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Property expert Lucy Alexander on why creating a good first impression is so important

PUBLISHED: 11:38 31 March 2014 | UPDATED: 14:20 31 March 2014

Exterior of Gabriel Oak

Exterior of Gabriel Oak

Archant

A good first impression from the outside will help to make your property the most saleable one on the street, says property expert Lucy Alexander

Kerb Appeal

When preparing to sell a property, most people’s thoughts turn to what can be done internally to improve its market value but have you considered what impact your home’s exterior will have on its saleability? A reputable estate agent will advise that kerb appeal is an important factor when it comes to selling property and to ignore it would be at the seller’s peril. Here are my top tips on making your home the star of the street.

Step back

In truth, how often does the average homeowner step back and look at their property before the key goes in the door? The answer is rarely but that’s exactly what a prospective buyer will do. On a bright clear day, take time to stand outside and absorb the exterior, snapping a few photographs as you go. Write down your observations then make a list of what can be done to enhance and improve and the estimated costs - you may need to invest a little to impress a lot.

Window dressing

For many buyers, it really is ‘love at first sight’ and a good first impression will positively affect their feelings about the rest of the property. The window frames and sills, guttering, downpipes, brickwork and rendering are all exterior aspects which can let a property down if they are not regularly maintained.

If you have timber framed windows, check for flaking paint, rotting wood or general wear and tear and treat them to some TLC. For UPVC, a good clean is usually enough to improve the overall appearance. Remember too that these windows will provide the viewer with their first glimpse of what’s to come inside so make the glass sparkle, put fresh flowers on the ledge and keep the front room tidy.

Colour magic

If the front door is looking tired or sun bleached, pick a vibrant colour and treat it to a new coat of paint. Door furniture can be dramatically improved with metal polish and elbow grease but if the brass has seen better days, replace it with something new or reclaimed. Installing an attractive outside lamp by the front door will create a welcoming atmosphere if prospective buyers are viewing the property during the darker hours. Hanging baskets will add a splash of colour if you are selling in springtime.

Clear approach

Where large trees or foliage obscure the front of your property, cut back the branches and shape shrubs so they frame rather than swamp the exterior vista. Move rubbish bins to the side passage or create a camouflaged storage area, keep the grass cut and path or driveway free of weeds and leaves for a clearer approach. If the garden is lacking colour why not add a few potted plants to brighten things up – you can always take those with you when you move!

Good luck, and remember in the property-world first impressions really do count!

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Property of the month (pictured above)

Gabriel Oak, Worgret Gardens Wareham

This luxurious contemporary family home is set in a quiet no-through road, half a mile from the heart of Wareham. The beautifully designed five bedroom property features an impressive entrance hall with sweeping staircase and views of the garden beyond. The ground floor comprises a spacious dining room, a sitting room with patio doors to the rear garden and a well-crafted kitchen/breakfast room with fitted units, dark wood breakfast bar and Miele and Neff appliances including pyrolytic ovens, steam oven and combi-microwave. Adjacent to the kitchen is a large utility room with sinks, washing machine, tumble dryer and wine fridge. From the kitchen there is access to the orangery with woodburner, and French doors to the garden. Also on the ground floor is a study, shower room and WC and door access to a triple garage. Stairs from a back hall lead to a large room over the triple garage which could be used as a self-contained annexe or office as it also has a private side entrance.

The first floor, accessed via an impressive walnut staircase, features a master bedroom suite with dressing room and bathroom, two en-suite bedrooms and a walk-in linen cupboard. The second floor offers a further two double en-suite bedrooms. Outside the rear walled garden is predominantly south, south-east facing and has a large patio area which is directly accessible from the kitchen, orangery, hall and sitting room making it ideal for entertaining and al fresco dining. A private drive leads to parking for 4- 5 cars and a triple garage.

Price: £ 1,500,000

Agent: DOMVS 01305 757300 
(domvs.co.uk)

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