Most people selling a home have heard about the importance of curb appeal.

When the property you're selling is part of a complex of almost identical units, and there are covenants or restrictions that limit what you can do to the exterior, you have a special challenge.

The condo we're renovating is like that. I need to walk the fine line between fitting in and standing out. Our door and entrance area match the units to the left and right of us, just 10 feet away.

I chose to imitate their minimal landscaping style because I knew it would make my entranceway look larger, part of the whole complex.

One of the units used river rock, a look I happen to fancy, so off I went to the landscape supply store.

I try to learn something every day and today I learned that what I call river rock the local supplier calls egg rock. Whatever it's called, I love the clean and practical quality of it. I brought my own 5-gallon buckets (I'm a house painter, so there's never a shortage of these around our house), and I left with 10 of them filled with rock, for a total cost of $102 at 13 cents per pound.

I also bought four 18 x 18-inch cement pavers with a pebble finish to match the six that were already at the condo. Each paver cost $12. I was pleased.

I don't know how pleased Mr. Lucky was to have the task of downloading the rock and pavers from the van and putting it all in place. As landscapes go, this approach is about as low maintenance as you can get and still look appealing. I brought in a spot of color with a large planter filled with annuals.  The planter is an $8 plastic one from Big Lots that I faux finished to look like stone.

You'll learn other tricks to make your whole home more welcoming to buyers in my eBook DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar.

Curb appeal is crucial, and I think the look of our entrance is clean and inviting.  Whether we're talking about speed dating, job interviews, or househunting, first impressions can scoot you to the top of the list, or kick you out of the game.

Staging your home's exterior can put you at the top of the top, and staging the interior will keep you there. Download my eBook NOW, and start NOW to get your staging done right -- economically, beautifully, and quickly.