Believe it or not it takes potential buyers no more than eight seconds to decide whether or not they like a property. So often, the property’s outer appearance is the deal maker (or breaker!) in any sale.

Properties with great kerb appeal can really lift your spirits.  Although improving kerb appeal is unlikely to add much value it can greatly improve the viewer’s first impression of your property, putting them in a positive state of mind before you even get them through the front door.

Buyers look for evidence that the house has been well maintained. Any sign that they will need to spend time or money may put them off.

Great results can be achieved on any budget, large or small, if you are prepared to put in the work. So, while the sun’s shining pull up your sleeves, put on your overalls and follow our suggestions:

1. Paint your front door – This may sound obvious but is so often overlooked. If you’re brave bold, strong colours such as cerise are popular at the moment, but if this really isn’t for you, you can’t go wrong black or for a twist try a matt dark plum for its classic appeal. For a real contemporary look, muted washed out pastel tones are becoming a firm favourite, particularly in seaside locations. Invest in good quality brushes which won’t lose their bristles and take your time to do a good job. Badly painted front doors with drips running down them or dirty looking houses are a real no-no. If all else fails – get in a professional in to do the job for you!

2. Clean your windows – Clean these regularly to avoid them losing their sparkle and to stop them looking neglected. Inspect your frames. Rotten frames are unacceptable and will understandably start to worry the potential buyer about the costs involved for replacement. Consider a window basket (where feasible!) with colour co-coordinated flowers for a cheerful welcoming feature. Ensure any internal window dressings match. Finally, if your budget allows, good quality shutters may be worth the investment as they do give a certain timeless elegance and there are reports that in some cases they can increase value.

3. Lighting – Ideally, placed symmetrically either side of the front door or a single lantern to the entrance. Avoid anything too ornate or big as this can look overly brash. Do consider cleverly positioned lighting to highlight favourite features in your front garden. It is said that good garden lighting should be “unseen”. Hide lights in trees or conceal them in the garden path or drive.

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Old English house with brick wall and yellow door