REIVHAVE you ever gone to view a house for sale and fallen for it, even before you see the whole home?
That’s not uncommon and illustrates the importance of first impressions.
That is why, when preparing to sell a home, it is crucial to spend time, effort and, if the budget allows, money on making the exterior as attractive and inviting as possible.
It is known as kerb appeal and it is even more vital than spending time and effort improving and styling the interior for sale.
After all, no one is going to appreciate your fabulous interior if they don’t go in the front door.
Take a tip from sales and buyers’ agents, and walk down the street to where those looking to buy your home would park.
Take a cold hard look at your house, from the front and the back.
Imagine you have spotted this house online and are checking it out before contacting the agent – or not.
Also do this at night, as many buyers will, with the outside lighting turned on. What looks good and what doesn’t?
List the items needing work: fence repairs and/or painting, gate, path, garden, window frames, paintwork, brickwork, front door?
Work out which you can feasibly improve with your available budget and time.
If you’re unsure, ask your agent, the expert on what will add value to your home and what may be overcapitalising or unnecessary effort.
The aim: a picture perfect exterior, with arriving buyers saying, “This looks nice”.
Think hanging baskets and flower boxes, neatly trimmed hedges, weeded gardens and a show of seasonal flowers.
Add instant colour before the photographs are taken.
Remember, most buyers will form their initial judgement based on the online photographs.
If your house does not match up to others in the area, they will not view it.
Take down net curtains so your home looks welcoming and buyers can see inside.
Leave blinds or curtains open at dusk and consider some low-cost solar outdoor lighting. Have paths and tiles jet cleaned.
Rendering or re-cladding can give an ugly facade an instant lift, and a coat of paint does wonders for weatherboards.
Remember to hide the rubbish and recycling bins. And don’t forget the letterbox – a new one or a coat of paint can add to the fresh look of your home.
As with the interior, buyers must be able to envisage themselves living here. So don’t make it too personal – lose some of the brightly coloured garden ornaments, for example. Many busy buyers favour low maintenance.
Enzo Raimondo is the CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.