50+ Curb Appeal Secrets That Will Add Major Charm to Your Home

porch decorating ideas

Front Porches and Ideals for Curb Appeal

Want to make a better first impression? Get inspired by these gorgeous house exteriors.


1 OF 52
curb appeal

Add Planters

A sun-drenched garden is extra charming thanks to various groupings of potted plants, scattered across the front steps and patio. Plant evergreen fillers, then add in annuals that will bloom across the seasons.

2 OF 52
curb appeal

Let the Architecture Shine

Don’t let too many plants or overgrown landscaping take the spotlight off your actual home. A grassy lawn and a few rose bushes and planters let this Cape Cod home‘s weather-worn shingles and cerulean blue shutters shine.

3 OF 52
curb appeal

Give Your Exterior a Pressure Wash

A good pressure wash is a great way to give your home’s exterior a quick and easy makeover. You can rent a pressure washer and most hardware or home improvement stores.

4 OF 52
curb appeal

Surround Your Home with Greenery

You don’t always need flowers for a lush look—this California cottage‘s front yard feels like it’s in the middle of a mini forest, thanks to lots of trees and full shrubs.

5 OF 52
curb appeal

Display a Wreath

Nothing says “welcome” like a pretty seasonal wreath on your front door—this Mississippi barn home has two! See our favorite wreath ideas for springsummerfall, and winter.

6 OF 52
curb appeal

Paint a Colorful Front Door

This Alabama farmhouse‘s brown facade gets a punch of color from an aqua front door. It doesn’t cost a lot to paint your door, and it’s easy to repaint if you get tired of the color.

7 OF 52

Design a Lovely Path

curved walkway made with well-worn pavers offers your home some unique flair. (A vintage toy car-turned-planter ups the quirky factor, too.)

8 OF 52
curb appeal

Build a Charming Fence

Even if you don’t have a coastal cottage as charming as this Hamptons saltbox, you can create the same vibe with a wooden picket fence. Or, if you have a more stately home, opt for a wrought iron fence.

9 OF 52
curb appeal, porch swing

Splurge on a Porch Swing

Nothing shows off your laid-back vibes better than a porch swing filled with cozy cushions. A wicker chair or wooden rockers do the trick, too.

10 OF 52
curb appeal

Give It a Fresh Coat of Paint

Though it was dilapidated when its owners first spotted it, this house underwent an extensive structural and aesthetic to-do list to uncover a beautiful, character-rich home filled with carefully chosen antiques.

11 OF 52
porch decorating ideas

Focus On Symmetry

With ceiling fans, rocking chairs, symmetrical planters, a blue door, and a loyal dog, this Texas home’s porch couldn’t be prettier.

12 OF 52
curb appeal

Bright Colors and Shrubbery

Bold colors and patterns are a recurring design choice in this converted Catskills home, and that’s evident before you even step inside. With a happy yellow door, green-striped awnings, and lush shrubbery lining a picket fence, this home invites you to come in and take a closer look.

13 OF 52
curb appeal

Go For Contrast

The black-and-white combination of this New York home sets the stage for what you’ll find inside. It may not be the largest porch, but the brick aesthetic coupled with black shutters and white ornamental columns is striking.

14 OF 52

Build Out Your Porch

This gorgeous Connecticut home has two sprawling porches that wrap around the house, and the green shutters add an eye-catching pop of color to the exterior.

15 OF 52

Embrace Your Personal Style

This traditional farmhouse, complete with a gable roof and board-and-batten paneling, stands out from the typical Spanish-style architecture popular in Ojai, California.

16 OF 52

Keep It Simple

When it comes to curb appeal, it’s hard to do much better than this Gothic home in Hamptonburgh, NY. Its steep gables add a fairy-tale quality to the home, and its perfect symmetry is pleasing to the eye. Arched windows and bronze house numbers add an elegant touch.

17 OF 52

Refresh Siding

James Hardie HardiePlank lap siding and HardieTrim boards in Arctic White were used to refresh the tired exterior on this Tennessee farmhouse. The crisp white planks are an eco-friendly choice that are as long-lasting as they are beautiful, thanks to their unique weather-resistant fiber cement formulation.

