When it comes to putting your house on the market, preparation and presentation are key. This applies to the inside of your home as well as the outside. If you have a garden, it’s well worth spending a bit of time on this highly desirable feature. Getting your outdoor space in shape not only makes your house more attractive to buyers and helps to sell the property faster, it can also potentially add thousands of pounds to the asking price.
Spring and early summer have always been the best time to sell homes; it’s when buyer demand is highest. We’ve put together some quick spruce-up ideas to help you make the most of your garden in preparation for sale.
Give your lawn some TLC
If your garden features an expanse of lawn surrounded by beds and borders, the eye will be drawn to the lush green carpet. However, if the turf looks past its best, overgrown or patchy, it will bring down the rest of the garden. Start by mowing your lawn regularly during the growing season and apply a weed treatment to get rid of dandelions, buttercups, daisies, clover and more, and a lawn treatment for spring to boost growth. Aerating and scarifying your lawn will help water and nutrients to penetrate deeper, producing stronger and more vigorous growth..
If you have a lawned front garden, remember that curb appeal is everything! It’s the first thing any viewer will see, so make sure you don’t neglect this key area. Your lawn should look lush and inviting on marketing material and in real life.
Tidy up your beds and borders
Your next job is to trim any hedges and tidy up shrubs and borders. Remove and restock any tired-looking plants so that the garden looks fresh and well maintained. Make sure there is plenty of interest to delight the senses. Bedding plants are a quick fix that will produce lots of summer colour without costing a lot, as are hardy perennials such as lavender, sweetpeas and marigolds.
Think beyond the flowerbed and invest in colourful containers, planters and hanging baskets. They are easy to purchase and often come ready planted for spring. Crucially, you can place your potted plants and shrubs wherever you need extra impact in the garden. What’s more, you can take them with you when you move house!
Any sparse looking areas can quickly be dressed with bark chippings, decorative loose gravel or slate chippings for added texture and interest.
Carry out essential repairs
It goes without saying that any outdoor areas should be presented in excellent order to create the best possible impression for prospective buyers. With that in mind, turn your attention to any outstanding repair and maintenance jobs – fix that fence, clean down the patio, repair the garden gate, paint the shed etc. These may be things that you’ve been putting off, and it is quite possible that you’re so used to the way things are that these ‘undone jobs’ don’t even bother you.
However, they will stand out like a sore thumb to someone new. Put yourself in the shoes of someone coming to view your home for sale and you’ll understand that they will have a completely different perspective. Assuming that your overall aim is to get your property sold fast and for the best price possible, everything you do in the garden must be geared at creating the greatest possible appeal.
Outdoor storage and garden buildings
We all know that buyers love storage (you can never have enough!), so if you have a garden shed, log store or other outbuildings, or even a garage for storing bulky garden equipment, outdoor furniture and playground toys, it’s worth sprucing them up before you put your house on the market.
The aim of the game is to show off the amount of storage available and present buildings in good, serviceable condition. Perhaps all you need to do is to give your shed a fresh lick of paint in a jaunty colour to put a smile on your buyers’ faces – these days green and brown are not the only colours available! Check that outdoor buildings are weatherproof, that doors and windows open and close properly and that power and electrics are in good working order.
Finally, clear away any garden rubbish and other detritus and keep bins out of sight.
Dress your garden to impress
Think of your garden as an additional space for relaxing and entertaining that adds value to your property. This is your outdoor living room, so make a big effort to dress the space to ‘sell’ that lifestyle. Help prospective buyers to visualise how they could live in your property.
Dress the seating area with a pretty table and chairs, accessorising with colourful tableware and perhaps adding a bottle of wine and a few glasses. A garden chiminea or patio heater will add warmth and atmosphere on cooler days. Fairy lights or solar lights will bring the space to life during early evening viewings, and uplighters placed in trees or dotted around the garden can be used to create enchanting effects.
Family homes with large gardens may have a play area or a trampoline for the kids. Ensure that they are kept in immaculate condition and don’t dominate the outdoor area. If you are prepared to sell play equipment or outdoor furniture, do make potential buyers aware that these items could be included in the price.
Don’t rest on your laurels
Once your garden is looking beautiful and your home is ready for sale, don’t make the mistake of thinking the hard work is done. Stay on top of everything, including the upkeep of the garden. Regular lawn mowing and garden tidy-ups through the season will ensure that you are always prepared for any viewings including those booked in with next to no notice.
Make a habit of checking over your garden with fresh, critical eyes every time you go out there. It’s what every potential buyer will do when they come to view the property. It only takes one person to fall in love with your property and make the right offer, and anything you can do to increase the chances of securing a sale will be well worth the effort in the end.