Kerb appeal refers to how your house or flat looks from the kerb – and making it look appealing can be the make or break when it comes to selling the property on the open market. The Telegraph explains that potential buyers need just 8 seconds to decide whether or not they like a house so having a good appearance from the outside is essential.
Zoopla explains that the ‘money shot’ is making your property look good in photos, because this will determine how many people click on your listing and arrange a viewing. After all, how many houses or flats have you passed on simply because you didn’t like the look of the place? You also need to make your place look attractive for those that come to visit or even those that cheekily pass by when doing a bit of homework.
Whilst adding ‘kerb appeal’ may not increase the value of your home, it can make an enormous difference when making that sale or getting that tenant on board – so it is very worthwhile. We give some essential tips below to maximise your kerb appeal:
Sprucing up the front door
The door is one of the first things that people see when they look at a house when selling a house (Source: AskSusan.org.uk). Whether you invest in a new door which is only a few hundred pounds, you have options to improve the look of your existing ones. You can give a wooden door a new touch of paint and there are some colours that are quite striking including red, navy or black. If you do not have a wooden door, you can get specialist polish to clean a plastic or metal door and also be sure to clean the postbox too.
The front drive
Sorting out the front drive is another important aesthetic and one of the first things that people see when they look at your house. You do not need to give your front drive a complete makeover but certainly a tidy up is worthwhile. This includes trimming any grass and putting some plants in or pots in place in the entrance or front garden – which can be purchased from your local nursery starting at £5 per pot. Whilst repaving a new driveway is expensive, you can ask to borrow a water gun and clean out any limescale or dirt – and it will make the pavement seem fresher and almost as good as new.
Part of the front drive is the entrance gate, whether it is a small gate that people walk through or an electrical gate that guests have to drive through. Again, another lick of paint or polish to tidy it up can really make a difference. No one likes to touch a rusty gate when entering a home, so you can also look at removing this or replacing it altogether. Above all, you want to make sure that any gate actually works – because this can set the tone for the rest of the home. If you have a viewer who sees something that isn’t working, especially when they walk in, it can de-value the rest of the property.
Number or name of the house
One thing that a lot of homeowners and landlords fail to do is make the house’s number or name visible from the roadside. This is part of the branding of the property and will catch the eye of those passing by. Part of making it visibly is ensuring that it is not wonky, has a bad paint job or is illegible. You also need to think about how big the sign is and whether it can be seen from the kerb and also whether it can be seen at night – so having a light shining onto it after hours is advisable.
Speaking of lighting, having effective lights can add a lot of character to your home. On a basic level, you need lights so that the house can be seen in the dark and in the winter months, this can be as early as 4pm. But with a bit of creativity and careful placing, your lights can add real value to the entrance of the home, the front garden and the windows. Yellow lights are standard but you can look beyond this to blue lights or multi-coloured if you are feeling dangerous.
Fixing any windows
Windows are another important aesthetic for any house. When selling, it is important that have had a good clean on the inside and outside as any rust or rotten looking windows is not acceptable. It is essential that the window frames are consistent across the house. If you have a white house, you can make all the window panes consistently white or pick another colour like black or green keep that same colour for all the frame. If you have not already, you can look at upgrading your existing windows to double glazing to give a smart effect.
A nice idea is adding plant beddings in the front of the windows as it brings a lot of life and colour to the home. If you really like greenery, you can add a creeper to cover the house in plants and this can also help it stand out.
Check out the neighbour situation
Don’t let the neighbours lack of attention to their home bring your down. People may not be interested in a property if the one next door lacks kerb appeal. The neighbours property may also appear in adverts and property listings, so being on the same visual wavelength can be beneficial.
There are smart ways to approach this and rather than saying to your neighbour that their house looks like a mess, you can be quite clever and say things like: “I was just hosing the driveway, I can do yours too if you want?” and things like: “I bought some extra plant pots at the nursery, do you fancy putting these next to your front door?”
You are technically responsible for any boundaries relating to your property, including fencing and gates. Making sure that there are no broken fences is important and it is worth giving them a touch of paint or a shine prior to guests viewing your home. Prospective buyers consider that these are flaws that they will have to fix out of their own pocket, so they start to think of additional costs or they use it as a way to bargain you down by saying that there are various things that need fixing. Naturally, you do not want to discount on your asking price, so having your fences and gates looking sharp is very handy.