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Kerb Appeal - Uxbridge Style
"Sharp, I want the properties I show to viewers to be sharp", I found myself earnestly explaining to landlords. Sharp is a short hand expression I find myself using with property and is my desire for well presented and clean looking property that's well finished.
Why am I so keen on presenting property as well as possible?
A well presented property is something we all want to live in and is one of the reasons why new build property sells at such a premium to older property. Having a well presented property means it will sell or let that much more quickly and you are not knocked on price.
It is important to look at a property you are selling or renting with a fresh pair of eyes. I find we will put up with our own standards of uncleanliness, but have no tolerance for it in other people. A good agent can often guide you as it is in both your interests for you to sell or rent your property at the best price.
Well presented property builds confidence in the prospective tenant or buyers mind in both the property and the landlord or the seller of the property. Having a sharp property diminishes from tenants concern the landlord has good standards and is not going to leave works undone and more important things like gas safety's ignored.
The Coffee Stain Theory
In the airline industry there is a thought that coffee stained seat trays leave customers worrying abut the level of maintenance in the aircraft engine they are going to fly with. This is simply called the Coffee Stain Theory from Tom Peters and Robert Waterman famous business book 'In Search of Excellence'.
Finally when you are letting a property that person is going to become the custodian of the property for the next year or few. You start the relationship by communicating with inaction that the property is unloved, you increase your chances of the tenant behaving in the same way.
Kerb Appeal or Curb Appeal - depending on your choice of spelling!
When they visit your property a customers confidence starts with the kerb appeal of a property. Mind you it probably started even earlier than that with pictures of the property, the agents description and how the agent treated them but I will gloss over that for the moment!
A quick Google search on 'kerb appeal' lists articles aplenty and I don't want to replicate that here. Lots of good advice there but before we rush into replacing windows, doors and making grand entrances there are a few simpler steps that don't involve very much expense and take only a little time. I would start with these first I find these are often overlooked:
- Start by picking up the windblown rubbish that has taken up residence on your front drive or garden or hedge.
- Here in London enormous front gardens are few and far between. However grass should be mown and the garden free of weeds. Spraying with weedkiller will knock back the weeds for a while. I am a strong beliver in RoundUp. Follow the instructions provided please.
- Tend the drive. Sweep, so stones are where they should be. If you have a paved drive crack out the Karcher and get it cleaned down. Borrow one from a friend or family and bask in the joy of a shiny new drive.
- Peeling paintwork? Patch it up. Sand back and paint over the affected parts.
- Excess wires? Clean them away. Minimalism rules.
- Dull brasswork/chrome on the door. Give it a clean. If you are a Dad you get to enjoy numerous double entendre here so make the most of it. It's practically the law.
A good clean with Brasso
- Around Hillingdon here we have a lot of external gas meters that were retro-fitted to property. Suggest making sure they are not cracked and can be closed to look neat and tidy. As neat and tidy as an unattractive block of plastic can be. Can you tell I am not a fan of these?
Gas Meter in Plastic Case. Cover not fitted correctly
- Clean the windows and the door of dust.
It's amazing what a little work and not a lot of money can bring. If you have done all that then enjoy a nice cup of good tea and a biscuit and bask in a job well done. But not for too long... did I mention there is the rest of the house to think about!
If you want advice on preparing your property for sale or rent we would be happy to give you some good old fashioned honest feedback.
Jeremy Wasden advises landlords on how to get best return from property investments in the Hillingdon borough and helps landlords with tricky property or tenant issues. He owns Belvoir Lettings in Uxbridge. Jeremy writes often and despite being camera shy occasionally speaks about Hillingdon property at www.uxbridgepropertyblog.com.