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First Impressions Count - Kirb Appeal

If you are thinking of selling your Bulgarian home or are looking for ways to neaten up your neighbourhood, you need to add some "kerb appeal." Kerb appeal is the first impression your property gives to people who drive by. If you want to sell your property quickly, it should be the first thing that you attend to, in order to ensure that potential buyers stop and want to take a further look rather than drive on by.

The best way to check whether your house has it or not, is to drive around your area then pull up opposite your own house. If possible invite a critical friend along to give an honest opinion.

Spend just two minutes looking your home it over as though you were a potential buyer. If you are not convinced that your house stands out, then follow our step-by-step guide to improve the look of your home.

Going beyond your garden gate!

The land immediately to the front and side of your house may not even belong to you - in most instances it is the property of the local municipality and many people take the attitude that it is the municipal that should look after it. However correct this opinion is, it is not going to sell your property and you need to take responsibility for improving the look of the area immediate to your home. In Bulgaria, this area is more than likely to be strewn with litter, stones and weeds.

If you have had a lot of renovation work done you may find that the site before your gate is littered with unwanted building materials.

Make sure this often-neglected area is clean and tidy, free it from rubbish and use a strong weed killer to attack the unwanted vegetation. Render or repaint the exterior wall and then add a little something to make it stand out from the rest like a few colourful annuals planted against your wall. You may be surprised at how many of your neighbours follow your lead!

First impressions count

Once you have taken care of the area before your house, you need to tackle your own front garden. Ensure that the front gate opens and closes properly, oil the hinges and re-hang it if required, or re-varnish or re-paint it to match the colour of the front door if it looks shabby. Any potential buyers will be entering via your front gate - they need to be able to open and close it with ease - if they can't it may be time to invest in a new one.

Make sure that there is a neat "For Sale" sign clearly visible in a multitude of languages. It should be securely anchored and should not lean!

Garden fencing should be in good condition. Replace any rotten timber and re-apply a fresh coat of protective varnish or paint to the whole fence to make it look cared for.

Take care that the front path and drive is kept free of obstructions like children's toys and weeds particularly moss. Once you have cleaned this area up use a pressure-washer to clean all of the drive and path area.

Be sure to tidy and replace any tatty garden furniture and don't forget to weed the front garden. Check that any paved or terraced areas are well maintained and that no tiles are in need of replacement.

make your garden colourfulEnsure that the front lawn is mowed regularly and is weed and patch free. A neatly edged lawn helps to make the front of the property look tidy and cared for. Trim back overgrown hedges and shrubs, particularly if they block out the view of your house from the kerb.

To make light work of border areas, plant them with evergreens and cover the area with weed suppressing membrane then cover with tree bark or gravel.

Make your garden colourful and interesting by adding a few strategically placed plant pot displays, which co-ordinate with the colour of your rendering.

Many real estate experts suggest that you should either park your car in the garage or away from your house when you have a viewing rather than in the drive because the potential buyer wants to be able to envisage his own car parked there.

The Garage

Make sure that the garage door is clean and in good working order. If the paint is peeling, rub down and re-paint in the same colour as your front door. Tidy the interior freeing it from clutter as this can make it feel smaller than it actually is. A lick of white paint on the interior brickwork will make it appear larger.

If the outside looks good...

Ensure that the exterior of your building looks clean and well maintained. This means checking that that any exposed wood is in mint condition and that the front door and window frames are newly painted.

Make sure that your guttering is in good condition and free from debris and confirm that your roof is devoid of any cracked, or missing tiles.

Examine the ridge tiles, the chimney stack and the mortar between any brickwork and re-point and repair, if necessary.

The inside should!

As potential buyers approach the entrance to your house you need to ensure that these areas are spotlessly clean. Window panes should gleam and allow in the maximum amount of light possible, so trim back any intrusive foliage.

Any door furniture like the door handle, door knocker or number-plate should be cleaned and polished if tarnished and the house number should be clearly visible from the kerb.
Re-paint the front door in a neutral colour if the paintwork is faded or peeling. Repaint the front step and porch to match. If you have a porch, remove any items cluttering up the inside such as umbrellas, shoes, coats and dying plants.

If you have a pool, make sure it is sparkling crystal clean!

Kerb appeal - It's all in the mind

It is best to create your kerb appeal before putting your house on the market. Many potential buyers miss out on some good property because they didn't like the look of it on the estate agents details.

Having done all of the above, your house is guaranteed to attract prospective purchasers to your front door. Kerb appeal will help to sell your house, and for the best possible price. It is not necessarily expensive or time consuming, however, the reason why it matters, is the psychological effect it has on the potential purchaser. A property presented well shows you care. If you don't care about the entrance to your property then the chances are that you don't care about the property itself.

Remember- first impressions count.