18 OF 52

Dress Up for the Holidays

This Alabama farmhouse’s classic black-and-white color scheme makes it stand out; pops of red (from an upcycled bike-turned-planter and patriotic decor) makes it drool-worthy.

19 OF 52
curb appeal

Make It Multi-Purpose

Say hello to the hardest-working porch in Georgia. It’s a sitting room, mudroom, potting station, and breakfast nook rolled into one—the perfect way to take advantage of a yearly average temperature of 62 degrees

20 OF 52

Add Window Boxes and Shutters

Colorful shutters with window boxes painted to match brighten up the exterior of this cozy Hamptons cottage. Red flowers add even more pizzazz.

21 OF 52

Add a Picket Fence

Nothing adds charm to a front yard like a white picket fence, as evidenced by this cute-as-a-button Florida cottage.

22 OF 52

Install New Roofing

During a three-year gut renovation, this circa-1825 Mississippi home received new chimneys and a hand-crimped aluminum roof, among many other updates.

23 OF 52

Highlight Standout Windows with Paint

This 1875 Victorian sits on five acres in Sonoma, California. Its stunning windows are highlighted with dark paint.

24 OF 52

Don’t Be Afraid of Color

Classic Old Philadelphia colors adorn the exterior of this Pennsylvania Victorian, and recently restored cypress porch railings add to the home’s enormous curb appeal. The house itself is adorable, indeed, but we’re perhaps most fond of the perennial and vegetable gardens that surround it on all sides.

25 OF 52

Place Potted Topiaries Out Front

An illinois landmark, the William Howard Thompson House was built in 1868 and renovated in 1901 in the Beaux Arts style by the Chicago architecture firm Watson & Hazelton. To create symmetry outside your home, place potted plants in pairs to convey a well-balanced entrance. Choose larger-scale pots and plants for a dramatic flourish.

26 OF 52

Line Up the Porch Chairs

This 105-year old Victorian farmhouse in Texas squeezes four classic rocking chairs on its porch (the pink door and the Shetland pony aren’t too shabby when it comes to curb appeal, either).

27 OF 52

Try Drought-Resistant Landscaping

Skip the lawn in favor of the environment (and cut down on the amount of yard work you need to do).

28 OF 52

Fly a Flag

Nothing adds character to the outside of a country home like flying Old Glory.

29 OF 52

Stay True to the Original Structure

From the hemlock ceiling beams to the 300-year-old heart pine floors, nearly 80% of this Georgia cabinis made of reclaimed materials. Sourced from barns in Tennessee and Virginia and a mill in South Carolina, the home’s materials have roots throughout the South, with each piece of wood adding its own history.

30 OF 52

Surround Your Home with Lush Landscaping

These California homeowners’ love of outdoor living also extends to the house’s lush garden, which is tucked inside a fragrant 40-acre citrus grove.



  • House Yellow w White Picket Fence for XPress Post Cards 06 17 19


5 Insider Tips to Sell Your Home on a Tight Timeline

House Yellow w White Picket Fence for XPress Post Cards 06 17 19

Selling your home on a tight timeline comes with its share of unique challenges, but it’s definitely possible if you know how to prepare. It’s important to make sure that the home is ready for the market in every way, and that means you’ll also have a tighter timeline when prepping the home to high standards. The right marketing and the help of an experienced real estate agent will make life much easier when time is of the essence. Our five insider tips for selling your home on a tight timeline are the perfect place to start when you’re aiming to sell in a hurry.

