What is kerb appeal?
Kerb appeal is how attractive your home looks from the street. Don’t get confused between “kerb” and “curb” (which means restraint).
How smart the brickwork is and how neat your front garden looks can all add to your home’s kerb appeal.
After all, your home’s exterior is an advert for what’s inside. Next time you walk up to your door, try and look at it from a visitor or buyer’s point of view.
First impressions can count for a lot when putting your home up for sale.
How can I make the front of my home more attractive?
A home which looks smart and cared for from the street is enticing, inviting and it makes anyone approaching want to see inside.
So, how do you maximise your home's kerb appeal for would-be buyers?
10 tips for boosting your kerb appeal:
1. Smarten up your front door
Your front door is a big focal point and buyers will be paying attention to it. Make sure it creates the positive impression you want it to.
If it’s wood, give it a fresh coat of paint in a classic front door colour, such as navy, olive green or charcoal grey. Check Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration.
Plastic or composite doors can be cleaned using specialist products.
And don’t forget to polish metal letterboxes, house numbers and door-knockers. Consider replacing them if they’re past their best.
Bingo. Instant facelift.
2. Give driveways and patios a clean
Paved or concrete driveways and paths can usually benefit from a powerful jet wash.
Patios, decking and rendered surfaces will also benefit from a good scrub down, removing moss, dirt and anything that shouldn't be there. Pull out any weeds, too.
It’ll all add to the effect of a clean, cared-for exterior.
3. Make the boundary lines attractive
Where your property starts and ends will be a key question in a buyer’s mind. So make the boundaries 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. Make sure the front garden is full of plants
Property exteriors look much more inviting with a pop of colour and the kind of attention that shows you love living there.
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, keep the grass short and be sure to feed it so it looks its best.
Sweep away fallen leaves and keep trees, shrubs and other plants neat and tidy.
Weeds are an absolute no-no, so keep on top of them while your home is being marketed.
5. Clean the windows
Everything benefits from a good old fashioned scrub, and glass is no exception.
Employ the services of your local window cleaner to freshen up your windows and ensure that ingrained grime doesn’t take the shine off your kerb appeal.
If you can, give the frames a wash, too. Clean windows also have the added benefit of letting in more light, which helps to create a brighter interior.
6. 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.
This is especially important if you're putting your home on the market in winter or will have viewings after work when it’s getting dark.
Solar powered LED lights can be dotted around the garden. They don't even need to be wired up to the electrics, so you won't need to call in an electrician to do it.
Motion sensitive lights that turn on when visitors approach can also help to make a good first impression.
7. Freshen up external walls
We think nothing of repainting the interior before selling. But the outside can sometimes be neglected.
A new coat of brickwork or window paint can have a big impact on kerb appeal.
This can be a really good boost if the current paintwork is suffering from weather damage or peeling off
If the exterior of your home is bare brick, a jet wash should bring it up a treat. And be sure to sort any repairs that may need doing to the pointing.
8. Sort out the doorbell
Is it working? Is it worth replacing? Make sure your doorbell doesn’t sound the wrong note.
With plenty of reasonably priced, wire-free options available, a good doorbell will make a nice addition to your front door.
Some bells even come with video cameras or an intercom for added security. A good one will add to the impression that your home is loved and the area is sociable.
9. Hide the bins
Unsightly wheelie bins and recycling cartons don’t make the best first impression.
Make sure you tidy them up (and watch out for smelly bins during hot weather) and place them in a sensible, neat location, without drawing attention to them.
You might ask the council for a replacement if your wheelie bin is looking particularly manky. Or why not consider a special shed to house them in and remove them from view?
Some front gardens now sport lovely sedum roofed bin stores, or wood clad fenced areas that are stylish and accessible for collections.
10. Give your street a sweep
The road and pavement beyond your home may be the council’s responsibility, but when you’re selling it makes sense to pick up any rubbish near your front garden.
You might also choose to sweep leaves yourself and give the pavement a bit of a jet wash if you’re doing your front garden, too.
Does kerb appeal add value?
Absolutely. Any home improvements that make it easier for a buyer to imagine themselves there are worth doing. A smart exterior can even help to improve the asking price you might achieve.
In any case, it pays to remember that your kerb appeal can make or break a viewing. If it doesn’t come up to scratch, your prospective buyers might not even go inside.
On your estate agent’s website, as well as portals such as Zoopla, the exterior shot of your home is often the first one people will see.
If that photo shows an exterior that looks unappealing, you could be saying goodbye to potential buyers before they've even clicked through the gallery.