How to prepare your garden so your home is ready to sell
Ensuring that your property looks fantastic indoors is always important but it’s crucial to spare a thought for your garden, which during the cold winter months can often become neglected.
Malcolm Button, Senior Valuer at Aberdein Considine, has 14 top tips for ensuring that outside space looks fresh and cared for.
1. Mow the lawn
If you are lucky enough to have a lawn, find a dry day to cut the grass, trim the hedges and tidy up any bushes. It’s also a good idea to remove and restock any tired looking plants to keep the garden looking fresh and colourful.
Coordinating planters are easy to purchase and can be placed throughout your front and rear gardens. They can also be taken with you when you move into your new home.
Fill any redundant areas you may have with bark, light stones, granite or flint – there are lots of options, so go and explore!
2. Garden lights
External PIR sensored floodlights are fantastic, particularly for property viewings at dusk or after dark. Solar lights look pretty (even when off) and are relatively cheap to buy. If you have any trees in your garden, purchase a few uplighters to create a striking effect.
Remove any rope lights or icicle lights which may be left over from Christmas. There’s very little that’s more depressing than old Christmas decorations!
Mirrors in beds, on ‘dormant’ walls, on a trellis, next to shrubs or within a flower bed can add an extra dimension to a rear garden. Not only will they reflect light and enhance colours, they will help create a greater impression of height, width and general space.
4. Garages and sheds
Make sure sheds are tidy and in good order. If they are looking a bit tired, give them a lick of varnish or paint. The same applies to fences – it’s an easy job and the results can be very rewarding.
Give your garage a once-over and make sure that all internal lighting works and that doors open and shut properly. If you have a car that fits in your garage, tuck it away inside or park it along the road outside. A clear driveway looks much better than a cluttered one – creating space is very important.
Bins are bins! No one particularly wants to see them, so it’s a good idea to hide these away if possible.
6. Dress your garden furniture
If you have space for garden furniture, set it up and if the weather is being kind, you can ‘dress’ the table with a bottle of wine and a few glasses, and a candle or two. Light the chimnea or the patio heater.
7. Jet-wash surfaces
Jet-wash any mono blocking, paving, steps and PVC facings. Although it’s a messy job it is immensely satisfying. If you have decking it’s a good idea to give it a jet wash. During the winter months when it is cold and damp, it can become very slippery.
8. Garden toys
Trampolines and garden play items such as swings can be left in situ if in good condition as long as they are not too large. If you are willing to sell these to a homebuyer, make them aware that these items could be included in the price.
9. Ensure adjoining areas are tidy
If your property backs on to a rear service lane, ideally make sure that this is tidy, too. Having to make excuses for someone else’s mess normally suggests a lack of interest or poor service from your bin men.
10. House numbers
Take a look at your house numbers to check if they are rusty. Simply replace them with shiny new ones from your local hardware store if this is the case. This will also help when viewers are trying to find your property, particularly at night.
11. House name
Have you thought about giving your house a name? Custom nameplates can be ordered and produced very quickly by your local DIY store. The house name you choose doesn’t have to be registered but can be used on all of your marketing materials and it will give your property an interesting edge.
12. Neighbour’s garden
Check whether your neighbour’s garden is tidy or not. Many sales have been foiled simply through bad feedback concerning ‘the state of the next door neighbour’s lawn’. If they themselves are not in a position to spruce it up, why not offer to help out and tidy it for them? It pays to be a good neighbour!
13. Front lawn
Remember that kerb appeal is everything! Your front garden is the first and last aspect any viewer will see, so make sure it’s looking its best. A tidy lawn will look great in the photographs used to market your property.
14. One last check
After a day trip, return to your property and check over the garden one last time with fresh, critical eyes. Remember, any potential buyer will arrive at your house to do exactly the same.
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