  1. Clean, De-clutter, and Stage
    Start the process by putting your home prep in overdrive, and doing some serious cleaning. Buyers want to see a home that’s clean from top to bottom. You’ll also want to de-clutter and depersonalize the home, so buyers can imagine what their life would be like there. Once your home is spotless and de-cluttered, you can get busy with staging. If you need staging advice, your agent and a staging pro can both provide great tips.
  2. High-Quality Photos
    You don’t want to waste all of the work you did preparing the home by using low-quality photos for marketing, so consider professional photography for all of your home marketing needs. Professional quality photos are much better for capturing the quality of the home, the vibrancy of the landscape, and all of the little things that make the home special. Low-quality photos stand out in a negative way, especially if other nearby listings have pro photography.
  3. Hire an Agent Who Means Business
    Choosing the right real estate agent is always a critical step in getting your home sold, and it’s especially important when you’re working on a tight timeline. You want an agent who sells a high volume of homes in the area and knows how to get a property sold quickly. Ask for referrals from trusted sources, speak with multiple agents, and find the person who makes you most confident that they can handle a sale on a quick timeline.
  4. Pick the Right Price
    When you’re aiming to sell a home fast, you don’t want to waste any time picking the right price point. Ask your agent for a comparative market analysis (CMA), so that you’ll know exactly what comparable homes are selling for in your market. Choosing a price that’s far above market is likely to make your home languish on the market but going too low will hurt your bottom line, so you’ll definitely want to price the home competitively.
  5. Make the Most of Your Marketing
    Marketing should be a top priority no matter how fast you’re trying to sell, and the right marketing tactics can really help on a tight timeline. That means marketing your home online, with an attractive listing and quality photography, while also making the most of traditional marketing tools. Promote open houses, use word of mouth, and work with your agent to develop a targeted marketing plan for the demographics most likely to be interested in the home.

There’s no doubt that selling your home on a tight timeline can feel a bit chaotic, which is why it’s so important to have a plan. Investing time in preparing the home and money in the right marketing plan will make it much easier to get the job done. Throughout the process, a trusted real estate agent should be your number one source of advice for selling your home fast.

House Yellow w White Picket Fence for XPress Post Cards 06 17 19


Leslie Sells Houses

Summer is a Sizzling Time to Sell Your Home with Me


House Yellow w White Picket Fence for XPress Post Cards 06 17 19

Summer is a Sizzling Time to Sell Your Home with Me

Here are 5 compelling reasons listing your home for sale this summer makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other for the same home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in most of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers.

Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in his or her home was six, but that number has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. Many homeowners have a pent-up desire to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years due to a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners are granted the freedom to move.

Many homeowners were reluctant to list their home over the last couple of years for fear that they would not find a home to move in to. That is all changing now as more homes come to market at the higher end. The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until additional inventory comes to market before you to decide to sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. Buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. This makes the entire selling process much faster and simpler. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the time to close a loan has dropped to 43 days. (Last numbers available.)

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has created a buyer’s market. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, it will sell quickly, AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own!

According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 4.8% over the next year. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

5. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to these questions. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

House Yellow w White Picket Fence for XPress Post Cards 06 17 19

Leslie Sells Houses


Pierce County Family Friendly Summer Fun 2019

Pierce County Family Friendly Summer Fun 2019

Pierce County Family Friendly Fun Summer

Every summer I make a list/calendar of all the family friendly events I think my family would enjoy. Having a list down makes it easy to plan your calendar, or if you’re trying to come up with something fun to do, it’s a nice reference. Our #1 favorite thing to do each summer is the Movies in the Park. What’s your favorite summer activity/event?

The list is in “area” categories and by dates, be sure to check back often as I will most likely be adding. Save this post, share it, and/or print it. Please leave me a comment if you have something you’d like me to add.



Duck Daze – June 1 10am FREE

Concerts in the Park – Curran Apple Orchard – FREE 6:30-8pm

Teddy Bear Picnic – TBA Curran Apple Orchard FREE

National Night Out – First Annual in Market Square – August 6 4-6 PM

Moonlight Movie in the Park – August  3 – Cirque Park

Kite Festival –  Chambers Bay Returning 2020

Cinema on the sound – TBA

Family Campout – August 17-18
Chambers Bay *Registration required

Cider Squeeze – Curran Apple Orchard – August 25 FREE

Kidz Kraze Children’s Festival – Chambers Bay Park – August 25 12-4pm



Go Hawaiian Pool Party June 1  6:30-8:30PM

Community Garage Sale – June 8

Strawberry Feed – June 23 6:00PM-8:00PM

Car Show – July 7 10:00am-3:00pm

Fircrest Fun Days – July 19 6:30-10:30PM, July 20 10A-10:30PM

Concert, Picnic & Market in the Park – August 1 5:30-8:30pm

National Night Out – August 6  6-9:00PM

Pool Party & Movie in the Park – August 10 6-10pm

Concert, Picnic & Market in the Park – August 29 5:30-8:30pm



4th of July Celebration – July 4

Concerts In The Park – June, July, August – Every Wednesday 6:30-8:00

Salmon Bake – Last Sunday in July, Noon – 4:00 p.m.



