Gardens can sometimes be overlooked as a way to increase the value of your home. A front garden can play a central role in adding curb appeal, and a back garden can be the clincher for any buyer who has liked what they have seen inside and who is hoping to be similarly impressed with the outside.
A garden which really upsells your house doesn’t have to be designed and built by professionals. It doesn’t have to look like it has featured in a magazine, and it certainly doesn’t have to incur huge costs for you. In fact there are a few very simple, and cost and time effective things you can do in the space of a weekend to up your garden’s game.
- Tidy up
It’s easy to forget about tidying the garden. You wouldn’t leave the washing up in the sink or the towels on the floor if someone was coming round, so don’t do this in the garden either. Put the hose back on the reel, put tools away and make sure there’s no gravel spilling off the path onto the patio. Cut the grass and trim the edges, make sure any plants that are past their best have been cut back and that your hedges are trimmed. You’ll be amazed at how much difference it can make with just a quick ‘spring clean’.
- Create an entertaining space
We’ve all fallen back in love with entertaining outside since the Lockdown measures frequently demanded we meet outside. So it’s no surprise that many estate agents list a well thought out and workable outdoor entertaining space as something that is very popular with prospective buyers. Nowadays this doesn’t have to mean a table and chairs. It could include sofas, outdoor fireplaces and even outdoor rugs and floor lamps.
Think about how you can use your garden to secure your house. Are the fences solid? If they are wobbly or even broken in places a quick fix or replacement can do wonders to help potential buyers feel the property is secure. Check also gates and side entrances. If they are dark, easy to scale or not lockable, then think about replacing them with something that is more suitable.
- Planting that is well established
If a garden is well established it is easier to maintain and can be much more attractive for more months of the year. This is why property particulars often mention this. If your garden is not well established then think about introducing a few larger plants, which might cost a bit more but they can be transformative so worth every penny.
- Reduce work required
On this same note make sure your garden is low maintenance or at least looks low maintenance. Not everyone wants to spend all weekend in the garden, and many don’t have the time even if they do. So if you’re thinking about selling your property it’s worth replacing any time consuming elements – such as an border than you usually reserve for annuals – with more maintenance-lite planting.
Lighting can be a game changer for many gardens. Not only does it increase the amount of time in the day that you can spend outside, but it can also be used to showcase different elements. A tree that is largely out-performed during the day by the brightly flowered planting underneath it, can be turned into a majestic structure with some simple up-lighting once the sun has gone down. There are so many battery-operated as well as mains operated lighting options out there, some of which can also do things like change colour or light up automatically.
Most people don’t want to be overlooked when they are in their own garden any more than they want to be overlooked when they are in their living room. So think about how you can add privacy to some if not all the areas in your garden. It might not bother you that the neighbours can see straight down onto your terrace, but it might bother a potential buyer.
- Colour whatever the season
In an ideal world you would be able to choose exactly when you would sell your house, but it rarely happens like that. So it can pay to make sure your garden can perform regardless of the season. Structural and evergreen planting helps to show the dimensions and potential for your garden even in the depths of winter. Succession planning can also go a long way to make sure there is always some colour somewhere, and even a star performer, regardless of the month.
- Jet wash
Jet washers can be hired, or even bought for relatively low costs. The difference it is possible to make to terraces, paths and even walls just using the power of water pressure, and without necessarily needing to use chemicals can be astonishing. Even the most grubby and green patio stones could clean up to look nearly brand new. But beware, pressure washing is so rewarding is can be addictive. You’ll end up washing everything!
- Cut the grass!
Even if you’re a dedicated ‘No Mow May-er’ and love the joys of a daisy or dandelion filled lawn, when you have potential buyers coming round it might be worth the sacrifice and cutting your lawn. Trimming the edges also gives a cleaner more ordered look.