Kerb appeal – does it matter?

One of our clients recently included ‘kerb appeal’ as one of the criteria for their ideal property. They specifically wanted somewhere that looked nice from the outside and had already dismissed many properties in the past because of the external photographs.

Now, this got us thinking about whether sellers really appreciate just how quickly buyers tend to form an impression of their home before they’ve even stepped through the front door. So many times we have visited properties where we’ve prepped clients to ‘have imagination’, ‘look past the décor’ – but if a house looks particularly untidy from the outside as well, it usually takes a lot more encouragement to see the potential within.

If you’re putting your house on the market, a few simple tips wouldn’t go amiss, to get the most of your ‘kerb appeal’ and attract some decent buyers. Our local friends at Hippo Cleaning sum it up well with the service they provide for one-off exterior cleans, specifically for homeowners in this situation:

  1. Clean the windows and front door, including the frames to give it a fresh look as you approach the threshold
  2. Pressure wash the driveway and remove any overgrowing foliage
  3. If a gutter is leaking, get it cleared, as the chances are your potential buyer will turn up on a rainy day!
  4. Clean fascias and soffits can also refresh the building’s façade – you can even get render cleaned up with a pressure washer, which makes a huge difference, rather than having to repaint the outside of the house.
  5. If you have a conservatory, get it cleaned to let in as much light as possible – moss and algae aren’t so attractive to look through!

Then of course, there is plenty you can do in the inside to de-clutter and ‘dress’ the home – but if you don’t manage to do that, at least a fresh, clean look on the outside gives you the best chance of getting buyers through the door.

For buyers too, it’s worth understanding that this sort of ‘kerb appeal’ can be created relatively easily with a professional clean – and not to let the exterior put you off. Recognising that it may be cheaper and easier to tweak the external appearance, rather than finding somewhere nice on the outside that needs lots of internal reconfiguration, could save you a fortune.

To take it a step further, George Clarke’s ‘Ugly House to Lovely House’ programme showcases a lot of clever techniques using render, cladding or the addition of a funky porch, which can completely transform the look of a house, not just improving kerb appeal, but seriously giving it the ‘wow factor’.

In summary – don’t judge a book by its cover. But if you’re the one selling the book, our advice is to get the cover looking as smart as you can to start with!