Taste of Tacoma June 21-23 – Pt Defiance Park

Muckleshoot Casino Fireworks Show – June 29 10:00 PM You can arrive early to browse the stands or just come to watch the FREE show

July 4th Free Swimming at outdoor pools (Kandle and Stewart Heights)

Tacoma Freedom Fair, Airshow & Fireworks Extravaganza July 4th, Ruston Way

Family Fun Night July 12, 6-9 p.m. Fort Nisqually

Family Campout – July 12, August 2 , August 23 7 pm-9 am Owen Beach, 5400 N. Pearl St.
*Registration required

Swan Creek Park Camp Fire Program – July 12 8:00pm – 9:30pm FREE

Tacoma Maritime Fest – TBD Thea Foss WaterWay

LeMay Drive In Movies – showtime at dusk
July 6- Ferris Buellers Day Off
July 27- The Goonies
August 10- How to Trainer Your Dragon 3
August 24- Either Captain Marvel or Bumblebee

Kandle Sunset Cinema- July 19
Activities begin at 7:00 pm
Movie begins at approx. 8:45 pm
Movie: TBA

Food Truck Fest – July 21 Wrights Park 10:30-6:00 pm

Ethnic Fest– July 27 & 28 (Outdoor movie on the 27th) at Wright Park
Movie: TBA

Swan Creek Park Camp Fire Program – August 2 8:00pm – 9:30pm FREE

National Night Out/Summer Bash- August 6 5pm People’s Center

Summer Bash at The Center at Norpoint- August 9
Movie: Mary Poppins Returns

Shakespeare in the Park – August 9, 7-8:30PM, Wright’s Park

Summer Bash at Stewart Heights Park- August 16
Movie: How to Train your Dragon
Activities begin at 6, movie at dusk

Movie in the park – Sprinker Rec Center – August 16
The Little Mermaid

Mobile Food Truck Fest – August 17, 11-6pm, Sprinker Rec Center

Gross Out Olympics– Sprinker Rec Center August 20
*Registration required

Summer Bash at STAR Center- August 23
Movie: Spider Man: Into the Spider Verse

Free Swimming at Kandle & Stewart Heights – Sept 2



Maritime Gig Festival – June 1-2 Downtown Gig Harbor

Food Truck Fest – June 15 Sehmel Park 11-4pm

Movies in the Park – Fridays, Skansie Brother’s Park, movie at dusk
July 5 – TBA

July 12 – TBA

July 19 – TBA

July 26 – TBA

Summer Sounds at Skansie Brother’s – Tuesdays June 25th-August 13th – 6:30pm-8pm

Cruise the Narrows Car Show August 3 Uptown Plaza

Gig Harbor Rockin’ Rhythm & Blues Festival- August 10th 8:00 am – 10:00 pm Sportsman Club

Smokey Bear’s Birthday Lunch – August 10 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Kopachuck State Park



Summer Fest – July 13 11A-11PM Fort Steilacoom Park



Annual Car Show – Dacca Park – June 30

Summer at the park:

June 20
Music in the Park
6:30-8:00 p.m.

June 27
Music in the Park
6:30-8:00 p.m.

July 11
Music in the Park
6:30-8:00 p.m.

July 18
Music in the Park
6:30-8:00 p.m.

July 25
Music in the Park
6:30-8:00 p.m.

August 1
Music in the Park
6:30-8:00 p.m.

