Barbara Ballinger is a freelance writer and the author of several books on real estate, architecture, and remodeling, including The Kitchen Bible: Designing the Perfect Culinary Space (Images Publishing, 2014). Barbara’s most recent book is The Garden Bible: Designing Your Perfect Outdoor Space, co-authored with Michael Glassman (Images, 2015).
How's That View?
Using a few outdoor design elements, sellers can give their exterior all-around appeal.
February 1, 2010
Sellers today are walking their property in buyers’ shoes—and giving their exterior all-around appeal. Here are 10 ways to add exterior flair.
1. Mobile gardens
Perfect for owners who enjoy maintaining plants all year.
2. Ground cover and ornamental grasses instead of lawn
Great for conservationists and busy people.
3. Vegetable gardens
Appeals to chefs and locavores.
4. Adventurous path to the door
A wow for owners who hate ho-hum treatments.
5. Small topiaries and dwarf trees
Right for those seeking a whimsical focal point.
6. Year-round color, texture, and shape
A must for sellers in four-season climates.
7. Mature trees
A solution for spots where saplings just won’t do.
8. Mix of hardscape materials
Great for stone lovers.
9. Architectural features
Extras for owners who want their yard to be an extension of the interior.
10. Natural ponds
Appeals to those who like the sight and sound of water and Mother Nature’s handiwork.
Curb Appeal for Condos
For those selling a condominium unit or town home, designers suggest the same features they recommend for single-family homes. Condo and town home sellers should ensure their unit has:
- Good lighting
- Seasonal flowers, shrubs, bushes, and trees
- Attractive ground cover
- An interesting, safe walkway
- An architectural element such as a birdbath, bench, or flagpole and flag
- An address that’s easily visible
- Colorful shutters and front door
All those elements say loud and clear to buyers, "Welcome—you’re home!"