Everyone knows the importance of first impressions, especially when it comes to real estate.
It has often been said that a garden makes a house a home, so never underestimate the importance of outdoor areas when it comes to selling.
Make a bad one and you’ve lost a buyer immediately, however a positive first look can pave the way for a quick and easy sale and potentially add thousands to the price of your home.
You don’t necessarily need a garden worthy of the Chelsea Flower Show, according to Abel McGrath Property Consultant Genevieve Carrier, however landscaping is the first thing that potential buyers see, so it’s well worth investing in ‘greening up’ your outdoors if you’re thinking of heading to sale.
Ms Carrier says it may sound obvious but street appeal is still extremely important so getting your garden in order should be a top priority.
“Research has shown that lifestyle changes and work commitments have meant the allure of a large garden may not be what it once was,
“While buyers like having plenty of outdoor space, they don’t always relish a garden that requires a lot of maintenance,” Ms Carrier says.
“Prospective home owners might gaze admiringly at your borders, lawns and trimmed hedges, but they’ll also be mentally toting up the man-hours.
“It’s safe to assume that for most buyers, a house with a garden is more attractive than one without, as long as it comes with an equally attractive reticulation system.”
She says although a good looking garden is important, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on expensive landscaping – it can be as simple as pruning, weeding and putting some top-up mulch on your garden beds and mowing the lawn.
Ms Carrier says the importance placed on gardens and outdoor areas can also be swayed by location.
“If you’re close to parklands or minutes to then each, then the outdoor areas and gardens become less of a necessity,” she adds.
“However, if you are a significant distance from attractive parklands or nature reserves then the outdoor areas and gardens will become of prime importance.”
Here are some expert tips on preparing gardens and outdoor areas for sale:
- You don’t have to spend a fortune – it’s advisable to improve on an established garden rather than putting in a brand new one.
- If you need to add to the garden, choose plants that complement the style of your home.
- Plant some potted bloomers for instant cheer and choose some plants with a bit of fragrance particularly at the entrance.
- Fix any broken or rusted garden lights or fixtures in the garden
- Mend fences, make sure gates are fixed and in working order so the home doesn’t appear neglected – prying open a garden gate in front of buyers does not look good and these are important things that buyers look at.
- Ensure that any uneven brick paving is fixed and driveways and paved areas are cleaned with a high pressure hose
- Invest in some good outdoor lighting so the yard looks as good at night as it does during the day and consider spot or strip lighting or illuminated water features.