"Creating that curb appeal”

Creating that curb appeal

Curb appeal is a term that’s big in the real estate business but a bit of a mystery to many buyers.  It refers to the external look of a house, the way it looks from the curb, and it sometimes extends to the impression that a prospective buyer gets when first walking through the front door.  It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of a good impression made at this stage.
The curb appeal of a house can make as much as £5,000 worth of difference to its asking price.  It’s also one of the single biggest factors influencing how fast a house sells. The good news is that it’s easy to improve the curb appeal of any property by making a few simple, low cost improvements that take very little time to organise.

Getting street smart

The first and most important thing to do when trying to sell a house is to make it look good from the outside.  Simple things like tidying the front garden, sweeping the path or driveway and painting the front door can make a big difference.  Using a bright paint colour will make the house seem more inviting and help it stick in the memory if potential buyers are looking around a lot of properties.  The house number should be clearly visible and simple floral decorations like hanging baskets help to show that the owner takes pride in, and looks after the property.

Most buyers will gaze up at the windows so it’s important to make sure they’re sparkling clean.  Adding lovely shutters will enhance the attractiveness of windows and also help to draw the eye away from any roughness in the stone or brickwork.  Front-facing garage doors should also be repainted or at least cleaned thoroughly.  Outdoor lanterns can add a sense of security and make the garden itself more appealing.

The inside view

The first thing to do with the inside of the house is to clean it – thoroughly!  Carpet steamers are a good idea and are fairly cheap to hire.  Fresh paint on the walls and new grout in bathroom tiles makes a good impression.  It’s best to use neutral colours so that buyers can project their own preferences onto the rooms they see.

Organising furniture to its best advantage is worth the time and effort. Ensure that items are appropriate for the room in which they are placed.  A dining room should be furnished for use for that purpose; incongruous items should be removed from all rooms.

Make the rooms appear bigger by de-cluttering the space. Removing clutter is very important but it’s worth leaving a few key pieces of ornamentation in place.  Mirrors can make rooms look bigger and vases of flowers can make them feel fresher.  Unless the sale is taking place in the depths of winter, windows should be open to keep a current of fresh air drifting through the house.

Finally, think about scents.  Although perhaps now regarded as being a bit ‘old hat’ baking some fresh bread in the kitchen and making a pot of fresh coffee will make the house smell very pleasant. You will also be able to offer a coffee to potential buyers to make them feel more welcome in your home.