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Creating kerb appeal

When it comes to selling your home, first impressions count. The look of your house exterior – aka its kerb appeal – not only gets prospective buyers in through the front door, but also increases the amount they offer.

Maximising your home's kerb appeal can be simple. We've put together a list of ideas to attract buyers, help your home sell fast, and fetch the very best price.

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How important is kerb appeal?

A recent survey commissioned by the HomeOwners Alliance (HOA) and conducted by YouGov found 68% of potential buyers think kerb appeal is important when buying a new home.

Over seven out of 10 (71%) of those surveyed said windows being in good condition was important to them, showing no signs of rot or flaky paint. 68% wanted the roof to be solid with no missing tiles, while 67% looked for a well-maintained front garden when searching for their future home.

"Kerb appeal creates a lasting first impression – most buyers make up their minds in the first few minutes of arriving at a property," said Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of the Home Owners Alliance. "The good news is that a lot of solutions are simple and cost very little."

If you're selling your home, you'll want it to stand out from the crowd, increasing the number of viewings you get and boosting your chances of a quick sale.

Does kerb appeal add value?

Not only does maintaining your home to a high standard attract buyers, it also raises the price.

Another survey found that almost one-third of buyers were prepared to pay up to 25% more for a house with a well-presented exterior. On an average £300,000 home, that's an extra £75,000!

That makes boosting kerb appeal a great investment for homeowners. It's also likely to speed up your sale, saving you stress as well as money.

How to create kerb appeal

Stand well back from your home and try to imagine seeing it for the first time through your buyers eyes.

Does it look well-kept and welcoming? Is there room for improvement? Ask a friend for constructive criticism.

Your estate agent will also be able to advise about what sells well in your area and give you more ideas. Estate agents are a great source of contact details for reliable tradespeople, too.

Here are our top tips for maximising the appearance of your pad:

  • Redecorate. Fresh paintwork in neutral colours is a major draw for potential home buyers. Peeling and cracked paintwork gives the impression of an uncared-for property, so investing in decoration is a quick win
  • Replace windows and frames. If yours are old and tatty, that's a major no-no for prospective buyers. Get them repaired or even replaced to attract buyers. Remember to choose types that are in keeping with the style of your house and the neighbourhood
  • Carry out repairs. Brickwork in disrepair? Gate collapsing? Gutters looking blocked? Get in a handyman or a builder to get your home into shape. Just a few days or even hours of their time could give your home a cared-for feel
  • Smarten up your porch. People love porches – they add character to a home, and provide a highly practical place to store shoes and coats. So make sure yours is presented to its very best advantage
  • Add great lighting. Stylish lighting is a must-have for many prospective buyers, and provides them with reassurance about security levels. Make sure yours looks good and is in full working order
  • Improve your front garden. If yours has been unloved for years, now’s the time to spruce it up. For larger gardens, you might want to get in a gardener to carry out some basic landscaping or replace walls or fences. For smaller yards, simply adding a few containers or window boxes filled with flowers

How can I get kerb appeal for cheap?

Any investment you make in your home's makeover is likely to get great returns. However, if you're on a budget, there are also several free or cheap measures you can take:

  • Tidy up. Mow the lawn, weed flower beds and cut back any greenery that's obscuring the windows or entrance. Pull up any weeds that have grown in cracks between paving stones. Make sure you clear away any kids toys and dispose of any rubbish
  • Clean your windows. Make your home sparkle in the sunshine! Window cleaners usually charge reasonable rates. If you decide to do it yourself, take care on the ladder
  • Hide your bins. With the increase in recycling, most homes have several bins, boxes or bags for their waste. Tidy them away in a bin enclosure, put them in your back garden or at least stack them neatly in a corner
  • Touch up paintwork. If your budget doesn't stretch as far as redecorating, you may still be able to patch up any problem areas of your paintwork. Perhaps you could just give your door or window frames a new coat?
  • Clean your path. Hire a pressure washer, and give your paths, front yard and doorstep a good clean. You'll be amazed at how cheap, quick and easy it is to strip away the dirt and moss from your stonework and concrete!
  • Tend to the small touches. Even if your home doesn't need major repairs, there may be some quick fixes that will make a huge difference. You may have got used to a front gate that's loose on its hinges, wonky house numbers or a rattling letter box, but such minor irritations could put off your prospective buyers. So get out your toolbox and get fixing!

These are just a few of the ways to prepare your home for sale.

Once you've found your own dream property, make sure you get a competitive home insurance quote from Hastings Direct.

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