How to Make Your House Stand out in a Crowd | Christine Cowern Team

| Homeowners


So many people want to take advantage selling their home in Toronto’s spring market that this is the time of year our phones are typically ringing off the hook. But beware. If your home isn’t show ready and batting 110% out of the gate than you’ll be leaving money on the table big time.

The biggest mistake we see sellers make in the prep department is only focusing on the inside of their home and spending no time on their curb appeal. Now, this isn’t a word we toss around lightly. Curb appeal is the one thing that can either send people running in the other direction or banging at your door with an offer in hand. We, of course, prefer the latter, and these are the tips that will get you there.

How to Make Your House Stand Out with Colour

Let’s consider the term “make your house stand out”. We don’t want to make your house stand out in a bad way! We’ve seen some nightmare colour combinations that shout, “get away” or worse “we take low ball offers.” That’s why, when getting your home ready for spring, it’s a good idea to reassess your colour scheme.

Often the best approach to colour schemes is to take note of what others are doing right and use that as inspiration. Colours for exteriors tend to reflect the overall feel of the neighbourhood. The pros will tell you that history, house style and the community itself are all important aspects of colour. For example, we fell in love with a particular home on Strachan Ave in Toronto’s Niagara neighbourhood that was painted a particularly awesome shade of green. What did we love about it? It was very different from the rest of the street but still, fit in with a funky vibe of the area. What makes it work is that it’s right beside their neighbour’s massive wall mural of Queen Victoria and a squirrel. Love it or hate it, you can get away with it because the community itself allows for it. Try it in Leaside and well, you get the picture!  

Here are more exterior paint tips:

  • Work with the constants of your home such as brickwork, roof, walkways and pathways
  • Consider your neighbourhood tone to avoid standing out in a bad way
  • Decide on a welcoming colour for your front door that’ll draw positive attention to your entry
  • When in doubt hire a pro to get the high-end finish that’ll sell your home

If your colours are working, consider adding a pop of fresh colour to your front door. A different colour door such as a retro turquoise or green, a stately red or elegant black or even mellow cheerful colours like powder blue or butter yellow are a few ideas on how you can make your house stand out.  

How to Make your House Stand Out with Accessories

Fashion isn’t the only industry that depends on accessories to get the best look. The exterior of your home has a ton of accessories that can make it look so last season or tres chic. Some good ways to prepare your home for spring would include:

  • Updates to your door knocker, doorknob and mailbox
  • Updates to your outdoor lights
  • New house numbers that make it easier to find your house while adding a touch of bling
  • New shutters for interest
  • Spiffy, welcoming doormat
  • Seating if space allows such as a bistro set, bench or wicker armchair

Also, make sure those accessories match — you don’t want a house that’s the equivalent to brown shoes with a black belt! 

Ironically, today adding a more retro look to your home is considered an update. Retro adds a touch of charm and design interest that often works better than contemporary overkill that could turn people off. Something charming and quirky can sometimes help make your house stand out — more people will remember the bronze dragonfly door knocker you so artfully chose over the mass-produced Home Depot stainless steel design of the other four houses they just viewed on your street.  

How to Make Your House Stand out with Urns

As part of your getting ready for spring plan, that dead Christmas greenery in your urns and window boxes has got to go! Clear out every sign of last year’s Christmas and refresh your urns with spring-inspired touches such as pussy willows, daffodils, birch branches, hydrangeas and tulips. 

Pro tip: add pretty touches like daffodils, hydrangeas and tulips to your urns only on the day of your open house! It just takes a change of weather or a few days of forgetting to water your flowers to wind up with dead plants on your stoop.

Put some thought into the urns themselves and make sure they look up to date, welcoming and well maintained. Choose materials that tie in with your overall scheme using like metals and woods to your accessories and colours that work with your doormat or front door. 

How to Make Your House Stand out with General Maintenance

Remove all the garbage that the winter winds have lodged at the foot of your home, shrubs and front lawn and then use this checklist of maintenance chores:

  • Clean out your gutters – especially weeds that are sprouting up there!
  • Rake up last fall’s leaves
  • Pull up last summer’s annuals
  • Clean up all your hardscaping such as any interlocking bricks, crumbling concrete, etc.
  • Assess your wood trim and fences for the need of repairs
  • Clean up any “pet deposits”
  • Remove all signs that you’re a front porch smoker (butts and ashtrays)
  • Consider adding fresh mulch to neaten unused or neglected flower beds

How to Make Your House Stand Out with Finishing Touches

Get rid of all those eyesores that people will remember including:

  • Lights that are disproportionate in size to your front door and porch/stoop
  • Mismatched trim on windows, doors, and front porch accents
  • Broken glass in your front door, sidelights and porch lights
  • Dirty front windows, especially your door
  • Squeaky or malfunctioning gates
  • Torn, poorly laid or uplifted outdoor carpet on steps or porch
  • Obvious poorly executed DIY repairs and makeovers
  • Rotting or peeling anything!

What else can possibly be left for getting your home ready for a spring sale? We can help you with that because a lot depends on your home. For example, if you’ve got a porch that spans the width of your home you can create an extension of your living space by adding seating, outdoor curtains and cushions. For a smaller stoop, it’s important to make sure everything is in good repairs such as the steps and handrails, as they’ll be much more noticeable when people arrive at your home. 

Are you thinking of putting your home on the market but aren’t sure where to start? We know how to make your house stand out! Just give us a buzz at #416-291-7372 or hello@christinecowern.com to take advantage of our kickass advice!

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