We’ve all heard the old saying that you should never judge a book by its cover, but unfortunately, we all also know that first impressions count. Nowhere is this more true than the fast-paced world of real estate, where the practise of judging a home at first sight is so common it even has a name: curb appeal. There are a number of factors that will contribute to your home’s curb appeal – some fairly obvious, others considerably less so. As experts in the real estate market, Engel & Völkers have an in-depth understanding of those little touches that can persuade or put off potential buyers. We’ve compiled a list of suggestions to help you maximise your property’s curb appeal.
First, think about the area you live in and the kind of people who might be interested in a home there. Most people want to be able to walk up to the front door of a home and instantly envisage building a life there – and it’s much harder to do that if the current owner’s personality is still clearly visible. In order to attract multiple offers, it’s important to present your home as neutrally as possible. If you’ve painted your exterior wall a colour that’s out of touch with the rest of your street, now’s the time to consider a change. It may be an added expense initially, but it should pay off in terms of achieving your asking price.
Other excessively personal signifiers include pet paraphernalia and children’s toys, as these can put off animal-phobic or childless buyers. Pulling up at a property with a front lawn covered in play equipment makes it difficult for viewers without children to see themselves living there, and no-one wants to see your dog’s messes littered around the lawn. Make sure you’ve cleared away all distractions, leaving the grass as clean, fresh and inviting as possible.
Similarly, be wary about going overboard with flowers and garden ornaments. Ensure any flowerbeds you do have are carefully maintained: deadhead any wilting blooms and tidy up fallen petals. In terms of garden ornaments, it’s generally advisable to avoid them entirely, as these have a significant impact on curb appeal. If you’re particularly devoted to yours, try and store them elsewhere while you’re conducting viewings.
Giving the impression that there’s a place for everything in your home is likely to work in your favour, as buyers won’t be encouraged by a lack of storage space. If you have a garage, make sure you park your car inside, even if you wouldn’t usually for convenience’s sake. A car sitting on the curb or driveway outside a closed garage implies there isn’t room for it elsewhere, so if this isn’t the case, make that clear.
Finally, make sure you’ve checked your property’s exterior for signs of rust and rot, polishing up or removing anything you find. However minimal they may seem to you, these too can have a negative effect. If you’re likely to be admitting viewers in the evening or during the winter months, ensure your property is well lit and appears welcoming even on dark nights.
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