How can you maximise your kerb appeal?

How can you maximise your kerb appeal?

By Nic Hopkirk

In one of the hottest markets in years, here's how to make sure the first impression your home makes is the one that buyers want to see.

Kerb appeal is literally how attractive your home looks from the street kerb. Think of your home's kerb appeal as your property's best advert.

It's the first impression potential buyers will have of your pad and can really count for a lot when putting your home up for sale. 

Here's why it matters

Online, the exterior shot of your home is often the first one people will see. If it's not looking up to scratch, you could be saying goodbye to potential buyers before they've even set foot in the front door.

Equally, a buyer who could be interested in your property might do a little recce and drive past it to check it out before arranging a viewing. If they don't like what they see, it's sayonara to that sale.

What makes good kerb appeal?

Everything people can see at the front of your house forms a first impression: a nicely painted front door and porch, a tidy front garden, a neat fence, clean pathway and drive, tidy bins... If it can be seen, it should look good.

A smart, well cared for exterior gives the impression that a home is well looked after and nicely maintained. It's enticing, inviting and you want to see more.

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So, how do you maximise your home's kerb appeal for would-be buyers? Here are nine great ways to get started:

1. Give your front door a fresh coat of paint

It’s the entry point to your home and buyers will be paying attention to it, so make sure it creates the positive impression you want it to.

Give it a fresh coat of paint in a classic front door colour, such as navy, pastel green or deep grey, and your frontage will be treated to an instant facelift.

Plastic or composite doors can be cleaned using specialist products to restore whiteness, and don’t forget to polish metal letterboxes, house numbers and door-knockers. Or consider replacing them if they’re past their best.

2. Give driveways and patios a new lease of life

Give paved or concrete driveways and paths a new lease of life with a powerful jet wash. Pull out any weeds too. Patios, decking and rendered surfaces will also benefit from a good scrub down, removing moss, dirt and anything that shouldn't be there.

3. Spruce up your boundaries

Where your property starts and ends will be a key question in a buyer’s mind, so make it obvious and attractive.

Give wooden fences and gates a new coat of varnish, re-paint metalwork and make sure all gates function properly. Trim hedges neatly and prune any planting next to doors and pathways.

4. Add some greenery

Property exteriors look much more inviting with a pop of colour.

Place potted flowers on your front doorstep, fill front garden tubs with blooms or consider adding a hanging basket to welcome your viewers.

If you have a lawn, make sure the grass is kept short. Sweep away fallen leaves and keep trees, shrubs and other plants neat and tidy. Weeds are an absolute no-no.

5. Go a step further for perfection

The road and pavement outside may technically be the council’s responsibility, but when you’re selling it makes sense to pick up any rubbish and sweep leaves yourself to make sure you’re creating the best first impression of the area.

6: Consider painting the exterior

Refreshing the exterior of your home with a new coat of paint can have a big impact on its kerb appeal, especially if the walls are getting a bit dull or suffering from weather damage and peeling surfaces.

If the walls are brick, a jet wash is the answer and should bring them up a treat.

7: Clean the windows

Employ the services of your local window cleaner to give your windows a refresh. And if you can, give the frames a good scrub too. Clean windows also have the added benefit of letting in more light, which helps to create a brighter interior.

8. Think about exterior lighting

A well-lit entrance feels safe and welcoming. Consider adding a set of matching wall lights either side of your front door to enhance your home's kerb appeal - especially if you're putting your home on the market in winter. Solar powered LED lights don't even need to be wired up to the electrics, so you won't need to call in an electrician to do it. 

9. Sort out the door bell

Is it working? Is it worth replacing? With plenty of reasonably priced, wire-free options available (some with video cameras for added security, allowing you to communicate with the visitor via your phone), a good doorbell will make a nice - and useful - little addition to your front-door furniture.