The Importance of Kerb Appeal
By Michelle Wilden, Senior Branch Valuer
“The idea of curb appeal is to give your home an inviting look that makes the buyer want to stop and take a look inside”
When I value a clients home, I am always stressing the importance of kerb appeal. The front of your home, in particular your front door is one of the first things a client will see. A front door speaks volumes, it creates an image of the home behind. And so because of this image it’s important that the front of your home gives out a positive, buy me message.
It doesn’t matter how a client searches for a property. It may be online, it maybe via local press, they may simply be driving around, looking for their ideal home. However they choose to property hunt they will make a decision if they wish to take a further look at your details or indeed view your home based upon the front of your property. This is what we call your kerb appeal.
How to improve the external appearance of your home
Improving the external appearance doesn’t have to cost you fortune. Investing a little time and effort alone can work wonders. Stand back and asses your house, compare it to your neighbours homes. Does your home look the best on the street? If not follow some of these handy tips.
- Paint your front door. For me the front door is one of the most important factors when it come to kerb appeal. It’s where the buyer will stand and wait until you, or your estate agent opens it. Every day I suggest to at least 2 or 3 people they give their door some love. For those with UPVC doors this might be a simple clean. For those of you with solid wooden doors, it’s here where you can make a real difference. You can have fun with your front door. My door is bold in bright red. I wanted a door which stood out. You might wish to go classical, in which case black is always a safe bet. If you would like something a little more contemporary, there are some beautiful pale soft shades which presently appear to be gracing many a london home.
- Your door furniture. Take a look at your door furniture. Your door handle, the letterbox, the number on your door. If you have a door knocker take a look at that too. What does your door furniture say about you? Rusty? Old and decrepid? Maybe just old-fashioned. Good door furniture can make all the difference. It can make a home appear loved and funky. It can give the impression of style, of character, even charm. Keep your choice of furniture in character with the era of your home. If you have a modern home go for something contemporary! Think chrome or stainless steel. There are also some rather contemporary house numbers now available for the more modern home.
- Windows. Take a look at your windows and be honest. Do they look clean? By this I mean do they sparkle. Clean windows can make all the difference. They can make a room feel brighter. They can make a home feel more cared for. If you have upvc frames give them a good clean. If they are painted or stained do they need freshening up? If so do it. Buyers will look closely at windows. After all, if they need replacing it’s a further expense they may wish to consider. You should also look at dressing your window. How do your curtains hang? Would they benefit from having tie backs? I also often advise clients to put a nice tall vase in their window, especially if the outlook is towards other houses or parked cars. It can simply break up and distract from the view in front. It really can make a difference and helps tell a story for the person stood outside looking in. What does your window say about your home?
- Your frontage. Every home has a frontage. Even if your home opens out to the pavement. Keep it tidy. Remove the weeds. It may sound like common sense but often this overlooked especially if there’s rubbish in the street front that is not your’s. Yes that’s right, please move the litter regardless of who put it there! If you are fortunate to have a front garden or a small forecourt, take a closer look at it. Cut the lawn. Trim the hedges. Paint the fence and gate. Make it spick and span. Make it the best on the street. If you can add a bit of greenery and a few plants. It can make all the difference. For those of you without front garden area’s, how about a window box to brighten up the outside of your home?
- Facias and Gutterings. Before I leave you, you might also want to take a quick look at your gutterings and facia boards. Again, if needed clean or paint them. If your guttering is growing weeds, please have them cleared out. Remember this all about creating the perfect impression.
- The next door neighbour. This is the most difficult one. If your neighbours home is letting you down, make polite suggestions which will benefit you both. If they are elderly and the garden is a little uncared for, offer your assistance. Do the same if students there. If its full of rubbish, offer to help clear it, even if it’s on the pretence that you are doing a tip run. Remember it’s all going to help you sale. Now is for action, it’s not the time to simply grumble about it.
So there you have it. A real estate agents view and on opinion on kerb appeal. I have been selling property for 12 years in Lancaster and Morecambe. If you truly want to sell your home, please consider the above. If you’d like further advice or indeed to sell your property, please contact me on 01524 843322.