Article by Warren Lewis of Property Reporter
According to several studies it takes the average buyer no more than eight seconds to decide whether or not they like your property, so keeping this in mind, kerb appeal should be a priority when trying to sell your home as first impressions account for much of the overall impression the property has on any potential buyer.
More often than not, the 'make or break' moment happens with the first impressions of a property’s outer appearance.
However, boosting a properties kerb appeal needn’t be costly, complicated or time consuming, and with these helpful tips you’ll make an excellent first impression.
We're not just talking about the obvious stuff like overflowing bins or kids toys strewn across your front garden. Remove fallen leaves and other detritus from the lawn, paths and borders. Once you have done the hard work it is really easy to keep on top of with a five-minute sweep as required to ensure your front garden stays looking immaculate.
Check your borders by digging or forking over the soil around your plants and if your budget allows, add organic matter such as bark chippings. They not only look good but will also keep weeds in check and lock in moisture. All this will add up to a low-maintenance garden in which weeds will be a thing of the past and plants can bloom.
2. Walls, fences and boundaries
Almost every front garden will have a fence or wall separating it from its neighbour, so how can you make yours stand out?
Firstly, ensure that all essential repair work has been carried out. Replace any broken panels or rotten posts and make sure that the paint work is up to scratch. If you really want to take it to the next level though, climbing plants are the perfect answer for transforming a garden fence from the ordinary to the interesting. Make sure you take note of the direction your fence faces and seek advice at the garden centre as to the most appropriate climbers.
A good tip is to cross the road, stand back and take a look to make sure your boundary is neat, tidy and in good repair. If you have a gate make sure that doesn't need reparing and that it is clean. Paint always helps - neutral colours are good.
If you’re lucky enough to have a front garden that has a lawn, make sure it really is something to boast about. In the spring give it a good feed and weed. Keep it mown regularly but ensure you don’t mow too short in the spring or autumn or during periods of drought. It is also important to treat your lawn again in the autumn with an autumn feed to help it withstand the harshness of winter.
The modern front garden often has to accommodate a car or two but that doesn’t mean your driveway needs to be a concrete wilderness. Design should be simple, functional and easy on the eye. Keeping some borders not only looks good but also helps rain water to return to the ground rather than run off across pavements or roads. Plants in pots not only add colour and texture to your driveway but will create an even more welcoming feel.
To boost that warm welcome at your door it's hard to beat a simple hanging basket filled with colour. In the spring it can be filled with bulbs, primroses, bellis and pansies, in the summer go for geraniums and in the autumn try cyclamen or something similar.
Hanging baskets are perfect small investments to make when selling a property, allowing you to show potential buyers how the house can look. And the best part? You get to take them with you when you move.
Make sure your windows are looking tip top by painting or repairing the frames, giving the panes a good clean prior to any viewings and ensuring curtains or blinds are are not in a state of disrepair. It may seem trivial but the devil is in the the detail here and you would be surprised at what would put off a prospective buyer.
7. Front door
Paint it. It's as simple as that. Your front door is the first thing that prospective buyers (or anyone) will look at. Bold colours in full gloss will always look good but if bright and colourful isn't your thing then black is always a safe bet.
Decent door furniture can give the impression that your home is of high standard and is a brilliant investment. Spending £100 on a new handle, letterbox and knocker is nothing compared to the money you will save by selling your home sooner rather than later. Make sure you keep it in theme with the rest of your home though; giant Victorian door knockers and overly ornate handles will look ridiculous unless your home is Victorian. If your house has a modern feel, stick with brushed aluminium or chrome.
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