Six Out-of-Date Exterior Features That May Curb Your Curb Appeal

July 31, 2023

Six Out-of-Date Exterior Features That May Curb Your Curb Appeal

As you know, a home’s exterior is the most important aspect to consider when it comes to making a first impression on MLS listings and in-person visits. As such, we’ve written quite a few blog posts about the importance of curb appeal, exterior staging, exterior lighting, and landscaping. But instead of telling you what to add or improve on the exterior of a home, we thought we’d offer a guide on unattractive, distracting features that are known to instantly date a home. These are items you should consider removing or replacing before listing your home on the market: 

  1. Outdated Front Doors

    As we have discussed in a previous blog post, a home’s entryway and curb appeal can make all the difference when it comes to impressing buyers. The look, color, and design of a front door can really tie a front porch together or pull together the entire look of a yard. While the front door is mainly used for security and protection, it can also be used to filter some natural light through to the interior of the home. 

    While many doors with glass features are still widely popular, one door in particular gives more of a dated look. It’s the oval glass door. You know the one! Once beloved in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the oval glass door with frosted features or decorative patterns has been around for a while and gives less of a modern look to the front of a home. Given the neighborhood, it can also make a home feel less secure.

2. Faulty Door Hardware

Going along with the front door topic, door hardware such as locks and latches that are loose or sticky can set a negative tone before a buyer even sets foot in the door. Opening the front door should be easy, seamless, and offer a sense of arrival. Solid, updated door hardware can offer a luxurious feel and also add a level of safety when compared with older locks. A lock with a push-button entry code can make a door feel modern and also help with showings and contractors when you're not there.

3. Wrought-Iron Railings

While many homeowners have opted to keep wrought-iron railings simply because they were there from the previous owner, these railings are starting to become outdated and look dark and clunky. They draw the eye away from lighter colors or vegetation in the yard and create harsh lines across the front of a home. We recommend considering more modern railing materials, such as aluminum, wood, or a wood alternative called Azek. 

4. Unkempt Vegetation

While you may love a bit of naturally growing vegetation such as twisting vines, sprawling tree branches, and wildflowers, that might not be the taste of a potential homebuyer. Landscaping can be a very personal preference, but you can’t go wrong by trimming back any shrubs and trees, clearing fallen leaves or debris, weeding flowerbeds and crevices, and laying fresh mulch or mowing the lawn. This gives a potential buyer the opportunity to really see the potential in a yard and offers that feeling of a blank slate to adorn with their preferred foliage.

5. Old Fashioned Entry Lights

A exterior foyer light fixture is another element that can make all the difference right before buyers enter your home. Because these are often difficult to clean and maintain over the decades, many older homes have a decorative lights which feature tarnished gold metal, broken or missing glass, cobwebs, and LOTS of dust. These instantly give the wrong first impression. There are a multitude of fresh, modern, weather-resistant exterior lighting options that are available for you to consider instead. Freemodel compiled a list of some of the most popular in a recent blog post where you can weigh your options. 


6. Entryway Closet 

Believe it or not, entryway closets are inching towards being past their prime! As buyers step into your home, they want to reimagine spaces and not be limited to what they can do in each room, or what certain closets are meant for. There has been a rise in entry benches and peg hooks not only for easy access and convenience, but also to create a kind of focal point of the entryway. 

All in all, we know that a modern-looking home exterior can be the difference between buyers even deciding to come to your open house or not, based on MLS listing photos alone. While each buyer will have their own unique tastes for design and modernity, there are a handful of elements that are a surefire way to date a home and be a turnoff to buyers. We recommend taking a look at this list when deciding on your project scope and consider factoring in—or, should we say, factoring out—some of these exterior elements and upgrading to something fresher! 


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