The Importance of Curb Appeal

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When you are selling a house, it is important that your property has “curb appeal.” Curb appeal is the term used to refer to the first impression that your property makes on a potential buyer. This refers to the outside appearance of the property and affects the instant appeal (or not) to the buyers.

It is common for people to do “Drive by” viewings of a property, where they drive past the location to see what it looks like and the environment that it is in. This can stop them having to do unnecessary viewings on unsuitable properties. So it is important that you fix as many of the potential pitfalls as you can before the viewers come along.

Start With Your Front Lawn

If your property has a front garden, it needs to be tidy – sort out those weeds and mow the lawn. If you have a hedge, make sure that it is neatly trimmed. Railings or fences should be painted or stained. If you have the advantage of selling in the warmer months, plant up the beds with some bedding to brighten it up. And whatever the time of year, add planted pots or hanging baskets. These can be obtained ready planted at garden centres and DIY stores and have a selection of seasonal planting in them. Any rubbish you have in the garden should be cleared away and if possible, store bins out of sight, even if you normally keep them in the front garden.

A Welcoming Doorstep

On arrival at the doorstep, the door should be freshly painted or washed if it is UPVC. Go for a bright color on painted

Tuscan Mediterranean Garden Doorway

front doors – it is important to lift the mood of the viewer. If your door furniture looks a little jaded, buy some new ones. Make sure that your doorbell or door knocker works and is clean. If you have a path up to the door make sure it is swept or pressure-washed clean of any moss – you don’t want potential buyers to slip on their way to the door! If you have an outdoor light – make sure it is working. If you don’t have one and you are expecting viewers after dark (not uncommon on autumn or winter evenings) then consider adding one to make the house look more welcoming.

Make sure that your house number is clear and viewable from a car driving past. This is a tip I once got from a taxi driver and it applies also to drive-by property viewers – they’ll spend longer looking at the property if they can identify it quickly.

Freshen Up the Facade

For the facade of your house – if it is painted, then it should be freshened up if possible. Windows should be cleaned and repainted if necessary. It makes viewers feel that they won’t have so much maintenance to do if they buy the house, which reduces a barrier to purchase. Be aware of what is inside the windows that is viewable from the street – anything that detracts from the house should be moved.

Some times of year are more challenging for selling than others – but do go with the season – if it is Christmas then add tasteful Christmas lights and if there is room a Christmas tree by the front door or in a window. If you live in a house that has a seasonal aspect – like you overlook fields but the crops get tall later in the summer then consider the time of year that you choose to sell. Or if you have big trees overhanging your garden then try and avoid selling in autumn when you will have to clear up leaves every day.

Improving your curb appeal might not improve your sale price, but it should attract more viewings and make your house easier to sell in a shorter timescale. So of all the ways of preparing your house for sale, this is one of the most important.

Selling your house is one of the biggest transactions you will ever make. Johnson Wood is an established estate and letting agent based in Emsworth, Hampshire, UK.

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