Dwell Well > First Impressions Count: How To Boost Your Home's Kerb Appeal

First Impressions Count: How To Boost Your Home's Kerb Appeal

If you're looking to sell your home soon, one of the most important things you can do is focus on your property's kerb appeal. Kerb appeal refers to the first impression your home makes on potential buyers when they view it from the street. Having an attractive, welcoming exterior that makes a great first impression can entice more buyers to come take a look inside and potentially make an offer.

Poor kerb appeal, on the other hand, can turn buyers away before they’ve even reached the front door. What’s more, a negative first impression could decrease your home's sale price and increase its time on the market – which nobody wants. An unkempt exterior may lead buyers to make lowball offers or pass altogether. The longer it takes to sell, the more expensive for you, and the less you’re able to make your next property move.

Your home will be competing with others for sale in the neighbourhood, and you want it to stand out for all the right reasons, so it will sell quickly and for the best possible price. So, before you put that ‘For Sale’ sign up, let's talk about some simple things you can do to make a noticeable difference. With a bit of a clean-up, a few improvements and some house and garden TLC, you can maximise your home's visual appeal and give your sale a boost right from the start. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression on home buyers!

Here are 12 practical tips to help boost your kerb appeal:

1.    Spruce Up Your Front Door

An upgraded front door creates an inviting entrance to your home. Consider painting or staining the door in a colour that gives a fresh and welcoming impression that potential buyers will love. Replace old hardware like doorknobs and address numbers with more stylish options. Ensure that any metal fixtures are cleaned and freshly painted, and invest in a new welcome mat as an affordable way to help the entrance to your home pop.

2.    Upgrade Your Garage Door

Like the front door, the garage door creates that all-important first impression. If it looks worn and dated, think about investing in a new door that will last for years. Today's garage doors come in a wide range of attractive styles and finishes that you can see here. If your budget is an issue, you could paint or stain the garage door to make it look fresh and new. Replace broken window panes and make sure the door operates smoothly when opening.

3.    Clean Windows, Paths and Driveways

Dirty windows can  make everything look drab and dated. When window frames and glass shine, your home looks well-maintained, so get the outside cleaned. The same goes for other exterior surfaces such as paths and driveways. Repair any cracks or damaged areas of flooring, and power wash all areas. Also check for oil drips and stains on driveways and garage floors and use a degreaser to get them lifted, then thoroughly rinse the area.

4.    Refresh Exterior Paintwork

A fresh coat of paint can instantly boost your home's kerb appeal. If the existing paint is faded or peeling, plan a full prep and repaint of the front fascia, woodwork and any exterior features. Neutral wall colours ideally have the widest appeal. White or black window frames pop against coloured walls. Use high-quality exterior paints that resist weathering so your home continues to look freshly painted for longer.

5.    Clean Out Your Gutters

Clogged, overflowing gutters are an eyesore. They also signal potential drainage issues to buyers. Before listing your home for sale, thoroughly clean out built-up leaves, dirt and debris from your gutters, then rinse thoroughly with a garden hose. Test that downpipes and extensions are directing water away from the home's foundation too. Properly functioning gutters keep rainwater flowing away nicely.

6.    Add Exterior Lighting

Outdoor lighting enhances kerb appeal and also improves safety. Think about illuminating paths and entry areas with external light fixtures or spotlights, and add uplighting in trees or on architectural accents to create visual interest after dark. Make sure that all exterior bulbs are in full working order and offer you the appropriate brightness. Consider timers or lights with motion detectors for added home security.

7.    Update Your House Numbers

Your home’s address number should be clearly visible from the street. Old, faded numbers are hard for buyers to spot. Install new house numbers in a bold, eye-catching font that can be seen from a distance, using numbers in a contrasting colour from your home's exterior colour, so they stand out. Place them near the front door, either on the facade itself or on the garden gate or wall. Reflective numbers are easier to see at night.

8.    Hide Rubbish Bins and Recycling Containers

Bins and recycling boxes can be an eyesore and detract from your home’s kerb appeal. Make sure you relocate them out of sight from the street, such as behind fences or within garage areas. You can also screen bins off with the help of decorative walls, trellis panels or landscaping. Make sure lids seal tightly to keep pests out and there are no nasty smells! Only take bins to the kerb on designated collection days to minimise their impact.

9.    Mow and Edge the Lawn Neatly

A freshly cut, healthy lawn makes a great impression on homebuyers, so if you have a front lawn, mow it regularly on a low setting for a manicured appearance. Use edging tools to define a clean border between lawn and flowerbeds and reseed any bald spots for a lush, full lawn free of weeds and yellow patches. Consider fertilising any lawned areas a few weeks before listing your home. A vibrant green lawn really enhances kerb appeal.

10. Plant Flowers and Mulch Beds

colourful front garden is a great way to signal a well-cared for home. Choose flower varieties that bloom from spring through to autumn in white, yellow, purple, red or pinks – these colours are said to appeal most to property buyers. Add evergreen shrubs for year round interest and make sure all flower beds are neatly defined with fresh mulch or edging stones

11. Trim Overgrown Trees and Bushes

It's easy to let trees, shrubs, and bushes get overgrown for the sake of privacy, but all that untamed foliage does nothing for your property’s kerb appeal. Trim back tree branches and bushy shrubs that are blocking views of the home. Create a symmetrical, maintained look. Overgrown landscaping makes everything look unkempt, so pay special attention to clearing away any branches and growth that is encroaching on the home itself. You want to show off your home's architecture, not hide it.

12.  Add Decorative Accents 

Finally, don’t forget the finishing touches to create an inviting look. Hanging baskets and potted plants, benches or seating areas, decorative lighting, garden art or water features – it can all help to add visual interest to the front of your property. Just make sure decorations don't look cluttered. Neatly arranged accents show buyers your attention to detail while making the home exterior more interesting.

With a welcoming kerbside presence, your home is poised to make a stellar first impression on buyers. Taking time to maximise its aesthetic appeal can translate to a quicker sale, more viewing traffic, and potentially a higher selling price. Don't underestimate the power of kerb appeal in highlighting your property’s finest assets right from the start.

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