Buyers may not judge a book by its cover, but they do judge a house
by first impressions. Here are 10 ways to increase the kerb appeal of
Industry figures show that people take an average of 8 seconds to decide whether to buy or not to buy. The approach to the house plays a major part of these 8 seconds. Signs of neglect or indications that time and money need to be spent on the property will impact on their decision. But here are 10 simple steps to give your property a min-facelift when selling.
Your home’s overall appearance should give the right impression. Take a close look at the paint and brickwork. A freshly painted house, along with window frames can add significantly to the feel of the property. Fill cracks, rub down and paint where necessary, too. If you want to go above and beyond, paint the walls at the front of your property and paint your neighbours’ walls, too. Just check with them first!
Take a look at your front door. It may need a new coat of paint, or at the least, a clean to remove any scuff marks. Whether it’s a paint job or sanding, your door is the face of your home. It should offer a friendly welcome.
Savvy home-hunters will drive past potential properties in the morning, afternoon and the evening. Ensure your house is well-lit in the evenings.
Replace tired or dated door furniture with modern or more contemporary door furniture. Brass has fallen out of fashion and many people have switched over to polished chrome door pulls or letter boxes. If you are looking to save money, then simply polish existing door furniture to give the right impression.
Tidy the garden, pathways, gates and walls. Make sure the lawn is mowed, plants are cut back and any clutter is removed. If your front garden opens directly onto the street, take a step back and consider the best ways to improve your home’s overall appearance. Pull out any weeds that are growing through the cracks in paving stones. Then brush and clean gates and paths and oil the gate hinges.
You may be forgiving of your pets and children, but your buyer may be less so. Make sure any toys are put away, and store bins in a discreet place. If you can’t hide the bins, then galvanised metal dustbins are cheap to buy and easier on the eye.
Importantly, wash the windows. If the exterior is sparkling, but the windows are dirty, this will spoil the effect. Clean windows are extremely important. Be careful with your curtains or blinds, too. They may be inside, but are seen from outside, and a shabby appearance can detract from the property’s look.
It depends on your property, but choose door numbers that reflect the character of your home. In the city, choose big, bold numbers. In the countryside, more subtle house numbers are more suitable. And does your home have a name? If not, you could give it one. According to recent research carried out by the Royal Mail, some of the UK’s most popular house names include “Orchard”, “Meadow”, “Rose Cottage”, “Holly” and “Oak”.
Buxus hedges and bay trees add a contemporary feel. Just make sure they are well-kept. Tidy up hanging baskets and put fresh plants in the window boxes.
Finally, consider what greets visitors as the front door opens. This is their first glimpse of the property and what they see, hear and smell will colour their opinions. Try it yourself and see what you notice as the door opens. Are you greeted by an air of calm, light, warmth and welcome, or are there muddy boots in the hallway, and the smell of last night’s supper in the air? It may be time to work on the interior presentation.
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