Looking to Step Up a Condo’s Curb Appeal? Start With the Front Door!

By Erica Christoffer, Web Producer, REALTOR® Magazine

front door curb appealOur 2010 List Issue should be arriving in your mailbox any day. In it you’ll find 281 business tips from the real pros — our readers. The Home & Design section is loaded with information, from “How to Spot Common Energy Leaks” to “6 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Home Stager.”

In “5 Ways to Add Condo Curb Appeal,” Debbie Rumsey with Century 21 Sea Coast in Encinitas, Calif. suggests sprucing up the front door to attract would-be buyers. Here are a few more tips for getting that condo door looking great for showings:

Pay attention to the details, such as removing cobwebs from the front door light fixture, says Maureen Bray from Portland-based Room Solutions Staging. If the door has a window, don’t forget to wash it inside and out. Curb appeal does not stop at the front door, she says. If the condo/townhome has a garage, make sure that door is clean and in good, working condition.

Consider the plethora of front door looks you can create by upgrading exterior door hardware, paint/stain color, exterior light fixtures, and unit numbers (if allowed by the HOA), says Kimo Stowell a real estate merchandiser with JDS Consulting: Hawaii Home Staging and Decor Design in Oahu, Hawaii. “Stoop accessories can create a virtual endless combination of eye catching details to your condo front door,” Stowell says.

Don’t forget to address scuff marks from furniture moving and usual wear, says Elizabeth Bolton with Coldwell Banker in Cambridge, Mass.

Susan Uram, brand manager of Olympic Exterior Stains says that exterior stains are designed to absorb into the wood and allow the natural beauty of the wood to show. Condos and townhomes with outdoor-facing entrances need to be protected from the elements, Uram says, and need added protection from scratching and every day wear and tear.

If a “furniture-like” finish that shows off the grain (e.g. an oak door) is desired, Uram suggests applying an interior stain followed by an exterior durable varnish. But if you’re looking to repaint the front door white or another solid color, an exterior solid color stain would work as well as an exterior paint, say Uram, who suggests the Olympic Wood Protector Solid Color Stain (available at Lowe’s in more than 140 colors). For a rustic finish, Uram recommends one thin coat of a semi-transparent exterior stain, which also good for decks, fences and siding.

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This post was contributed exclusively for REALTOR® Magazine.

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  1. What great advice! A staged home is one that will always sell faster and for a higher price.
    I really like the “painting the door” suggestion on a condo, It is always a challenge to address the curb appeal on a condo or town home. Thanks for sharing!

  2. The clock begins ticking even before the Buyer steps foot out of the car. Fresh landscaping; pressure washed driveways and sidewalks; and a welcoming entry will set the tone.
    Thanks for the information on door paints and stains.

  3. Staging is an absolute must in this market. Great thoughts about the entrance way and the first impression it will generate.

  4. Anne Meczywor

    So much depends on the condo association rules and regs. Things like painting a door, installing new house numbers, or putting out potted plants may be forbidden. If the condo maintenance people are a bit behind, the lawn may not be as tidy, or the exterior stained or painted in time for your open house, if open houses are even allowed by the association. Things like gates at the driveway entrance and condo signage contribute to curb appeal, but are beyond the invidual unit owner’s control. Parts of this article sound like misplaced ads for Olympic Stain, especially since condo owners rarely have the control over the exterior products used.