When you’re selling your home, it’s important to take a look at your garden. The yard is often the first part of your property that prospective home buyers see. It needs to make the right first impression as if your yard is a mess, they’re likely to judge the inside of your property before they’ve even seen it. Here’s how to give your home maximum kerb appeal.
Essential garden maintenance
There are some jobs that absolutely have to be done if you’re serious about attracting potential buyers, no matter where you live and what size your garden is:
- Rake up any stray leaves and sticks, and get rid of any weeds. This will give the impression that you care about your property and maintain it well.
- Mow and edge the lawn, and keep the grass well-watered to make sure it doesn’t look brown or dry.
- Prune the hedges to encourage new growth before you open your home to prospective home buyers.
Should I spend money improving the garden?
This really depends on its current state. If your yard is already in good condition, it’s not necessary to spend excessively, although it’s important that it’s up to standard compared to other homes in the same price bracket. You should only spend out if it’s going to result in a higher sale price – you want to see a return on investment. Let your real estate agent be your guide on this.
Research shows that good landscaping will increase the value of your home by up to 28 percent, but a poorly-designed garden will reduce it. If you’re not an expert, it’s worth hiring a professional landscaper if your budget will stretch to it.
However, there are some small touches that won’t break the bank, but will make all the difference to the visual appeal of your property:
- Check that your fences and pathway are in good order – if not, it’s essential to repair or replace them.
- If the grass looks tired and brown or patchy, it’s wise to invest in completely new turf; but make sure this is natural rather than artificial!
- Purchase some plants and flowers that will be at their best during the season when you’re selling your home, and some other plants that will remain green and fresh all year round. Make sure they are low-maintenance, so prospective buyers can imagine enjoying themselves outdoors without having to spend too much time on gardening. Buying mature plants will enable you to create an attractive, healthy-looking yard straight away, without having to wait for them to grow.
- Add planters outside entrances containing clipped topiary for a welcoming, well-maintained feel.
- Consider adding outdoor lighting, as some prospective buyers may only be able to view your property after dark.
Does it depend on what kind of home I have?
Landscaping trends and preferences do vary between different areas and different styles of housing. For example, capital pear trees are particularly popular in Melbourne, and bamboo is a favourite with those who live in two- and three-storey homes. It’s important to stay informed about the real estate market in your local area and make sure your yard matches local buyer requirements and trends.
Homes in your area within the same price bracket are the standard you will need to compete with. Have a look at their yards and compare their features to your own.
Plants should be natural to the area in which you live, as these will grow more easily and require less maintenance – this is always an appealing prospect for a home buyer.
What are buyers looking for?
Australians view the outdoor area as an extension of the home. Buyers are looking for an outdoor living area that flows through from the inside. You can create a homely feel outdoors by adding soft furnishings like waterproof cushions and making sure seating areas are in the shade.
The outdoor space is also highly important for socialising, so it’s important to keep your yard functional as well as attractive. Outdoor kitchens and firepits are becoming increasingly popular; and if you have enough space, consider including a feature like a gazebo.
Most importantly, keep it simple! This will make the space look bigger, as well as reassuring potential buyers that they won’t have to spend endless hours on garden maintenance.