Make a strong first impression and increase viewings and house asking price!
Kerb appeal is a term that has come across from the US (although they spell it ‘curb’) and it means the first impression your home has on a potential buyer from the footpath before they’ve even entered the property.
Improving kerb appeal can feel like an impossible task. Everyone has different taste, so how could you possibly guess what would work for everyone? Fortunately, most people have the same few touchstones that if you look to improving, you could boost your house value and the chance of a sale!
1. Home is where the heart is
The first thing to remember is that this will be someone’s home. Try not to sacrifice that concept by overdoing the modern and cutting-edge decoration. If you want people to see themselves living here, make your front garden and step easy on the eye, clean and tidy, and practical.
2. Pleasing plants
Even if you don’t have a massive garden or driveway in front of your house, a few select pot plants could instantly soften a yard, especially against the hardness of pavers or concrete. A few seasonal flowers and something more structured like box plants cut to spheres can add just enough beauty without looking like a chore for the new owners.
3. Open the door
What colour should your front door be? According to Country Living’s article, the most popular door colours for 2018 include purples, blues, and yellows. But in order for this idea to work, they should blend into their surroundings rather than stand out like a sore thumb. So shades of these colours that tend towards neutral will likely work best. But you are unlikely to go wrong choosing white, so if unsure, stick to the classics!
4. Front it out
What about your street-facing walls? Should you repaint? The answer seems to be yes.
According to Home Beautiful, “93 per cent of the nation are more likely to attend a viewing if the house’s exterior is well maintained.”
5. Mending fences
Brick walls – give them a scrub with a wire brush and you might even think about a little bit of repointing if the mortar is crumbling. Any plaster render that is cracked or falling off might be better removed entirely than left a mess, depending on the structure underneath.
Metal fences and railings – wire brush before applying any metal paint. Skipping this step can give you a bubbly and lumpy mess meaning it looks just as bad. If it’s very rusty, give it a clean with some vinegary water (about half and half if you can) and wash and dry with some soapy water, which will give you a much better finish than trying to paint on a rusty surface.
6. The path to a sale
If the way to your front door is a hazardous “trip” over paving stones that heaved up during the winter frosts, or a muddy and patchy gravel path, you’re unlikely to make a good impression before your potential house buyers have even got inside. Kerb appeal can include things that are almost subliminal. The buyers might not realise they were put off by a poor pathway, but they will be!
7. Use some kerb appeal psychology
Adding touches such as a vintage metal watering can, a comfy bench seat, or a brand new, quality welcome mat can give the visual cues that make allow your potential buyers to imagine themselves pottering about the plants, sitting in the sun, or welcoming friends, all from the street. And that’s kerb appeal!
For more thoughts about what can affect your house sales price, don’t forget to check out our other articles!
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