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Selling your Property? Kerb Appeal is Vital

A few years ago I visited Paris, France for a few days. One of the many memories I have of that trip is the sight, early each morning, of the Parisian shopkeepers washing down the small section of pavement in front of their shop, something I had simply never seen in the UK. These business people knew the importance of kerb appeal.

What is kerb appeal? It’s about the first impression that your property or business gives to anyone who walks past. The owners of the boulangeries, patisseries and boucheries of Paris new that they needed to give the impression of cleanliness and hygiene to their potential customers. If you are selling your property you need to give the same good impression to your potential buyers.

A good estate agent will offer advice on making your house as saleable as possible. My experience is that most don’t. So what can you do to give your home kerb appeal when you are selling it?

You need to think about kerb appeal even before your house is photographed for advertising. This applies whether you are selling privately or using an estate agent. That main external picture of your house is the most important one. Many people decide from that photograph whether they will even view a property. If your house looks ugly, run down and uncared for in the photograph, the only people who view will be property developers who want to offer you well below the asking price.

If the front of your house is in very poor condition you need to paint it. Tidy the garden and add bedding plants if it looks a bit empty. Mow the lawn if you have one. Cut back overgrown hedges and trees to make your house accessible. If your front is paved make sure there are no weeds growing through.

If you have no garden you will need to add something to pretty the house up. Hanging baskets are always a simple solution, so even if you hate them, hopefully you won’t have to live with them for too long. Do keep them well watered. Add plants in tubs too. If you are worried about theft get big, heavy, but cheap terracotta tubs and then add lots of bricks and stones in the bottom – it’s good for soil drainage too.

Next check that dustbins are out of sight, that there are no vehicles obscuring the front of your house and no junk mail sticking out of your mailbox.

Ensuring that the approach to your house is pleasant is the final step. You don’t have to hire a team to clean up the whole neighbourhood, but before you show your house make sure the pavement in front of yours and a couple of houses either side is clean. That means removing litter and if you have to, cleaning up dog mess and vomit. It could be enough to make a viewer decide they don’t want to live in your street before they have even had a chance to see your beautiful interior décor.

Many home buyers will drive past a property before even deciding whether to view it, while some arrange a viewing then drive straight past if they don’t like the look of the area. Those that finally get to view your home will decide in the first couple of minutes whether or not they will make an offer. Learning the lesson of those French entrepreneurs can make the difference between a quick sale at a good price and a property that languishes on the property market for months.

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