Day 4- Welcoming Entry

4 Oct

Welcome to Day 4 of the 31 Days to Sell Your Home Series!  You can catch up on the entire series here.

Yesterday we focused on first impressions and the importance of curb appeal.  In keeping with that theme, today we are going to discuss the entry to your home.  When I was a perspective Buyer, walking up to the front door of a strangers home felt very intimate.  I felt like I got my first glimpse of who the owners were by the front porch.  Since the inception of garages with automatic garage doors, homeowners rarely use their own front doors.  We only use our front door for company, deliveries, and moving the ping pong table in and out of the house.  However, as a Buyer whose entry point to each and every house was the front door, I found the entry way to be telling of what would be revealed behind the door. 

We were immediately drawn to houses with clean, fresh, warm and welcoming entries as opposed to those leaf covered porches with faded front doors, and out of service doorbells.  Many of the houses we looked at, the entry looked worn and tired and did not excite me to continue on to see the house. 

Based on my personal experience, I recommend giving your entry way a little attention.  Here are a few tips to really get the Buyers excited about your property:

1.  Fresh paint/Stain on the Door – Even though our house was only 2 years old, the stain on our front door was starting to look a little faded (the sun really does a number on the exterior of houses), so I bought some stain that matched the existing color and add a fresh coat.  This took me all of 20 minutes and $10, but really gave the entry a nice, fresh update to make it look brand new! 

2.  Lighting – If you have light fixtures around the front of your home, be sure the lightbulbs work!  While most Buyers will probably visit during the day, if we were really interested in a home, we always went back at night to check it out.  A brightly lit house makes a much better impression (and is easier to see) than a house with only 1 working light.  I would also ensure the fixtures are hung straight and secure (our porch light is currently hanging very crooked and needs to be fixed). 

3.  Door Bell, House Number and Door Knob/Handle– These can all be tell-tale signs of a poorly maintained house.  If your house numbers have seen better days, repaint them or buy some new ones from the hardware store.  Also be sure your door handle and doorbell  looks and operates well.   Realtors will ring the door bell to be sure no one is home before entering and it is doesn’t look good to Buyers if the doorbell doesn’t work, seeing as how they are already seeing problems and they haven’t even gone in yet!

4.  Keep it Clean– Get your broom out and get to sweeping!  Clear all the leaves, debris and cobwebs off the porch (don’t forget the light fixtures) and keep it off until the place sells.  If there are stains or mildew on the concrete, consider powerwashing the area to give it a fresh appearance.  The best part is, this step is absolutely free!

5.  Steps and Rails– If you have front steps and/or railing, be sure they are solid and safe, if not, take some time to fix them up.  Not only is it a legal liability, if Buyers fall on your crooked steps and break their ankle, they probably aren’t going to put in an offer.  Also, if they are painted or stained, consider adding another coat for an uplift. 

6.  Warm it Up–  Making this space warm and welcoming is both easy and cheap.  Change out the tattered and faded welcome mat for a new one (these can be purchased at Walmart or Target for as little as $5).  Pick up some potted flowers to add some fun color to the area.  You can even hang a wreath on the door for added personality.  Keep the accents  neutral and generic (ie no monograms) so that the Buyer can imagine their own wreath hanging on your front door.

Which house would you be most excited to see?

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All of these tips are cost effective, quick and simple.  While they may not seem that riveting,but speaking from my own personal experience, a nice, clean and uplifted entry will welcome prospective Buyers into your home and get them excited about what lies behind that gorgeous front porch!

PS- I’m linking my little series up at Serenity Now!

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One Response to “Day 4- Welcoming Entry”

  1. Pam1947pam October 4, 2011 at 8:20 AM #

    I wanted to see inside them all…Thanks for the great work.

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