As Property Stylists we are the first to preach the value in home staging. Every home we visit has taken the step to style their property. That’s the best bang for buck improvement when selling your home, however, furniture and accessories alone may not be the only step in setting your property for a successful sale. The one area that we see most often overlooked by clients is their property frontage. Let’s explore why the appearance of your property frontage is so important and what can be done to improve it.
First Impressions Count
The view from the street is the first impression made on potential buyers. It is vital that this first impression makes an impact with the buyer. Many potentials buyers will drive or walk past the property before deciding whether or not to make the effort to attend an open inspection. A well-presented front will compel buyers to take the next step, a step through your front door.
More often than not, auctions in Melbourne attract significant crowds and the only area to fit them is in the street. What will potential bidders be looking at when deciding to make each incremental bid? The front of your property. Your auctioneer only has words and gesturing at their disposal to help sell your property. The rest is up to your front yard/fence/veranda as they become the backdrop to the auctioneer.
What can you do to improve it?
It all depends on your property’s current appearance. Step back and take 5 minutes to have a critical look from your street. Or ask your Real Estate Agent. They would be more than happy to provide their thoughts when selling your home. The areas for improvement should be obvious if the front yard has been neglected for the last few years. However, if not, another simple method is to take a photo of your property from the street and compare this to photos of listings in your area.
What can you do to improve your frontage? It may be as simple as pruning and weeding, a fresh coat of paint on the fence or a new mailbox. Here is a list of specific areas to review:
Review these when selling your home
- Façade – Does it need a fresh coat of paint? Is the colour still in style? At a minimum brush down and dust cobwebs.
- Lighting – During open homes, all the lights in a property are usually switched on to add to the ‘light-filled’ feel and create a more inviting space. Don’t neglect the exterior light! If the exterior light is damaged, outdated or looking worn consider replacing and modernising. Ensure there is a working globe inside. Consider putting a timer on so that the front of the house is lit at night for potential buyers driving by.
- Windows – Are they clean? Are security screens clean? Don’t forget to check the condition of the window frames.
- The front door – Is the paint in good condition? Is the screen door clean? Is there a handle or knocker that could be polished?
- House number – Is the number still visible and in good condition? Consider replacing old rusty or dis-coloured numbers with new shiny ones. These are available from any good hardware store like Bunnings or Mitre 10.
- Garden – Does it need weeding? Is it overgrown and blocking an otherwise good view of the house? Tidy any unruly plants and add mulch to cover bare ground. Add some potted colour and greenery that complements the colour of the façade if the garden is looking tired. Another way to add greenery is to place a large pot, or two, with a small tree such as a young Magnolia on the front deck or porch. Instant foliage can add instant appeal.
- Fence – Is it structurally sound? Consider replacing any rotten or broken palings and re-painting if required.
- Roof – Consider replacing broken tiles and rusty iron. If it has been dry and dusty, give the roof a quick wash down. Are the gutters straight? Are they visibly full of leaves? Give them a good clean out.
- Lastly, be sure to give a good sweep of leaves and weeding along paving and footpaths prior to inspections.
The property frontage is a key area for potential improvement when selling your home. It will make the first impression. A good first impression will bring more potential buyers to your open inspections and attract more bids in the dying stages of an auction. Your property may require a little or a lot of work. Whilst you may not have the time and money to address every potential improvement, prioritise and tackle what you can. It will be well worth it.
Emma Tobin, Director and Lead Stylist at The Urbane Property Stylist, holds a B.D. (Interior Design). With over ten years of experience in Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Property Styling, Emma has earned a reputation for her attention to detail and ability to deliver.