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Curb appeal - bringing the buyers in off the street

Don't frighten your buyers away

You've gone to all the effort to get your house on the market. 

You've got the buyers coming to your street for a look.

The last thing you want them to do is keep on driving and cross you off their list.

When selling your house, street appeal is a major decider for whether people bother to come inside for a better look around.

Lack of street appeal is known to be one of the big turn-offs for prospective buyers. 

Why go to the effort and cost of marketing your property if people won't make it through the front door.

Some of the things that lower attractiveness are wheelie bins, hoses, and anything junky-looking.

Besides a clean-up, there are some basic things that will help - for instance restaining the fence can make a huge difference to the cheapest of houses. 

It is cost efficient and a change you can easily make without over-investing.

Plants in pots can add structure and interest at your front door. Native flaxes are easy care and hard to kill even with neglectful watering (but they will look nicer if you make a fuss of them). Photo: Derek Ramsey. Source: Chanticleer Garden

Landscaping ideas to enhance curb appeal

Plants in pots

Invest in a couple of big pots.

Terracotta is both classic in style and lower in price than the flashy, shiny alternatives - although large glazed pots add an element of glamour which may be called for depending on the home.

Pots are also the kind of thing that can be acquired as you go, or discovered in vintage/antique shops, although if the container does not have a hole you will need to make one for drainage.  

Also be mindful that quirky (we're thinking old boots, or even old toilets which have served as plant holders before) will only appeal to quirky buyers. If you want to cast a wide net, the look needs to have broad appeal.

Once you have your pot, you only need a sack of potting mix plus your plant, and a spare hour.

For the gardeners among you, New Zealand native hebe can be very easy to propagate, saving a few dollars.

And once you have sold your house - just take your pots with you to your new home!

Jazz up gardens

Concrete pavers

One way to tidy up a small front garden, or create a pathway, is to mix pavers and stones.

Check out the You Tube video here for instructions on making DIY concrete pavers.

If you can get your hands on a small backyard concrete mixer, this may be a better way forward than buying them, depending on how many you make.

According to Landscaping specialists, you can also make your own cost-effective and hard-wearing pavers by pouring a slab of coloured concrete and cutting it into squares.

Try a blue or green tones to soften a plain, high, basic fence.

Paint the fence

One very effective way to smarten up your frontage is to paint the fence.

Make sure you choose a colour that works with the house, although something a bit more fashionable than the bog standard brown of old will appeal more to buyers.

You don't want the fence looking like a big wall to keep a dodgy dog inside. If it's a high fence, it's even more important to choose a colour that says style rather than Keep Out!

However, if your fence is an interesting one, it will cope with a traditional dark colour. For one that needs softening up, consider a stain like Pickled Bluewood or Earthsong (a green) - for inspiration check out this Resene chart.

Resene has a page on fence painting or staining to help you find your way through the process.

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