We all know not to judge a book by its cover, but we can sometimes make up our minds about a house just based on how it looks on the outside.
If you’re planning to sell, remember that the front of your house can affect how people judge your home before they’ve even come through the front door.
Kerb appeal is the first impression that your property makes on potential house buyers. Whilst this may not add value to your house, it could make buyers more inclined to want to see what’s inside, and if it gives off a homely vibe, they may be able to better imagine themselves living there. On the other hand, if your house looks rundown from the outside, some buyers could be put off before they even step inside the property.
Keep it clean
If your garden is messy; the lawn unkempt with toys strewn across it, and your windows are grubby, you’ll struggle to make your house look inviting. In fact, any potential buyers may simply turn on their heel and leave if they don’t like what they see.
It sounds obvious but start by tidying up any rubbish or toys scattered around your garden. If possible, put the bins out of sight somewhere, as they might put viewers off.
Next, make sure your windows are cleaned regularly. If you’re expecting potential buyers to come and look round, get the windows cleaned the day before a viewing. You might also want to consider getting your walls and roof pressure washed, particularly if they’re starting to look a bit drab.
A great way to immediately improve your home’s kerb appeal is to spruce up the paintwork. Peeling paint might be a turn-off, so think about painting your front door, window frames and gate. This is a great chance to go for a new colour scheme for the front of your house. Matte grey is really in for front doors at the moment, but pick something that suits your property. If your windows or gate are all rusted or rotten, you might want to think about replacing them – and if this helps secure a sale, it may be money worth spending.
Exercise your green fingers
Properties with a front garden may seem like a rarity as some homeowners choose to use theirs to park their car, so if you do have a green space in front of your house this could help it stand out from the crowd. If you have a lawn, make sure it’s neatly mowed before any house viewings. Plant some flowers and tend to them so they stay looking smart. Pull up any weeds that start to invade your garden, as they can make your space look unloved and uncared for.
Don’t fret if your front garden has been paved to use as a drive, as if parking on your street is tight, this could be a benefit – and you can still bring the natural look to the front of your house. Put a couple of large flowering plants in big pots on either side of your door. Not only will they look welcoming to visitors and potential house buyers but the flowers will also smell lovely.
You don’t want your house to look as though no one lives in it, otherwise buyers might struggle to visualise it as their home. Property expert Sarah Beeny tells The Telegraph that kerb appeal can affect how buyers see your home. She says: "First impressions count for a lot. A bad appearance can do a lot of damage.”
Make sure that your property isn’t putting people off by adding a few personal touches to make it feel a bit more homely. If you have a cottage or are trying to give your house a vintage-inspired look, you could install fixed shutters on your windows. These are just used for decoration rather than protecting your windows, but on the right property they can make a house look really appealing.
Install a large light next to your door to make your home seem more welcoming for any viewings in the evening. You could also put your house name or number next to your door or on your gate so that visitors can find you easily – which is particularly useful if you’re expecting potential buyers. Finish the look off with a welcome mat outside your front door. This will stop people from trailing mud into your home, but it also adds a cosy feel.
If you’re looking to sell your property, you could ask your estate agent for tips on how to maximise the kerb appeal of your house. Remember, selling houses is their job, so if they advise you to put away your garden gnome collection to make your home more saleable, it might be best to listen to them.
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