Typically, the best way to sell a house is to make it as welcoming as possible. You want buyers to immediately feel at home there…and ultimately, to imagine actually making the place their home. As such, home sellers should always roll out the proverbial red carpet, treating house hunters to an accommodating experience from the minute they pull in front of the house to the minute they leave your front porch.
Actually, your buyer’s red-carpet experience should begin even before they enter the house. It will take time to design the experience you would like potential buyers to have. Specifically, we recommend making your front porch or stoop as welcoming as can be, and in this post, we’ll give ideas and show you how.
Also note that, any time you want personalized recommendations for selling your house, you can request your FREE seller’s report from SOLD.com. Get yours any time!
Tips to Make the Front Stoop More Welcoming
First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure your front porch area is well-lit. That includes illumination for the steps up onto your porch, the walkway up to the door, as well as the front door itself. Not only is this important for showcasing the property, but it’s an important safety precaution for your home’s entrance. If your entrance way is usually very dark, consider designing lighting that features the furniture and plant life as well the walk way.
It’s worth noting that most of your showings will be during daylight hours, but you may have a few house hunters come when it’s dark out, especially in fall and winter. The front patio is the first impression of your home and the last thing they will see as they pull away. Make sure your front lighting is turned on, that the bulbs are all working, and that you have sufficient lighting fixtures to give your stoop a tantalizing glow.
Check Your Door
The thing that really makes your front porch seem inviting is the front door itself. The question is, does your door welcome people in…or does it make them want to back away?
If your door is old and beat-up, you have a couple of options. In some cases, a sanding session and a fresh coat of paint can make all the difference in the world. If your door is solid wood you have the option of adding a new stain or buffing the wood for colored paint. If you think your front door is too far gone, you may need to have a new one installed. Some doors are designed to become the center of your front entrance while others are a gentle addition to the home’s glow – not all doors were made equal. Front stoops without an overhead covering often have direct sunlight, this is important to note when purchasing paint or stain for your door. Note that replacing or repainting your front door is usually an investment you can recoup once you get the place sold.
Put Out the Welcome Mat
This one is completely literal. You’ll want to have a mat out front where your guests can wipe their feet before entering the house. Nobody wants to track mud into another person’s home, and the last thing you want is for your house hunters to feel guilty or self-conscious about dirty feet.
If possible, you may also want to put a small bench or seating area just inside the front entrance. Even a small bench can provide your house hunters a chance to slip off their shoes before entering your home if that’s what makes them feel more comfortable. Front stoops are known for not having an overhanging to cover the front patio area. If this is the case for your home, consider frequently sweeping the area, retaining wood flooring, and using a mat that keeps its fresh look through rain and sun.
A truly welcoming front stoop area is naturally going to have some seating, whether that means rocking chairs, a swing, or just a nice bench. The design of your front stoop will determine what type of seating looks best with your home. Don’t be afraid to look for ideas in the neighborhood or online to change up your seating. One thing to watch for is coordination – any wood framing on your home, your furniture, and your door should all match or be complementary in wood color and style.
Make sure you clean your porch furniture thoroughly, especially during pollen season. And, buy some fresh inviting cushions for your patio furniture or swing outside your home. Opt for bright, vibrant, and seasonally appropriate colors and styles – some seasons might call for a small pillow while others might favor an outdoor blanket over your chair. These will allow your front porch to add a dash of color and texture in any pictures that are taken by the potential buyers or photos for an online listing.
Display Your House Number
It’s important that your house number be highly visible to those who are driving by or pulling up. Even in the era of Google Maps and GPS, your house hunters will still want to make sure they’ve found the right house.
You can get decorative numbers at a home improvement store or buy them online; look for a chic way to display them not just on your mailbox, but also on the front of the house itself. There are many ideas online for how to make your house numbers add to your front stoop look while still being clear for anyone looking for your place.
Add Some Greenery
Another important way to make your front porch more inviting…and to increase your chances of getting the place sold…is to put out some healthy green plant life.
If it’s in-season, some vibrant, colorful flowers can be especially appealing. It’s easiest to keep flowers and plants alive on your porch if you match the sun needs of the plant with the sun already available on the porch. A covered patio would probably work best with shade loving plants, while front stoops with sun everyday might need a more sun hardy variety. There are many ideas for which plant to choose online, at your local nursery or even in your neighborhood.
If bright flowers aren’t in-season, something like an autumnal wreath can be almost as effective – especially if your front door could use a dash of color.
There are many tops and tricks to getting your home ready to sell – learn more about Selling Your House here.
With these tips, you’re ready to spruce up your front stoop – front door, entrance way and all- making your home maximally inviting to potential buyers.
We also encourage you to download your FREE report from SOLD.com and see for yourself the best way to sell a house!