Thursday 26 January 2012

Kerb Appeal


Whether the market goes up, down, or remains static that is outside any one persons control. Therefore a vendor looking to maximise his price must look at what can be done internally and externally to make his property more appealing.

A Canadian couple I once acted for were our clipping, sweeping and washing windows at the front of their house when I came to take photos. On asking the reason for such industry he replied “Harry this house must have kerb appeal,” advice I have often passed on to vendors over the years. A good first impression is most important.
Internally all the usual apply – toys cleared away, clean and neat presentation, beds made, animals tied up or in kennels.

The other area I want to highlight (which only applies to estate dwellers) is the condition of the estate itself.

To get an estate looking well it requires collective responsibility, which also involves a small investment. It astonishes me to hear that so many residents associations have difficulty in obtaining payments of just €100 or €150 from households considering the value that such a contribution makes to their property. It is easy to adopt a “me fein” attitude – I am not selling so why should I bother but at some stage that attitude is likely to bite back.

A purchaser viewing property first visits the estate and if there isn’t a “kerb appeal” to the estate itself then often they may not wish to pay an internal visit to the house chosen. A poorly kept estate with graffiti, broken trees, un-mowed greens gives a really bad impression and irregardless of how any one individual might keep their house its value is greatly undermined by the estate itself. You are not talking small money here it could be €10/20,000.

A well-kept estate sends out a very positive message – we care, the kids are well behaved, your neighbours are likely to be decent, there won’t be vandalism. Whilst some of those may not be borne out non-the less those are the qualities that most purchasers want to find.
There are many examples of well kept estates in Carlow, probably the most eye catching being Heatherfield Court. It is no surprise therefore that houses sell quickly in this area.

Harry Sothern, F.I.A.B.C.I.
Director REA.