Colorful flowers help to beautifully stage the front yard for better curb appeal

colorful flowersMost home owners know that staging a home will help to improve the selling price and give a good “bang for the buck” or return. This is even more true for staging the front yard, because usually the first impression comes online with the view of the front of the house. If the photos on the MLS (multiple listing service) and portals such as, Zillow and Trulia do not display a welcoming and appealing exterior from the street, many visitors to those sites often will not bother to check the inside of the house.   (When we real estate agents do virtual tours of our listings with TourFactory, that site sends us traffic reports weekly.  The front image always has the largest amount of traffic by far.)

Anyone living in the Los Gatos, San Jose or Silicon Valley area for the last decade knows that we get droughts – and we’re in a serious one now.  Many lawns look less than green.  What can you do to make the front look desirable when everything is so parched?  Here are a few tips:

  • use automatic sprinklers and set them to go at 4 or 5am, when the watering will do the most good
  • tidy the front yard: coil up hoses, dust or paint the front, sweep the porch and walkways, repair any lifted concrete which could be a tripping hazard, remove any non-essentials from view such as watering cans, toys, projects “to do”
  • consider painting the front door something colorful such as blue or red – talk to your stager about the color choice first!
  • possibly add mulch or tanbark in the planter areas (they will help to keep the moisture in when you water your plants)
  • trim back hedges which are covering any of the windows so that they are below them
  • if you have palm trees, consider trimming the dead “skirt” for a cleaner look
  • if there’s a porch, create a seating arrangement using chairs and a table
  • put colorful flowers near the front door, either along the walkway or in pots near the door (just remember that potted flowers will need frequent watering, so they are not a good choice for vacant property) – if you have enough lead time, plant bushes which flower but are not too “thirsty” – talk with someone at the garden store or research which plants will thrive in your home’s particular micro-climate and which will not require much watering

Get more tips on staging the home and making it look its best in photos here:
Selling Your Silicon Valley Home? Photo Tips for Better Marketing




Photographs of the front of the home: a few tips

Photography for listings: keep it clean, make front door and windows visible, uncluttered

Photography for listings: keep it clean, make front door and windows visible, uncluttered

The concept of curb appeal has to do with how buyers respond to your house, townhouse or other home when seeing it.  Home owners often spruce up the yard, trim the hedges, power wash the exterior and repaint the front door to improve the curb appeal of their home.

Just as important, perhaps even more important, are the photographs of the front of the home for sale.  Today’s buyers do not get their first impression when the drive up to your place.  They get it when they view the pictures online.  If the images are either missing, poor, or focused on the wrong thing, you could lose the sale and never even know it.  As the adage goes, “you only get one chance to make a first impression“.

With our Silicon Valley home prices, it makes sense for listing agents to hire professional photographers so that each property is well represented.  Sometimes even with photographers doing their best, a home won’t show as well online if the stage isn’t properly set (hoses out of sight, driveway empty – and inviting, colorful annuals if possible, etc.). You may have a bunch of good photos and need to decide which to showcase among them.  Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure that the front door can be seen, as much as possible, in the main image of the house
  • Do not make the driveway and garage the dominant items representing your home
  • As much as possible, shoot the photo with few distractions showing through (such as power lines, the neighbor’s RV etc.)
  • Have curtains open but windows shut for the photo shoot
  • The lawn should be green and recently cut
  • The hedges or bushes should not obstruct any of the windows

This is just a starter list.  For the best guidance, hire a great Realtor to assist you in setting the stage for selling at the highest possible price. If you’re in Silicon Valley, phone me for a confidential, no pressure, no obligation appointment today!

Want more ideas?  There are more photo tips on a previous article:
Selling Your Silicon Valley Home? Photo Tips for Better Marketing