A bit dramatic by the sound of it if one is not familiar with the term – staging. Staging is simply the activity or practice of styling / furnishing a property before it is listed for sale (or rental) in such a way as to enhance its attractiveness to potential buyers.

Considering all areas of your home as important when placing your property on the market, the interiors are not as much affected by the weathering elements of the various seasons as the exteriors. For that reason – we would like to focus on a few basic steps you may utilize (without breaking the bank) to showcase the beauty and potential your outdoor areas has to entice potential buyers to make an offer.

The first step to staging is always decluttering. Store or sell all distracting decor objects, out-of-date garden furniture and personal belongings. This should give you a clear view of all exterior areas and make it easier for your next step – a serious clean up which includes maintaining any flower beds, mowing lawns, trimming bushes and trees, removing dead leaves / plants. Refresh your garden mulch and rinse or pressure wash decorative pebbles, paving and driveways. Cracked pavers, chipped stairs and weeds or tree roots growing up through concrete and asphalt scream “deferred maintenance” — which is the opposite of a good first impression.

A fresh coat of paint on outside surfaces always delivers a brand new look. If they have been painted not too long ago, consider a quick pressure wash to freshen up the exterior walls, fence, garage doors etc. Untidy gutters or plants growing from them does not contribute positively and neither does years of hadeda toilet evidence on your roof structures.

Glamming the front door. Some staging companies believe that the entrance to your home is one of the best chances you will have to make a great impression on potential buyers. Suggestions include investing in a new front door or at least make sure that the one you have is properly painted in a pretty hue that combines well with your home’s colour.

Try to add ambiance to your outdoor space that appeal to the senses by installing outdoor solar lighting that creates an inviting atmosphere. Use them on the edges of the space along garden paving to front door or even underneath a dining umbrella to create a soft and romantic space.

Removing builder-grade or outdated front door or garage light fixtures will instantly brighten your home’s curb appeal. If you don’t want to go to the expense of buying new light fixtures, you could try painting or spray-painting your old ones for a fraction of the cost.

Take care of minor repairs. Nothing is worse than viewing a property that sparkles online, making appointments and once on the property, you realise that the house requires some repairs, like the security system not working or dents on the garage doors or scuff marks to the exterior walls. Most home buyers are normally not looking for a bargain to fix. They want to look, love it, buy it and move in and live there with everything clean and working.

Also, look around your neighbourhood for potential problems. I remember a story of an agent battling to sell a certain property until one day while driving away from this listing, she noticed a collection of sneakers dangling from overhead wires. It was something stupid but looked trashy. She made efforts to get the sneakers removed during the next few days. The property sold was sold the following show-day.

Any outdoor space will almost always fall short if it doesn’t incorporate plants and outdoor life. It is the easiest  with potted plants! You can move them, swop them, paint them… the re-arrange options are endless as professional potted plants can help bring the entire space together. A few spots with fresh flowers will always create a lasting impression.

Of course, you can always do more. You may want to hire a landscaping professional if this level of garden design justifies the expense and time it will take to complete the project, keeping in mind your return on investment (ROI) calculations are on par.

Now that we understand that exterior staging runs the gamut from simple fixes to major remodeling, you’d be surprised how far a few ticks on a basic checklist will take you:

De-clutter the entire exterior area
Clean and maintain garden area
Refresh mulch and mow the lawn
Check the paving and driveway for oils stains and weeds
Clean and repair / paint the gutters
Inspect your roof structures
Consider a fresh coat of paint on exterior surfaces
Paint the front door and put on a new number
Clean windows and repair screens.
Add ambience with something that appeals to your senses
Replace old fashioned light fixtures
Take care of all minor repairs
Scan neighbourhood for potential problems
Incorporate potted plants and outdoor life
Plant fresh flowers for a pop of color.

Last but not the least by any means is the importance of decent photography when it comes to staging your property. Most professional property agents invest in professional photography services but all the efforts and money spent on staging will be pretty much a waste if it is not evident when advertising / staging your property online or in the printed media.

As the stage is yours to decide on how and where and what when it comes to the basic steps discussed above, it is always good to know that you are able to get hold of independent professional opinions available from various technical or creative industries as required.