August 9
Movie in the park

August 15
Touch a Truck

August 23
Movie in the park


PUYALLUP (& Sumner)

Meeker Days – June 14th- 16th

Food Truck Frenzy – June 29 at Bradley Lake Park 12-6pm

Movie in the park – July 12 – Bolt(PG) at Meridan Habitat Park

Movie in the park – July 26 – Lego Movie 2 – Pre-movie activity 6:30-8:00 pm (Reptile Man) at Meridan Habitat Park

Rhubarb Days – July 27-28 (Sumner)

Movie in the park – August 23 – Meridian Habitat Park – Dumbo



Movies in the Park – check here for dates

4th of July parade and fireworks display and family picnic/bbq

Gross Out Olympics– Frontier Park Graham July 18
*Registration required

July 21-22 Art in Bloom

August 2-4 Glacier Park Eatonville Arts Festival



Outdoor Music – Wednesdays at 6:30pm (7/10-8/21) at Allan Yorke Park
Outdoor Market starts at 5:00pm

Food truck fest – July 27 11-5pm Allan Yorke Park

National Night Out August 6 Allan Yorke Park

Movies in the park – Allen Yorke Park – starts at dusk, August 6 and August 10

Bonney Lake Days – August 17 Allan Yorke Park



Kids Day June 25 11:00 AM- 4:00 PM Les Grove Park

4th of July Festival 11:00AM-4:00PM Les Grove Park

Kids SummerStage Wednesdays July 10 – August 14 12:00PM Les Grove Park

Summer Sounds & Cinema –

Friday, July 26, 2019

  • Lea Hill Park, 31693 124th Ave SE
    • 7:00 PM –  Creme Tangerine (Seattle’s premier Beatles tribute band)
    • Dusk – Incredibles 2 (PG)

Friday, August 2, 2019

  • Sunset Park, 1420 69th Street SE
    • 7:00 PM – The Marlin James Band (wide variety country favs)
    • Dusk – Ralph Breaks the Internet (PG)

Friday, August 9, 2019

  • Les Gove Park, 910 9th ST SE
    • 6:00 PM – Joanie Leeds (super fun music for kids)
    • 7:00 PM – Nate Botsford (country rock)
    • Dusk – E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (PG)

AuburnFest – August 11 11:00AM-8:00PM – Les Grove Park


In many areas!!

Pierce County Library Summer Reading Program

Kids Bowl Free 

Summer Playground and Free Meal Distribution Program:

Regal 15 Lakewood Summer Movie Express

AMC Kids Summer Movie Camp – Get admission to a kid-friendly movie and a KidsPack for just $4+tax, all summer long! Tickets available at the box office at participating locations.
AMC Gateway 8 in Federal Way – Every Wednesday morning, check out the movies playing here


Don’t forget to pull out those calendars and start penciling in events you don’t want to miss this summer.


A list of family friendly summer fun in Pierce County. Updated for 2019

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I Love Buyers & Sellers


I Love Buyers & Sellers

Whether you’re buying, selling, or renting, I’m here to support you and guide you through to the finish line. My top-notch skills ensure you get the best experience possible. It’s what I love to do.

Experience is Everything


If you have questions about affordability, credit, legal matters, or income, trust me to find you what you need fast. I’ll make sure you feel confident and educated every step of the way.


The Right Price, Always


Condo or mansion, I’ll find it and get it for you at the price that’s right.  Fixer-uppers? Luxury? I can help with all of it. Let’s get you ready for your property journey. Call me today.

Here’s Why You Need A Pro in Your Corner! Click on link below to find out

With home prices on the rise and buyer demand still strong, some sellers may be tempted to try to sell their homes on their own rather than using the services of a real estate professional. The post Selling Your House: Here’s Why You Need A Pro in Your Corner!

Here is a list of just some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate if they decide to For Sale by Owner (FSBO):

  • The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent, who solely represents the best interests of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The termite company, if there are challenges
  • The buyer’s lender, if the structure of the mortgage requires the sellers’ participation
  • The appraiser, if there is a question of value
  • The title company, if there are challenges with certificates of occupancy (CO) or other permits
  • The town or municipality, if you need to get the CO permits mentioned above
  • The buyer’s buyer, in case there are challenges with the house your buyer is selling

Bottom Line

The percentage of sellers who have hired real estate agents to sell their homes has increased steadily over the last 20 years. Meet with a professional in your local market to see the difference that he or she can make for you during the selling process.

Click on link below to find out.

Why You Need A Pro In Your Corner When Selling Your Home

Leslie Sells Houses

Image result for Pictures of selling your house

Are Low Interest Rates Here to Stay?

Are Low Interest Rates Here to Stay?

Are Low Interest Rates Here to Stay ?

