Autumn kerb appeal

Published: 31/10/2023

Autumn is the season of magic and mayhem for selling your home.

On the one hand, the light is lovely at this time of year, and when the sun hits the leaves on the trees, they take on a golden glow that gives your photos a shimmering lift.

But on the other, the weather can play havoc with your front-of-house presentation as the prospect of overflowing gutters, littered lawns and withering plant life becomes real.

Whether online or in person, the outside of your home is the first thing most buyers will see. It can generate enquiries, set the tone for viewings, and give someone enough confidence to offer.

With that in mind, our blog this week is all about brushing up every little corner of your autumn kerb appeal, including:

  • Why kerb appeal matters so much.
  • Paths, plants and parking.
  • Walls, windows and woodwork.
  • Roofs and rainwater goods.
  • Focussing on your front door.
So, if you’re planning to sell your home this autumn, you’re in exactly the right place to get your kerb appeal on point as a magnet for the best buyers around.

First impressions are formed within seconds, and one study found that 93% of buyers pass judgment on a property from its outside appearance, so your kerb appeal matters in spades.

  • The front of your home comes in for plenty of scrutiny from buyers (arguably more than any of the rooms) as they look for signs of neglect and possible problems and expense.
  • Buyers visit in different ways, including initial drive-bys, arriving for viewings, chatting outside when they leave, returning for a second look, and checking the location at another time of day.
  • Despite the saying telling us not to, people do judge a book by its cover, so you may as well encourage it by making your home look irresistible.
In short, think about kerb appeal as the poster for a movie, the artwork for an album, or the packaging for a product: it's the visual gateway to your home that can turn a passing glance into serious interest.

With shorter days, it's easy to miss autumn’s gradual toll on your front garden, particularly when you're rushing to work or doing the school run. But buyers will notice, so it pays to keep the following in check.

  • If you have a driveway, give it a jet wash to take years off its age. And if it looks a bit bare and hard, place some narrow planters along the edges to soften them with nature.
  • Remove any moss on stone or brick pathways to make them less slippery and more visible, and trim back any straggly grass or foliage.
  • Rake or sweep up leaves and debris every week, dead-head brown flowers and leaves, and inject a dash of autumnal colour with some seasonal blooms.
If you’re too busy or simply not up for the task, it’s worth employing someone to keep everything tidy. And for a picture-perfect welcome at any time of year, put those wheelie bins away as well.

Cracks can look beautiful in pottery and oil paintings, but not so much on the outside of your home, so pop outside for a quick maintenance audit to see if anything needs some attention.

  • Fill and make good any cracks and holes in brickwork or render, wash off salt marks, and paint over historic weather stains.
  • Check for any chipped, blistering or ageing paintwork and give it a good sanding down, followed by a fresh coat of weatherproof paint.
  • Clean your windows thoroughly, including the glass and frames, and consider placing lamps or candles on the inside ledges to dress them with a warming glow.
Buyers often associate exterior repairs with great expense and hidden problems, but many jobs are easy to fix, and the cost is more than covered by selling faster at a higher price.

With autumn comes rain, and a watertight home is priority number one. So while there’s still time to get ahead of the weather, use this checklist to spot and solve possible problems before they turn into drama.

  • Look up at the roof for any slipped tiles or slates, and to see if any flashings have come loose or need repairing.
  • Check the gutters to see if any have become blocked with fallen leaves, nests or blown-around litter, and whether any sections have come loose.
  • Do the same for downpipes and ensure their outlets are clear along with the drain covers they pour into.
Perhaps it goes without saying that for any leaks in the past, you should make good any stains or damage to remove the thought in the minds of buyers of expensive surprises ahead.

Just like a new pair of shoes can add the finishing touch to an outfit, your front door can be the icing on the cake of your kerb appeal as a friendly invitation for your viewers to step inside.

  • Exterior paint comes in all sorts of awesome colours, from a smouldering charcoal grey to a joyous sunshine yellow, or classic British tones like poppy red and racing green.
  • If your front door is beyond saving with paint and needs replacing, think about context and stick with the original character to maintain the most authentic look.
  • Clean and polish any metal door furniture like letterboxes, locks, knockers and knobs to complement all your efforts.
Finally, never underestimate the power of a glowing porch lamp with a soft-tone bulb. Not only for a warm and wonderful welcome, but also for viewers to find their way in the darker evenings.

How does your home’s kerb appeal compare?
If you’re looking to sell your Tring or Berkhamsted property this autumn, we’d love to help you maximise its value and wow everyone who comes to view from the moment they arrive outside.

Call us to help make your move a success.

Berkhamsted office: 01442 863000
Tring office: 01442 820420