Curb appealHome renovationListing preparationSeller's advice July 9, 2015

Shut the Front Door

There was a post earlier this week on the Windermere blog about refreshing your front door. As I am preparing (mentally at least) to repaint our front door, it resonated strongly with me. And was the inspiration of this post.

I've said it before, and I know I shall say it again, but when it comes to buying, or selling a home appearances matter. While we all like to think beauty is only skin deep the reality is that most buyers will make a 'like' or 'don't like' decision about a house before they've even walked in the door.  If the curb appeal, or in this case porch appeal is not up to par, they will struggle to fall in love with the rest of the house regardless of what's inside.  The good news is that it works in reverse.  If they love what they see on the outside, they will be less concerned that the bedrooms are a touch smaller than they ideally wanted. Why?  Because mentally they are already visualizing themselves in the house – possibly even sitting outside on a summer's evening with a cold refreshing drink in their hand.  You are not just selling your house, you are selling the lifestyle that comes with it.

Here are my top tips for adding some porch appeal.

  1. Repaint both the doors and the frames.  Opt for a color that is traditional yet welcoming. Deep reds, dark blues, even green or black.  While bright colors such as yellow or paler blues can look great they are very polarizing. Here you want to appeal to the masses, not make a bold design statement. Whatever color you chose, make sure it complements the hero color of the house.
  2. Update the hardware.  The current trend is for brushed nickel or black. Brass is so 1990.
  3. Don't forget the kick plate.  It should match the hardware.
  4. Declutter.  An extensive outdoor shoe collection does not impress a buyer. If you must keep shoes outside consider creating some storage cubbies and adding a padded cushion to make a bench.  Hide the hose pipe and the dog lead.  Get rid of the Amazon Fresh home delivery boxes and last year's Halloween decorations.  You laugh at this but I saw it yesterday while walking round my neighborhood.
  5. Wipe down the milk box.  There's no need to hide this as many buyers would be happy to see that milk can be delivered to their door.  Just make sure it's clean and presentable.  If necessary put in a call to the milk company and have them replace it.
  6. Consider some seasonal staging.  In the summer, some potted flowers look lovely. But be sure to water them daily. Nothing looks sadder than a thirsty and wilting hydrangea. Instead of flowers consider some contemporary statues and outside ornaments, or even a table and chair. A contemporary rug also goes a long way. is my current go to for inexpensive home decor items.
  7. Remove any political signs that may be visible from the outside your home. Now is not to time to be publicly declaring your political allegiances.
  8. Make sure all light bulbs are working. It's unlikely you'll get any viewings in the dark, but buyers do switch on lights to check they work.

If for whatever reason you can't do any of the above, at the very least sweep and wash down the entire area, including walls and ceilings if you have an enclosed porch.  No-one likes to walk through cobwebs or see five year's of dead spiders above their heads.  If you cannot do this yourself, ask your agent to do it.  It's something I will do for all my clients.  If your agent is unwilling, then I would seriously question his commitment to your listing.

As I said at the outset, the inspiration for this post came from the Windermere blog. Check out the original post at