The exterior view of a property can either attract or deter potential buyers

Kerb appeal is an American term, but appropriate to residential property wherever you are. When selling a home, one of the most overlooked opportunities for homeowners to increase their chances of a good sale, is how attractive a property is from the exterior. The exterior is the very first thing buyers see, whether driving past on a show day or browsing online listings at home.

Owners live and work inside their properties, so they spend money inside sprucing it up and making it comfortable for their everyday use. As they don’t entertain guests, or work on the sidewalk, they don’t pay much attention to this aspect. Don’t get too caught up in the details and forget to see the bigger picture, like the outside of the home.

A buyer forms an impression of a home before they go inside. If the first impression is positive, they are less critical. If the Kerb Appeal is poor, potential buyers are more likely to find fault. It can be a deal breaker. Potential buyers could move on without entering the property. An unmaintained exterior; unpainted walls, broken gutters, unkept driveway and overgrown garden, translate to an equally badly maintained interior. Also, they suspect there are other unseen defects.

Great Kerb Appeal immediately increases the perceived value of a property. Maintained, weed-free gardens, and freshly painted exterior with attractive detail, can make the difference.

The Kerb Appeal extends to the suburb. If streets are clean, there is an abundance of trees, gardens and attractive facades it boosts property prices. This can be clearly seen in upmarket neighbourhoods which are generally clean and well maintained. It’s therefore important to get involved in the local community and neighbourhood watches, which can also have a positive effect in deterring criminals. The number of offers and the selling price can be improved by enhancing the exterior of your property.

The view of most South African Homes from the street is generally a garage and a boundary wall. The house is not the façade. Security is also an important aspect of Kerb Appeal. Buyers recognise and appreciate a home that is secure, where they can see their children playing safely in the garden. However, high walls, gates and electrified fences can detract from the appeal.

Here are some tips to boost your home’s kerb appeal:

  • Revamp the front door.
  • Transform your home’s exterior.
  • Maintain windows and paintwork.
  • Tidy up your pathway.
  • Manicure the front garden.
  • Hide the bins.
  • Fix broken gutters, gates and fences.

An attractive exterior, results in more offers, a stronger position to negotiate and a quicker sale. The sale price could even exceed the asking price. Painting the exterior and cleaning up the garden aren’t usually massive investments, but the returns can be exponential. Renovating the kitchen is more expensive and the new owner will probably want to make changes anyway.

To get the maximum return, stand back and look at your home as others see it, from the street.