Convince San Mateo home buyers to get out of their cars and into your house

Vicki Moore
Published on December 30, 2016

Convince San Mateo home buyers to get out of their cars and into your house




Take a walk across the street and then take a good, long look at your house. What you’re seeing is your home’s curb appeal, the lack of which can be detrimental to the successful sale of your San Mateo home.

San Mateo homebuyers are shopping online and they want to see photos – they’ll judge your home first by its exterior. Many won’t go on to look at more photos if the exterior is unattractive.  If they won’t do that, they’re not going to come out and take a look at the house in person.

What do potential buyers see when they stand at the curb? Does it compel them to want to get out of the car and go inside or does it cause them to drive off to the next listing? If the latter is the case, get to work amping up your curb appeal.

Follow some simple guidelines

Landscaping near and around the home’s entry requires a focus on three aspects, according to Environmental Landscape Associates (ELA), a Pennsylvania landscape design firm:

  • Principles
  • Program
  • Elements

Principles of landscape design

The most important principle, according to the firm, is that your San Mateo home’s landscape design synchronizes with the architectural style of the home. In other words, avoid elements of a formal garden in front of a ranch-style house.

Second in importance when considering landscape principles is ensuring that “the front door is prominently visible and the landscape provides the visitor clues for how to get there,” suggests ELA. Make it easy for potential buyers to want to get out of the car and find the front door!

Your landscape design program

How will you utilize the space? The “program” part of the process includes answering this question: Is the entry merely for ingress and egress or can you use the front porch for entertaining? Determine your focal point. If you’re selling the home, consider making the porch or front door the home’s curb appeal focus.

Landscape design elements

What elements will you incorporate into your design? Think about both the hardscape elements, such as pavers and lights, and which plants you’ll use. Remember, all elements should tie into the home’s architectural style.

Going formal?

The formal entryway is best defined by keeping everything organized and in symmetry. The easiest way to do that is to keep both sides identical.

Shaped hedges and patterned hardscape will also lend a formal, balanced feel to the area. Don’t neglect the area near the front door. Identical planters and plants on either side of the door will help illustrate the design.

Keeping it casual

Obviously, rules for a formal entryway don’t apply here so irregular patterns, mismatched shrubbery and more casual edging materials all help to lend a relaxed feel.

Soften hard edges, such as walkway surfaces, by lining them with plants that bloom in pastel colors or with plants that have interesting foliage.

Plant placement

When grouping plants for a formal design, place them in even numbers, suggests University of Missouri Extension. Use an odd number of plants for informal entryway groupings.

The path to your front door, known as your home’s welcoming “handshake” according to Sunset Magazine, should be landscaped to complement your home’s architecture.

Naturally, if you’re planning on staying put in the house for some time, you’ll want to find a way to blend design rules with your personal taste. If you plan on putting the home on the market, however, curb appeal trumps your taste.



vicki-moore-realtor-150x150Hi there! Thanks for taking the time to read this article. Please feel free to leave a comment in the message box below, or to share this article on social media with someone who might benefit from it. I appreciate your time here and am always open to questions, suggestions and ideas from our readers. Feel free to contact me anytime at [email protected].

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