For maximum kerb appeal, tend the garden and paint the front door white

An unkempt garden could reduce the asking price of a property by up to 20 per cent

Proof positive, if ever it were needed, that making an effort in the garden yields dividends came through this week when the latest survey announced great gardens help to sell a property. In estate agent parlance, top of the “kerb appeal” list for would-be buyers is a well-manicured garden.

The survey carried out for Barclays Mortgages in the UK found that about 44 per cent of buyers would try to knock between 10 per cent and 20 per cent off a property's asking price if it looked unappealing from the outside. With the average asking price for a house in Ireland at about €200,000, that translates to a potential further €40,000 being wiped off the typical property price. In Dublin, where the average home costs about €300,000, a property that looks unattractive from the outside could lead to buyers pushing for a discount of up to €60,000, the findings suggest.

The survey of 2,000 home owners found that people typically take just 10 seconds to decide whether they like a property from the outside. Top turn-offs include signs of vermin control outside a property and a scruffy garden.

Some features voted as being among the most “undesirable” may be seen as a bonus by other people, depending on their circumstances and personal tastes. For example, being near a pub, or fast food outlets, or busy transport links, were also voted the top undesirable features for a property.

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A well-kept garden was voted the most desirable feature, followed by double glazing, space for parking and appealing neighbouring properties.

With their low maintenance appeal, just over one in three people voted new-build homes as their preferred property style.

Meanwhile, 29 per cent of those surveyed prefer Victorian properties and 27 per cent would opt for a Georgian-style home.

Nearly two-thirds of people said they would be put off by a house which had concrete as its exterior material and 62 per cent would be turned off by brightly-coloured rendering. Three-quarters of people favoured a home made from modern brick.

Muted colours were also preferred when it came to front doors, with white and black topping the list of colours people favoured, and orange, pink and purple among the least popular choices. – PA