Curb Appeal Tips for your Luxury Home

We recently had the privilege of catching up with Herman Chan, one of San Francisco’s biggest Real Estate Personalities, to get the inside scoop on preparing your luxury home to sell for top dollar. Broker, Speaker & Videoblogger, Herman has been featured on countless media outlets including HGTV, House Hunters, My House is Worth What, and MSNBC.


What are the biggest mistakes you see on the exterior of luxury homes on the market?

It never ceases to amaze me how much homeowners will spend on designer furniture, imported marble, one of a kind toilets, but the outside of their home look so blah.  Take a chance with some off the beaten path color for that front door! In my forthcoming photography book Looking Up: Images to Uplift & Inspire, I highlighted some luxury properties with interesting exteriors because those are the ones that stood out from a sea of homogeneity.

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What are the top three things homeowners can do to make the best first impression?

I know I sound like a broken record, however, it needs to be underscored because people just don’t learn.
Three things that will make any home stand out is to declutter, new paint and professional staging.  Decluttering allows people focus on the wonderful space rather than littered personal junk.  Spruce up your home with a fresh coat of paint for a quick facelift and to unify spaces for natural flow.  A whole generation of consumers have been socialized by HGTV to expect staged properties during the shopping process. Buyers want to be wow’d which will hopefully be reflected in offer prices.

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Would you recommend the same improvements in Pacific Heights as you would in Noe Valley, Piedmont or Palo Alto? Are there regional trends sellers should pay attention to?

In order to be successful in real estate, you must understand your consumer.  The Bay Area yet more notably in San Francisco, a plethora of micro-markets exist so each market deserves different approaches.  Piedmont is all about family, hosting dinner parties, and manicured yards for kids’ parties.  You wouldn’t remodel a sprawling Piedmont estate in the aesthetic of a SOMA loft heavy with steel, brick, and concrete which is in fact very appealing to young professionals in tech and Millennials. The Casto, historically the gay ghetto, has gentrified immensely with influx of young families. I am seeing a lot of bedrooms staged as kids rooms in the Castro. You’ll see a lot of regional trends in my book Looking Up, whose images draw primarily from Northern Californian life and decor. I made sure to cite the location and city of each photo. The eclectic nature of this area is astounding!

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Thanks for your tips, Herman! Read more on Herman’s blog Habitat for Hermanity.

2 responses to “Curb Appeal Tips for your Luxury Home”

  1. herman chan says:

    Great Q&A! really enjoyed it. Keep up the amazing work on your site too!

    Real Estate Broker & Personality |
    c 415.787.3450 | w 510.542.2600 | bre #01395481
    Seen on HGTV, PBS, CBS, HuffPost, CNET, CNN Money, SF Chronicle

  2. […] you are considering increasing your curb appeal, then you might want to have a few things on your list to […]

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