To state the obvious, a scrappy yard can be an instant turn-off to a potential buyer, even if the house is a dream on the inside. Here are some landscaping tips to make sure your home shows its best attributes for when you’re ready to sell.
The first thing to keep in mind is that your garden has to appear well presented and easy to maintain. People want to enjoy the outdoor space, not feel like it’s a burden. If your garden is in reasonable shape but just needs a little spruce up, start with the basics. Mow the lawn and trim those overgrowing plants, or even lay new lawn if necessary. Get rid of any dead plants and weeds, and throw out anything cluttering the garden that isn't being used. Plant some fresh colour or lay some neutral-coloured mulch for a neat look.
Consider some outdoor lighting – it adds atmosphere and illumination for potential buyers who might only be able to do a drive-by after dark. This gives people a idea as to what it could be like enjoying the outdoor space in their potential home.
Know your limits
If you’ve got a green vision but not a green thumb, invest in the knowledge of a professional. Landscape gardeners can bring some interesting ideas and impressive finishes to the table. Also, speak with someone at your local garden centre for advice on plants that will suit your garden. Talk to a good landscape designer about how you can make some simple changes to improve the appeal of your garden.
Style it right
Make sure your garden appeals to your target market. For example, it’s probably not wise to place children's play equipment in the courtyard of a one-bedroom apartment. On the other hand, you might want to transform the garden of a three-bedroom house into something that can function as a fun, outdoor space for the whole family.
Keep it functional
A garden or outdoor space is a place to relax, and it should be visually appealing. But remember, it’s also a place to hang washing, store the garbage bins, park the car, or even house a kennel. However, there are ways to address the issue of functionality without the result being dull. Space savers such as a retractable clothes line can be a great way to keep functionality without sacrificing outdoor space. If you can't tuck your bins out of sight, a low screen with a climbing plant can provide an easy storage space while keeping the green feel.
If your property is near a busy road or an apartment building, plant out your garden. While the plants may not initially create a full visual barrier, or any sound improvement, the perceived future improvements from a buyer’s point of view may well be worth it.
Buyers are buying a home – not just a house. First impressions are important – so make your exterior as appealing as your interior. Not only do you capture a potential buyer more quickly (you don’t need a key to see the front garden), but it may contribute to a better end result.