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have been on the decline since November, now reaching lows last seen in January 2018. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates came in at 4.12% last week!

This is great news for anyone who is planning on buying a home this spring! Freddie Mac had this to say,

“Mortgage interest rates have been steadily declining since the start of 2019. These lower mortgage interest rates combined with a strong labor market should attract prospective homebuyers this spring and could help the housing sector regain its momentum later in the year.”

To put the low rates in perspective, the average for 2018 was 4.6%! The chart below shows the recent drop, and also shows where the experts at Freddie Mac believe rates will be by the end of 2019.

Are Low Interest Rates Here to Stay? | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you plan on buying a home this year, meet with a local real estate professional who can help you start your home search to ensure you can lock in these historically low rates today!

Leslie Sells Houses

Are Low Interest Rates Here to Stay?

Members: Sign in now to set up your Personalized Posts & start sharing today!Not a Member Yet? Click Here to learn more about KCM’s newest feature, Personalized Posts. Have You Set Up Personalized Posts Yet? | Keeping Current Matters

“Spring is here and so is happiness. Hold on. Life will get warmer.”

Image may contain: plant, tree and outdoor

“Spring is here and so is happiness. Hold on. Life will get warmer.”
Spring Outlook!
In 2019’s first quarter the rates fluctuate minimally, inventory started to decline and prices stabilized.

For continued success with your Real Estate investing make certain you have the most educated REALTOR in your corner. Reach out today, so we can answer your questions!

#HawkinsPoe #RealEstate #Spring

Leslie Sells Houses


5 Crazy Ways to Sell Your House That Really Work!

5 Crazy Ways to Sell Your Home


No matter how amazing your home is, let’s be honest: Real estate is a drag-down, stops-out, winner-take-all competitive market. It can take some true ingenuity to steer prospective buyers through your front door.

Well, to help get your creative juices flowing, here are some offbeat sales tactics that some slightly daring homeowners and real estate agents have tried. And they swear they work!

Offer a cash reward

If you use Facebook or Twitter to stay in touch with friends or share photos, then there’s no reason why you can’t use it to share the news that you’re selling your home!

In order to sweeten the deal, one Canadian family decided to offer a $1,000 “reward” for any “share” that led to the sale of their home. There’s no word yet on how well it worked, but it makes sense: Why not take that split second to spread the word to your pals if cold hard cash hangs in the balance?

Have an over-the-top open house

“The days of the wine and cheese open house are over,” pronounces Alexander Ali, CEO of the Society Group. What’s taken its place are open ceremonies—basically, open houses on human growth hormones, complete with live entertainment, catering from In-N-Out Burger, mermaids in the pool … you get the idea.

These bigger and usually more upscale parties are often pricey, but they don’t have to be. The key is to make it all sound unusual and fun—all the better to cut through the open-house clutter. Just ask Wendy Flynn, a Realtor in College Station, TX, who spent a mere $200 to hire a snow cone truck to park in the driveway of a home she was trying to sell.

“Instead of the typical two to five visitors, over 50 adults and countless kids attended the open house,” she recalls. “Of those who visited, five demonstrated serious interest in the property—proof that creative marketing can help garner attention for a home.” Hey, who doesn’t like snow cones?

Create your own reality show

You turn on a camera, set up a channel, and let people peek into your home—all in an effort to help them imagine what it would be like to live there in the future. Crazy? Maybe. But live-streaming is a way to get prospective buyers to see the inside of your property without ever leaving their couch.

“Live-streaming video is a great tool: Facebook Live, YouTube, Blab, Periscope, and Meerkat are all emerging big time for real estate use,” says Ellen Cagnassola, social media manager for HouseMaster Home Inspections.

Feel a bit awkward being the “star”?  Hold an event such as a live show, or hire local talent like stand-up comedians to do a short skit in your home that you can publicize. It’ll get your home in front of more eyeballs, honest! Keep the adult humor to a minimum, please.

Play the celebrity card

Does your home have a celebrity who once slept there? Or perhaps it served as the backdrop for a movie at one point? Or maybe it evokes a certain TV show or movie? Whatever makes your property special, use it to your advantage. And if you don’t have any celeb stories, then consider hiring actors to set the scene.

