Tips for sellers and first impressions for buyers
If you are looking to sell, it’s easy to focus all your effort on tidying up the inside of your property to make it as presentable as possible. But have you stopped to consider the first impression potential buyers might get from the outside?
It may be just a few seconds’ stroll from the pavement to your front door, so you may assume it is of little importance. However, the reality is that your property’s kerb appeal could help to sell (or not sell) your property before a prospective buyer has even decided whether to ring the doorbell.
Done correctly, kerb appeal can also set a good tone for buyers as it suggests that a welcoming and attractive place they will want to call home lies just inside. Read on for key tips to maximising your property’s kerb appeal.
1) Stand outside and check what a buyer will see
Firstly, step outside and cast a critical eye over the entrance to your property, remembering that this is effectively an advert for what to expect inside. Be objective, and look for anything that could put a potential buyer off.
2) Freshen the front door
For those that want to wow, freshening the front door could be a good place to start – perhaps with a fresh lick of paint if it’s wooden, a good clean for PVC, or a smart new door knocker if it just needs a small lift. Maybe the letterbox is broken, or the door handle has seen better days? If so, these are quick and easy things to fix. You want potential buyers to feel safe and welcome in your home. So, well as looking inviting, ensure the door does its job of keeping unwanted visitors out and homeowners safe inside.
3) Do some garden maintenance
It’s essential to tidy up any greenery, whether you have a full-on front garden to welcome visitors or just a small pathway to your property. Check for weeds, overgrown plants or faded flowers and cut back and replant where necessary. Sweep up leaves and litter, and perhaps plant up a few pots with fresh seasonal foliage.
4) Bring in some colour with plants
If there’s no garden space, then investing in a few bright potted plants or hanging baskets could help potential buyers to feel as though there is. The added advantage is that you can take these to your next property. If you choose something scented, like lavender, then you have another chance to snare the senses of potential buyers.
5) Create or tidy the pathway to your property
Tidy-up or recreate an attractive pathway to the entrance. Gravel, brick, paving stones or even tree trunk slices can make an interesting and functional feature. If you already have paving down, then a quick jet wash will increase impact.
6) Replace mismatched or worn fencing
Tired or mismatched fencing may feel like a hassle to replace but its ability to instantly smarten a property makes the time and effort worthwhile. A lick of paint or a few new panels could smarten in an instant. Another alternative, which may be preferred by buyers, is to plant hedging – but this should be neatly trimmed for viewings.
7) Hide your rubbish
We’re talking literally here. Move bins and recycling out of sight, even if it is bin day. Bin stores are a great option for disguising them completely and can be made fairly cheaply. Otherwise, simply move all bins out of view – and, of course, ensure they aren’t overflowing and smelling if they do get spotted.
8) Clean your windows
It can be easily overlooked but calling in the window cleaner, or tackling it yourself, will ensure your windows, frames and sills are gleaming. This makes a better first impression and will let more light inside.
9) A fresh lick of paint
While you are cleaning the windows, check if anything looks a little weatherworn and need painting, such as window frames if they are wooden, or your outside walls if they are rendered.
10) Attractive and security-conscious lighting
Outside lighting looks pretty, a few solar lights brightening a path for example, but are also a welcome safety feature for security-conscious buyers. Motion-sensitive lights can work particularly well since they turn on automatically when visitors approach.
At Howland Jones, we specialise in selling and letting property. We’ve done so since 1999 so can answer all your questions as a seller. We are here to help, so please get in touch; we’d love to speak to you. You’ll find our offices in the village of Measham in the East Midlands, and we operate within a 20-mile radius of our base, giving us extensive knowledge of the local area. Measham sits on the border of four counties, and is almost equidistant from Derby, Leicester, Nottingham and Birmingham.