17 April, 2015
We all know first impressions are key when it comes to selling a house, and the 'kerb appeal' of your house is integral to creating the right response from a viewer. Front gardens play a large role in this and can have a big impact on how a property is perceived before the buyer even steps through the door.
It's not just what's at the front, though. Rear gardens can often be dealbreakers, with many Brits turning down otherwise perfect homes because the garden isn't up to scratch. In fact, two fifths of Brits say they wouldn't even consider making an offer on a house if it didn't have a big enough garden, according to Lloyds TSB insurance.
In addition to attracting interest, a garden plays a role in the perceived value of a property; it could add as much as 20 per cent to a home's value, says County Homesearch.
What can you do?
Basic maintenance is often all that is needed, as a well-presented garden will show itself off for you. Exactly how much work you need to put in will depend on the time of year. Buyers will likely pay less attention to the garden in the winter and autumn, so little touches such as trimming the hedges, general tidying and removing dead leaves can go a long way.
Whatever the season, remember to keep boundaries in good condition; all fences, gates, railings and outside walls should be in good repair. Fix up any broken or damaged fences and re-stain if they're looking shabby.
In summer make sure to mow the lawn regularly. Now is the time to check your lawn mower is in good working order - just in case the grass needs a quick tidy up before a viewing. Remove dead plants and de-head flowers to ensure beds are looking as smart as can be. Hanging baskets can add splashes of colour, making even a simple garden more visually appealing. They don't cost much either, but just remember to water them regularly!
Show off your assets
Knowing which way your garden faces is a great tip but one that many owners fail to make the most of - despite it being a key selling point. If you have a south facing garden then emphasise this to potential buyers. If it is a wonderful little sun trap make sure you position your garden furniture to show this off. Outdoor space adds value so show buyers just what they can do with your space. If you haven't already got a section for entertaining then create a simple seating area; purchase a cheap set of garden furniture if necessary but don't get carried away and spend too much.
Know what works
Spending lots of money on plants and extensive landscaping is unlikely to warrant the effort and cost when it comes to property value. However, it may be surprising what just some basic landscaping and gardening can do to transform the exterior look and feel of your home. This can even, in some cases, contribute to a higher price too.
Be wary of installing expensive additions such as swimming pools or hot tubs in an effort to reach a different bracket. Whilst hot tubs have seen a burst of popularity in recent years it pays to know your market before going to this length, and swimming pools should be avoided at all costs. The added maintenance and cost associated with home pools have been shown to put many buyers off.
Following these guidelines will help get your garden ready for a quick sale. For more tips check out our previous blogs on how prepare your kitchen and bathroom ahead of viewings.