How to improve your kerb appeal
THE buyer excitedly pulls up to what may well be the house of their dreams.
The lawn is overgrown and the owner clearly has a dog. They narrowly avoid tripping over a toy that has been left abandoned on the garden path.
They may lift the grubby brass knocker on the faded front door and gingerly knock, or they may turn and run.
Either way, the property's lack of kerb appeal is likely to have either cost the sale, or reduced the sale price.
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Industry figures show home buyers take an average of eight seconds to decide to buy.
The approach to the house is a crucial part of those eight seconds.
Signs of neglect or indications that time and money need to be spent on the property exterior could impact majorly on that decision.
Conversely, there are some simple actions that can help your property get its foot in the door. Firstly, take a look at that door.
It may need a new paint job, or, at the least, a good scrub to remove scuff marks. Whether it's a paint job, sanding, or cleaning the brass and glass, your door is the face of your home and should offer a gleaming welcome.
The house exterior should do the same, so take a close look at the paint and brickwork.
A freshly painted house, along with window frames, in neutral or classic shades can work wonders.
Fill cracks, rub down and paint as necessary.
Tidy the yard, pathways, gates and front walls. Make sure the lawn is mowed, foliage is cut back and the area is devoid of rubbish or clutter.
You may be forgiving of your pets and children but your buyer may be less so.
Make sure toys are put away, and try and store bins in a discreet location.
Brush and scrub gates and paths, weed borders and oil the gate hinges. If your front yard opens directly onto the street, take it a step further and sweep the pavement.
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 too. They may be inside, but they are seen from outside, and shabby drapes can detract.
Now that you have the perfect exterior, it may be the best time to take property photographs.
Finally, consider what greets visitors as the front door opens. This is their first glimpse of the property itself and what they see, hear and smell will colour their opinions permanently.
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, a dog barking in the background over the sound of a blaring television, and the smell of last night's spicy dinner in the air? It may be time to work on the interior presentation.
For more information on how Fine & Country can help you move call 01792 633 250 or visit www.fineandcountry.com