Despite how the saying goes, people will and do, judge a book by it’s cover. As new research has shown, a house that looks tidy on the outside can attract a higher price than one that looks unkept.

According to the latest survey, carried out by Barclays Mortgages, home sellers could lose around £100,000 on the value of their home if it has a less from exemplary exterior. It is said that most house-hunters only take, on average, 10 seconds to decide whether or not they like a property simply from its external appearance.

44% of the people surveyed said that they would try to knock around 10% to 20% off a property’s asking price if it lacked kerb appeal. On that basis, with the UK average house price costing around £220,000, a 20% cut could mean a staggering £44,000 being slashed off the original price. If you live in London, things could look even more bleak. With the average house costing around £560,000, a scruffy outside could lead to a loss in value of as much as £112,000!

When it comes to kerb appeal you better hope that you don’t have any vermin control our an untidy front garden, as these can be buyer’s biggest turn offs. front-of-house2

However, some features that have been voted as being amongst the most ‘undesirable’ may be seen as a bonus  for others, depending on an individual’s circumstances and taste. These included being near a pub, fast food outlets or even busy transport links. Although people’s circumstances and taste vary, these were all up there as the top undesirable features for a property.

A well kept lawn was voted as the most desirable kerb appeal feature, followed by double glazing, appealing neighbouring properties and space for parking. However, if you have a BMW, try and replace it with a MINI as BMW were found to be less appealing than the latter.

It terms of the types of homes, the most popular, unsurprisingly, are new-build – due to their low maintenance appeal. New builds are followed by Victorian houses with 29% of the vote, with Georgian homes closely behind with 27%. But it seems that the British have fallen out of love with 80’s and Mock Tudor properties as they came in near last.

For those of you that think this research was carried out by a hanging basket-case, Barclay’s concluded that more than 35% of buyers wouldn’t even enter a property if they weren’t happy with its exterior. In contrast, more than half said they would buy a property that looked appealing on the outside, even if the interior needed extensive redecoration. front-of-house3
When it comes to your front door, muted colours are preferred, with white and black trumping the list of colours people favoured, whilst orange, pink and purple were amongst the least popular.

The research highlights that just keeping the garden maintained and having a fresh coat of paint on the door can add value, both of which are easy to achieve and at a minimal cost. A little effort on the outside will help get those buyers on the inside. After all, first impressions count!

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