Jaisa Bishop, an associate partner at Partners Trust, did just that when representing a Victorian house in San Diego that wasn’t getting enough attention.

“I employed my family members to dress in period costume and be in character. They sat in the garden while a local artist painted and brought a few of his pieces to sell. It was a great success,” says Bishop. “Guests were able to sit and have tea in the garden and eat finger foods with the characters while taking in the home. ‘Downton Abbey’ meets real estate!”

Try a little magic

When all else fails, it might be time to call in help from the invisible fairies or forces you  believe in. Kooky, sure, but it can’t hurt and it just might help. Just ask Ellen Shaikun, a broker associate with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Parks & Weinberg Realtors, who had heard that burying a statue of St. Joseph upside-down in your yard is supposed to bring a quick sale.

“I had a client who did it. When the house was still on the market two weeks later, my seller kicked into desperation mode and dug up the statue—having determined that it was buried in the wrong place for maximum impact—and moved it next to the mailbox. My seller was correct: We got an offer almost immediately. As we all know in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location!”

Leslie Sells Houses


Kimberly Dawn Neumann, who is based in New York City, is an author, performer, and fitness professional.
The realtor.com® editorial team highlights a curated selection of product recommendations for your consideration; clicking a link to the retailer that sells the product may earn us a commission.

Today’s Pets Are Real Estate Influencers

Today’s Pets Are Real Estate Influencers

April 11 marks National Pet Day, and it’s time to find a pet to appreciate, if not your own.

After all, pets have a big say in real estate. Eighty-one percent of Americans say animal-related considerations play a role when deciding on their next living situation, according to a 2017 report from the National Association of REALTORS®. Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed said they would not give up their animal because of housing restrictions or limitations. Twelve percent of pet owners have moved to accommodate their animal, and 19 percent said that they would consider moving to accommodate their animal in the future. REALTORS® surveyed said that one-third of their pet-owning clients often—or very often—will even refuse to make an offer on a home because it’s not ideal for their animal.

Pet ownership is booming across the country. Seventy percent of U.S. households own pets, up from 50 percent a generation ago, according to ProShares Pet Care ETF, an exchange traded fund focused on the pet care industry. Ninety-five percent of pet owners consider their pets part of the family, according to a Harris Poll.

“Dogs are part of the family, so it’s important to factor in our furry friends when choosing a place to live,” says Daryl Fairweather, Redfin’s chief economist. “Highlighting dog-friendly amenities like a spacious yard or a mudroom for dirty paws in your listing can make it easier for buyers to find the home of their dog’s dreams.”

What are some of the top pet-friendly amenities in homes? Real Trends recently highlighted several home essentials that buyers crave for their pets: ample outdoor space, pet nooks (like a tucked away nook with a built-in bed), a pet chat system (a way to communicate with your pet from anywhere using video or audio devices), pet washing stations (like in a mudroom or laundry room), and a pet door (a door insert so pet cans let themselves out and back in).

Some real estate professionals are adopting pet-friendly niches to express their love of pets, showing off their own pets on social media or even reaching out at dog parks with treats to connect with pets and their owners.

Redfin and Rover, a networking platform for pet sitters, recently ranked the top pet-friendly cities. They analyzed data from 14,000 cities based on popularity of dog walkers and pet sitters and how frequently the word “dog” appeared in online listing descriptions of homes for sale. The top pet-friendly cities (along with cities’ most popular breeds) are:

1. Seattle

  • Top breed: Labrador retriever

2. Chicago

  • Top breed: Mixed breed

3. Denver

  • Top breed: Labrador retriever

4. Manhattan, N.Y.

  • Top breed: French bulldog

5. Washington, D.C.

  • Top breed: Mixed breed

6. Portland, Ore.

  • Top breed: Mixed breed

7. Los Angeles

  • Top breed: Chihuahua

8. Brooklyn, N.Y.

  • Top breed: Pit bull mix

9. San Francisco

  • Top breed: Mixed breed

10. San Diego

  • Top breed: Mixed breed

11. Philadelphia

  • Top breed: Pit bull mix

12. Houston

  • Top breed: Mixed breed
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© National Association of REALTORS®

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