1 Mar

Front of house

If you have decided to sell your home this year you might be busy wondering what improvements you can make to the interior to make it more appealing. However this could be your first mistake, writes TV presenter and property expert Lucy Alexander.

Any reputable estate agent will advise you that making sure your property has kerb appeal is an absolute priority when selling your property. So how can you make your home the star of the street? Here are my top tips.

1.Get street-wise

Take a long hard look at your property. If it’s a clear sunny day use the opportunity to take some photographs. Then write down your observations and make a list of what improvements can be made and what it is likely to cost. You don’t need to spend a lot to make a big difference.

2. Improve the view

When it comes to property the feeling that a buyer gets on first sight is one that they will carry through during the rest of the viewing. So it is so important to make sure that feeling is a positive one. Take a look at he window frames and sills, guttering, the downpipes, brickwork and rendering. Are they clean and well-maintained? If not, you need to make sure you tackle this before anything else. For example, if you have timber framed windows, check for flaking paint, rotting wood or general wear and tear.  If you have mainly UPVC, a good clean will usually bring them up to scratch. Get the local window cleaner round to give your windows a good going over. Put fresh flowers on the window sills to make the property look at if you care about the
little details.

3. Dealing with doors 

Now lets take a look at the front door. Is the paint flaking or sun-bleached? If so treat it to a lick of paint in a nice bright colour to make it stand out from your neighbours. Door furniture can be dramatically improved with metal polish and elbow grease, but if it is past its best, replace it with something new or reclaimed. Don’t forget about lighting. Buyers won’t always be able to visit in the daytime. Put an attractive lamp by the front door to create a welcoming atmosphere. Add a splash of colour with potted plants, topiary or hanging baskets if you are selling in the spring and summer months.

4. Make way

There’s no point having a lovely looking house if you can’t see it. Make sure that there are no large trees and shrubs that completely obscure the view of the front of your property. They should be there to frame the house – not cover it. Keep rubbish bins out of
sight or if there is no room, create a camouflaged storage area. Make sure the grass is cut and the drive swept and weed free and access isn’t any way restricted. Potted plants add instant colour and the great thing is you can take them with you
to your next home!

Lucy Alexander presents Homes Under the Hammer, BBC One 10am daily. Follow her on twitter @LucyAlexanderTV