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Judging a book by its cover: 3 ways to boost the value of your home through exterior improvements.

The façade of a house leaves a lasting impression on buyers and has a major impact on resale value. What can you do to boost your curb appeal?

We’re told that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but in the case of house-hunting, the façade of a property is one of the first and most important impressions you can give to buyers about the home within.

Ultimately, the first impression that the outside of the home leaves can influence the demand and price of the home altogether, so it is a critical consideration before listing a property on the market.

Buyers are driven in equal parts by emotion and practicality, so not only should your house project the kind of quality and integrity that is worthy of their investment but also the kind of lifestyle they could live.

Belle Property and Hockingstuart CEO, Peter Hanscomb says “the exterior of a property captures the imagination and acts as an emotional driver as it is often the first thing people see at an inspection or look for when browsing online through property listings and Google Maps.”

Here are a few simple exterior house renovation tips and tricks sellers can use to boost their street appeal and sale price of their home.

House painting

The aesthetics of a home are the first thing that buyers are drawn to, so consider the external paint and finishes as a window into the home.

Imagine yourself walking to the front door of your home as a first-time visitor and make a mental checklist of details that could be sharpened. Peter advises that this could also benefit from the eyes of an agent who is experienced in property and can offer easy improvements that attract buyer interest.

“A lick of paint goes a long way to elevating and refreshing an exterior and the cost of repainting a house is typically returned through resale value. When looking to sell, pick a neutral colour with wide appeal to buyers,” says Peter.

If a fresh coat of paint for the whole home is not feasible, consider repainting the door and window frames or using a high-power hose to give a deep clean to the existing finish while washing away any dust or cobwebs.

Surface finishes are a high-value, relatively low-cost improvement across the entire house. Ensure that balconies or exposed wood that have been subject to the elements benefit from a stain or a sanding as any sign of aged wear and tear can detract from the buyer’s perception of the entire house integrity.

Garden design

Now more than ever, a house surrounded by lush garden provides a welcome escape for those stuck at home. Indeed, research by Husqvarna says that garden improvements can impact property prices by anywhere from 5-15%.

Without undertaking a full landscape renovation, there are a number of quick and efficient upgrades you can make to the garden all year round.

If your house is situated near noisy traffic, plants or water features can also help to dull noise levels from the surrounding area, creating a calm oasis for future buyers. A well-maintained garden is easy on the eye and suggests care and quality.

“If time allows, consider planting foliage that typically blooms in the season you are intending to sell. A colourful fresh flower or a lush tree adds colour, depth and excitement to the area and helps buyers to envision themselves enjoying a similarly immaculate garden,” Peter says.

Regularly mulching plants every few months prior to sale will get them looking their best. Similarly, pruning any overhanging branches or overgrown plants will create a sense of care while also bringing light and visibility into the area.

Peter suggests that in the week leading to inspections, ensure lawns are mowed and weeds are removed to amplify your garden improvement efforts and showcase your home without distraction.

House façade

Over time, we can become a little immune to the wear and tear of the house we call home.

Based on Peter’s experience, he notes, “common outdoor features including rusty gates, sagging washing lines that haven’t been closed in years, threadbare welcome mats and scratched front door paint are regularly overlooked when preparing the house for sale. These are easy fixes, which when forgotten, can do a major disservice to the overall value.”

The front door is truly a gateway to the rest of the house and can have a major impact on people’s perception of the home and resale value.

If retaining the existing door, make sure that the hinges are well-oiled, the paint is fresh, and the edges are sealed and there is no sign of wear. If purchasing a new door, make sure that its design is in keeping with the theme of the house, it is a durable and weather-proof material, and easy-to-open with functional handles and keys.

Another simple fix that Peter recommends is upgrading the house numbers and mailbox. While these $30 fixes may not add 30% to the value of the home, it sets a tone and positive impression that prospective buyers will carry through the remainder of their inspection.

For more advice on selling, read our blog taking the ‘you’ out of selling your property and top five tips to preparing for a spring sale, or speak with one of our expert Belle Property agents in your area.