IF you are looking to sell your house this summer, it might be time to spruce up your front garden– as first impressions count for a lot.

Some 68% of home buyers think ‘kerb appeal’ is important when buying a home, according to a HomeOwners Alliance survey. A well-maintained front garden, pathways and fences were highlighted as important, in addition to a well-painted frontage.

“You only get one chance to make a first impression — and sprucing up your front garden can maximise the ‘wow’ factor,” says Sam Mitchell, CEO of online estate agent Strike.

“A few small changes could make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Take a day to clean your windows, mow the lawn and get rid of any weeds,” Mitchell suggests. “Repainting your front door, adding new hardware (a letterbox, number, and knocker) and freshening up any fencing can really make a difference to potential buyers.”

Want to maximise your home’s kerb appeal? Morris Hankinson, Director of Hopes Grove Nurseries, offers the following tips…

1. Get your lawn in order

“If you have an area of lawn, then this is one of the quickest and easiest fixes, as it can transform the appearance of your outdoor space. Keep your grass neatly – and regularly – cut,” says Hankinson.

2. Tidy up your beds

“With a tidy lawn, any messy flowerbeds will now come into clear view. Take out weeds, dead plants, old foliage, and prune back overhanging or overgrown shrubs. Plug any gaps with some new plants. Finally, consider adding a decorative mulch, such as bark or cocoa shells for a proper show garden finish.”

3. Spruce up woodwork

“Tired-looking fences can give the impression of poor maintenance and discourage a potential buyer (or encourage them to put forward a cheeky offer). Get them all painted if they need it to bring your garden up to a good standard. Go darker with the colour and any planting or features you have will pop out with this effective dark backdrop.”

4. Clean, tidy and dress a paved area

“If you have a paved area, get it scrubbed or power-washed off and remove any leaves, weeds, algae and moss. Tidy up any messy potted plants and anything else that looks out of place. Refresh the pots with new plants if they need it. If you don’t have pots then get some to brighten it up,” Hankinson suggests.

“Go for small groups of smaller pots, set them at different levels for best effect – maybe one on the ground, one on a brick and the third on another upturned pot. They can be very effective and will be a lot cheaper than a few larger ones.”

5. Use recycled accessories

“This really is a good mindset to get into – at its simplest, it could be planting up an old pair of wellies or saucepans with some cheerful flowers or herbs. Let your imagination take hold – the only rule here is it should be free, or almost free.”

6. Keep it simple

“Remember that you are selling, not staying. Nothing overly ambitious is required here, just good quality window dressing. Show your property in its very best light, without splashing out on a new water feature or decking.”

7. Do it yourself

Finally, Hankinson’s best piece of money-saving advice: tackle these tasks yourself. “If you employ an individual or company to carry out your garden jobs, labour will certainly be the largest part of the cost – and therefore the biggest saving is you!”