Indianapolis Realtors recommend exterior home staging
exterior home staging
As an agent with Sycamore Group Realtors in Indianapolis, Mike Puckett was trained to know that curb appeal plays a huge role in the home sales business. He didn’t really need the textbook instruction, though, because of his firsthand experience when he sold his own home.
“The buyers told me that they were simply driving down the street and the wife says to the husband, ‘That is the house I want,’” Puckett says. “She had not seen the inside, but there was something inviting that made her want to see the rest of the home. The exterior of my home certainly was staged, not only to help sell the home, but to give me and those passing by the pleasure of a scenic outside view of my home.”
Interior staging has long been a staple of selling a home, but as the market has grown more competitive, more companies are focusing on exterior staging. Real estate agents are emphasizing the importance of maximizing outside appearance because it’s the exterior that helps get potential buyers in the door – or keeps them from opening that door.
“Curb appeal can make or break a deal,” says Pat Haddad of highly rated Keller Williams Realty in Fishers. “Some buyers refuse to go inside a home if they do not like what they see on the outside. The outside is that all important first impression.”
There is a lot homeowners can do themselves to enhance the outside of the home. Walk across the street and take a look at the front of your house as if you were looking at it for the first time as a prospective buyer. First tackle any glaring maintenance issues you see.
“Wood rot around windows and doors is common for our climate in Indiana,” says Mike Clements, a broker with Century 21 Scheetz in Carmel. “These items can usually be fixed without expensive replacement. There are some great contractors around Indy that can replace the affected areas and paint to match without having to replace the entire window, door, or siding area. These are items that will be found during inspection anyway, so it’s a good idea anyways to remedy them prior to putting your home on the market.”
Though the drought has severely impacted the appearance of most lawns, homeowners can still add fresh mulch and flowers; weed and clear gardens and flowerbeds. Adding natural rock or stone borders can make the landscaping around the exterior of the home really “pop.” A good pressure washing can help freshen up dirty siding, decks and fences, and concrete sidewalks and driveways, but it’s important that job is done correctly or it could actually cause damage. Adding a fresh coat of exterior paint can also really brighten up a home.
“Anything you can do to improve the curb appeal can go a long way in the overall feeling a buyer gets from walking up to the front door of a home and can dramatically affect the odds of your home selling,” Clements says. “The highest return on investment for any home improvement project is usually the replacement of dated exterior doors, windows, or garage doors. Also, the roof can be a focal point for the exterior of most homes, so it’s a huge distraction if it’s in poor condition. It’s always a good idea to have an independent opinion, such as your Realtor, evaluate the curb appeal and the problem areas specific to your property, because it can go a long way in maximizing the value of your home as well as attracting buyers.”
Once you’ve invested in making the outside of the house look good, it’s important to showcase it online with good photos. Accenting a home’s appearance through professional-looking online photos could really pay off with a quick sale.
“With more than 90 percent of all homes for sale being viewed online, the photography can help increase the number of showings,” says Linda Barnett of highly rated Home Matters, LLC, a home staging company in Indianapolis. “Making sure (the outside) shows well is where your sales success begins.”
Editor's note: This article was originally published in August of 2012.