Staging: Not "Just" an Inside Job

Never under-value the power of curb appeal!

Studies show that people generally make a list of ten houses when they start their
search for a new home.  They scour real estate agents and MLS sites to develop those lists
and then seventy seven percent of them drive by before they contact a real estate salesperson.

It is a given that location and size of house generally initiates the  interest in seeing a property; in fact we hear it’s approximately seventy eight percent of the decision to actually consider viewing a property.  Many articles have been written about first impressions and how quickly they are formed. Malcolm Gladwell suggests it only takes the “blink” of an eye.  Think of that; one blink and an impression is formed – good or bad.

The power of the internet is illustrated again with the blink factor when less than stunning photographs are advertising the property you represent.  Great photos can have such a positive influence on the viewer – and actually help get the property onto “the list”.  Staging property before you rush to market will save time, effort, anguish and money.

The “drive by” or the “look see” means curb appeal has a huge impact on the viewer.  It’s the lure, or bait to get an interested buyer into the property.  One of the most difficult things a seller has to do is, view the property objectively.

A helpful hint from Janet Wickell is to have the seller take digital photos of the property, view the color versions first, then remove the color and look at them in black and white.  Many people believe it is easier to see problems with the absence of color.

Working with a CSP trained stager brings the added bonus of the application of the proprietary CSP Outdoor Advantage™ process to ensure marketing success!

Here are ten things to consider when assessing curb appeal:

  • Pressure wash siding, decks and walkways
  • Clean windows, gutters; check downspouts
  • Check the growth of trees and bushes – ensure they don’t block light from any window
  • Kill any mold, mildew around the property
  • Mow the lawn, eliminate weeds, rake and dispose of leaves, especially if a wooded lot
  • Paint the front door.  Color choice has a big impact – so get professional advice
  • Make the front entry sing “welcome”.  The degree of what can be achieved here depends on the size of entry and, of course, budget. However, even minimal improvements will make a huge difference, consider flowers, new mailbox, hardware, lights and numbers
  • Don’t forget the rear yard – buyers may attempt to see the back yard during a drive by, even from another street.
  • Outdoor lighting is a huge plus as fifty percent of viewings take place at night.  Today we are fortunate to have access to inexpensive but tasteful solar lighting. Consider placing along sidewalks, driveway or attractive landscaping elements.
  • Take extra care to ensure the front door and numbers are clearly visible from the street
  • If the inside of home is visible at night be sure the lighting enhances what is seen

Remember you never get a second chance to make a great first impression 🙂



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I don’t know where to start. It was a fantastic class; it was such a pleasure to meet Christine and Lynelle…It was a lot of information in 3 days! I am happy and thrilled that I took this class – Thanks to everbody for their help!! Sincerely, Mira B. Mississauga, ON

Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of being a trainee in CSP’s intensive three-day staging training workshop with Nairn Friemann in New York City…

I had heard great things about the organization by alumni as well as have had great discussions and assistance from Liz and Linda. They have always been there to answer any and all my questions, they are polite and super efficient…

Last year I enrolled in a staging program which was very widely advertised and cost a little less than the CSP 3 Day Course. You know that saying “You get what you pay for”…?

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