How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Staging the Front of the House
The front of the house is the public face of your home. It is your face on the world. A bright, neat front says a lot about you, as does a shabby front with peeling paintwork, long grass and toys scattered down the driveway.
What people see first is critical, including prospective buyers. Attention must be paid to both first impressions and the the whole experience of approaching visitors.
A good discipline is to drive or walk towards the house as if you were about to buy it. What do you see? Does the whole area seem pleasant? Is your house particularly welcoming?
The roadway and paths do not belong to you, so there is a limited amount you can do. You can, however walk down a way and pick up any litter, fallen branches and so on that may affect what people think. Even a little sweeping up of dirt and leaves can be a good idea.
Depending on how well you get on with people in other houses around, you may be able to persuade them to tidy up a bit. Maybe even offer to help. A good way of persuading them is to say you are trying to attract a better class of person. In the end, do not worry too much about what they think as you will soon be moving away!
Clean any boundary walls and fencing, including of any green lichen that may have accumulated. Repair any damage to fences and walls. Trim greenery to make the appearance neat and under control.
Consider whether it looks best with the gate open or closed. Open is welcoming. Closed affirms the boundary and makes it seem safer.
If the house has a name, it should be clear and easy to see. The same applies if it is just a number. You do not want visitors to stand in front of the house and then leave because they do not know which is yours. If needed, get a nice clear sign made up. If you have one already that is good enough, ensure it's clean and in good condition.
The path or driveway should be clean and clear. Remove any weeds and see if you can repair any damage. Use a power washer as appropriate to clean the surface.
If there is garden to the front of the house, ensure there are flowering plants and that everything growing there is neat and natural.
Mow the lawns a day or so before the visit to let the grass relax a little. Not everyone likes the smell of newly-cut grass and it can trigger hay-fever.
Check all paintwork, cleaning it up and re-painting as necessary. Beware of doing patches that just look like patches. If it will help (and it often will), repaint the entire front of the house.
The front door is where they get up close, so ensure this area is particularly attractive. Clean the door and the surrounds. Put plants either side of it.
It should be obvious how to attract your attention, for example with an illuminated doorbell. Replace the door chimes if they play corny tunes. A simple 'ding dong' is often better than being 'clever'.