Elite AgentSELLING + MARKETING PROPERTY

Curb Appeal

In the first article of this series Kelly Quinn spoke of the importance of giving property a general pre-sales make-over.

Here she looks specifically at the first impression, what a vendor sees before looking through a property.

In the first article of this series Kelly Quinn spoke of the importance of giving property a general pre-sales make-over. Here she looks specifically at the first impression, what a vendor sees before looking through a property.

Imagine this: You are a clever home buyer in the market for a small fixer-upper, something that needs enough attention that it gives you the bargaining power to get it at the right price. You are driving around, looking at all of the houses in the street. You see a beautiful home, well maintained, perfectly manicured green lawns, lush gardens, clean and tidy, and you can tell that attention has been paid to detail. You also know that it will be worth more as it is move-in ready; nothing needs doing to it.

The house next door however has weeds, patchy yellowing lawns, window screens are falling off, tiles are missing on the roof, it needs a good clean up, and there is more lounge-room furniture in the front yard than in the house. If you are after a house that you can haggle for, you are going to go for the rundown bargain-buy because you know that if the house is in need of attention, you can whittle away at the price.

But what if you are not a bargain hunter, and are looking for the perfect house that you can move into without having to hire an army to make it liveable? You won’t want to buy a house that has surprise imperfections; you want that peace of mind in knowing that all of the hard work has already been done for you. This is where curb appeal is so important.

“Your front yard is the first thing any perspective buyer will see, and you had better make sure it is up to scratch.” If the front of your house doesn’t make a stand-out impression, it certainly won’t entice any perspective buyer to inspect the property any further.

You want to give the right impression, to show the buyer that you have cared for the house, so that they are willing to pay what you know it is worth.

Take a drive past the front of your house. What in your yard catches your eyes first? Is it a big oil stain on the driveway? What about untidy garden beds? “Make sure you take an unbiased look, because what you don’t see, your potential buyers will.”

Make two lists, one for the areas of your front yard and the front of your house that you think are “highlights” or great selling points. The other list should be for all of the areas that need addressing. Attention to detail is the key here.

Here is a list of the top ten hints and tips to get the front of your home looking its best so that it stands out for the right reasons:

  1. Make sure the letter box in good condition with the numbers displayed clearly
  2. Make sure the front of the house is well lit; not every perspective buyer will view the property in daylight hours. Some actually prefer to see what the house and area are like at night
  3. Don’t obstruct the doorway. Not only is it bad FengShui (Italics), but it does not create a “warm, welcoming and inviting” impression
  4. Ensure lawns (if present) are well maintained, watered and mowed frequently. It is imperative that you keep the yard well maintained, even before the For Sale sign goes up. You never know who has been keeping their eye on your property
  5. Keep all windows clean and in excellent working order. Clean windows not only look good and let in more sunlight, but they give the impression of a well maintained property
  6. Keep pathways clear of rubbish and debris, as well as stain free
  7. Keep all garden beds weeded, watered, pruned and mulched
  8. Touch up any paintwork and tend to any repairs (broken roof tiles, rusty gutters, tatty flyscreens etc.)
  9. Try not to make the property look like a used car yard
  10. Hide rubbish bins out of site

It might seem like a lot of work for something you are trying to sell, but if you put in the effort and time, you will be rewarded on sale day. “Remember, you want to impress buyers with your beautiful house and reassure them that it is worth the top price that you are asking for it.” That little bit of effort in the beginning may mean that you sell the house quicker, and that your asking price won’t get whittled away by little things that you could have fixed yourself.

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Kelly Quinn

Kelly Quinn is an Interior Stylist and Creative Director at Aspect & Element. Her passion is for helping ordinary people create extraordinary homes by using simple but effective techniques.