First impressions count

They say you should never judge a book by its cover. This is certainly true when it comes to property – or is it?

Research published this week shows it takes just one minute of seeing the outside of a property for 60% of those viewing it to make up their minds.

A survey of 2,001 people across the UK by landscaping brand Marshalls found 68% would be put off wanting to buy or live in a property if there were big design flaws with the front garden.

Kerb appeal is thus an important factor if vendors want to impress their buyers and can be a make or break even before they step inside.

Topping the bill of features that appeal to prospective buyers and play a key role in their decision making, are those supporting biodiversity.

Planters, hanging baskets and real grass areas (21%), as well as trees (20%), wildlife gardens (17%), raised bedding areas (15%) and bird baths (14%) were the top responses.

These were followed by new driveways (14%), bin storage (13%) and privacy screening (12%).

Almost half of those who responded (43%) said they care more about the appearance of the front of their home now – including their garden, driveway and features like the front door – than two years ago. 

People’s top reasons for caring about their home’s kerb appeal include improving its appearance from the outside (44%) and improving its value (29%).

One in 10 said they wanted to keep up with their neighbours, while 20% said they took inspiration from family and friends and 15% from social media, magazines and TV shows on how to style the outside of their homes.

Sheldon Bosley Knight’s director of residential sales and marketing, James Morton said: “Kerb appeal is one of the most important factors in any prospective buyer’s decision when viewing a property.

“Get it right and the viewing gets off to a good start, but get it wrong and it’s often game over as some buyers won’t venture inside.

“Don’t forget, buyers want to see how they could live in a property and it starts from their first impressions. If they feel you’ve neglected the front they will suspect the inside will follow suit.

“Our tips would include cleaning the front door, sweeping the path, mending the gate if there is one, washing and cleaning the windows, tidying up the front garden or yard and keeping the bins out of sight if possible.

“As ever our teams are always on hand to offer advice on how to best present your home. Call or pop in to one of our offices and see how we can get you moving.”