would be: creating privacy with a cost-effective privacy fence on the deck or with a row of cedars, re-staining the existing deck, adding a secondary patio to delineate different living spaces (i.e. living/dining), a nice grilling area, flagstone paths, cleaning your pool if you have one, adding a covered sitting area for reading on those nice rainy days, or even a fire pit in country properties.  The beauty is that you don’t have to spend a lot.  Quite often through $500 – $1,000 of landscaping, I’m able to increase the value of an overgrown property by $5,000 – $10,000.  Don’t believe me?  Shoot me an email and I’d be more than happy to share some of my transformations with you!

Overall, you should always consider the outside appeal of your property equal to that of the inside.  You don’t want buyers walking into your house feeling unimpressed before they’ve even seen some of the nice updates you’ve tackled indoors.  Just like going on a hot date, if you set the mood right, the outcome is usually in your favour.  Stage your home inside and out for the best result!!

Thanks for reading, until next time!