How to get your home sell fast without spending a fortune on big changes 

With the Stamp Duty holiday ending today, how can sellers continue to make their homes appealing to buyers and secure a fast sale?

  • 93% of house-hunters judge a property before they’ve even stepped through the front door
  • 68% say they could be persuaded to offer more money for a home with ‘kerb appeal’
  • One in ten (10%) said that a nice clean car on the driveway would give them a more positive first impression of a property and even add to its potential value
  • Property expert comments on how much additional value ‘kerb appeal’ can achieve
  • More information can be found here

sold property

With the Stamp Duty holiday drawing to a close today, and the property market expected to finally slow down, many homeowners across the UK who are looking to sell up will be wondering how they can attract more potential buyers without having to spend too many of those all-important pennies on big changes.

We all know that first impressions count, and it turns out that when viewing a potential new home, the smallest things can make or break a buyer’s decision.

New research from established lender Evolution Money has revealed what minor changes sellers can make the outside of their home to give prospective buyers a strong first impression before even stepping foot inside – and some of them are extremely wallet-friendly too!

A massive 93% of house-hunters surveyed said they pass judgement on a property by how it looks from the outside, and that ‘kerb appeal’ really does matter.

The research highlighted a number of things that have a negative effect on potential buyers’ first impressions, such as an unmown lawn (26%), visible rubbish bins (21%), a very brightly coloured front door (19%), a lack of outdoor lighting (9%), and washing hanging outside (7%).

A rusty front gate (19%) and a messy gravelled driveway/path (19%) were also identified as key things to sort out before encouraging new house-hunters to visit.

Easy-to-fix external property features that can drive away potential buyers:

  • A shabby front door – 42%
  • Dirty windows – 28%
  • An unmown lawn – 26%
  • A dirty wall colour i.e., yellowing – 24%
  • Weeds in the garden – 23%
  • Wonky/wobbly flagstones – 21%
  • Visible rubbish bins – 21%
  • Messy gravelled driveway/path – 19%
  • A rusty front gate – 19%
  • A very brightly painted front door i.e., bright pink, bright yellow etc. – 19%
  • Dirty flagstone path/driveway – 14%
  • Dirty car in the driveway – 10%
  • Lack of outdoor lighting – 9%
  • Washing hanging outside – 7%
  • Unpolished front door handle – 7%
  • A security camera – 6%
  • Visible children’s toys (such as a swing) – 6%
  • A ‘no cold callers’ sticker – 6%

However, it’s important to remember that first impressions can also work favourably, as some other external features can make potential buyers fall in love with a property before they’ve even passed over the threshold.

Two-thirds (68%) of house-hunters said they could be persuaded to offer more money for a home with ‘kerb appeal’, with three in ten (30%) prepared to offer an extra £5,000 or more.

So, what lower-cost changes should sellers do to make buyers desperate to put in a generous offer? A freshly painted front door appeals to one in five (19%), alongside a neat lawn (19%), and freshly jet washed walls (13%) or paths (12%).

One in ten (10%) even said that a nice clean car on the driveway or a rubbish bin storage unit (13%) would give them a more positive first impression of a property and even increase its potential value.

Easy-to-fix external property features that can positively affect potential buyers and even increase the offers you receive:

  • A freshly painted front door with decorative knocker – 19%
  • A freshy mown garden with no weeds – 19%
  • A security camera – 18%
  • Lighting around the front door – 14%
  • Freshly jet washed/sand blasted exterior walls – 13%
  • A rubbish bin storage unit – 13%
  • A jet washed driveway/path – 12%
  • A freshly combed gravel driveway – 12%
  • A clean car in the driveway – 10%
  • A bespoke house number next to the front door – 8%
  • A house name – 6%

Hannah Dearden, Operations Marketing Executive from Evolution Money said: “Even if we’re not looking to buy a property, we all know that we form our opinions of any home as soon as we see it. 

Our research shows that for homeowners looking to sell, making small home improvements will help them achieve the best price. However, following the recent pandemic, it may not always be easy or straightforward to find the money to do the work and so a second charge mortgage can be a quick and cost-effective option.” 

Property experts agree with the findings, suggesting that simple changes can seriously boost the chances of selling a property at a higher value.

Craig Bray, Divisional Director at Yopa estate agents said: “Would-be sellers can really boost the value of their property with some simple changes.  At Yopa we estimate that simply improving your property’s ‘kerb appeal’ with a freshly painted exterior, clean windows, clear gutters, a tidy driveway and a freshly painted front door can boost the value of a property by up to 10%.

“First impressions count, and the outside of your property is the first thing potential buyers will see, both when browsing online and in person at a viewing.” 

For more information on Evolution Money’s research around ‘kerb appeal’ please visit: