Feature by Maria Stokes
After the last year, Rightmove has seen searches for homes with gardens double in the last 12 months. It’s no wonder, after three national lockdowns, travel restrictions and temporary closures of so many leisure and entertainment facilities, that our gardens have become such precious outdoor spaces for ourselves.
In fact, a good garden is not only rewarding for the soul, but can also add tens of thousands on to the value of a property. Over the last year, we’ve seen many buyers leave the city in search of a more rural/semi-rural home with a spacious garden and the added benefit of stunning views to boot. However, while buyers may be swayed by a property with a good-sized garden offering plenty of space, not all will relish in a garden that appears to be high maintenance.
In most cases, a house with a garden will always appeal to most buyers, and in towns and cities, every outdoor square metre will add value. But much like home interiors, do bear in mind that the design of your outdoor space may not be to the taste of your potential buyer. So which is a better selling prospect – an intricately landscaped garden or a neat blank canvass of space?
Each and every potential buyer will have their own particular needs and wants from a garden, what may work for one family with older children who have flown the nest, may not work for a family with three young children wanting to kick a football around all weekend. So when it comes to selling your home, is it really worth having space rehauled and landscaped to add more value?
Here at Arden, we believe a beautiful and mature garden with attractive features will certainly entice potential buyers – especially when viewing during the spring and summer months. However, many potential buyers are happy with an empty space consisting of a lawn and sitting area, which equals low maintenance and a chance to create their ideal landscape which they desire over time.
Our advice is to simply work with what you currently have rather than spend a small fortune making your garden something someone else may not want. Don’t make any major and expensive changes, just enhance the overall look by keeping the space you have tidy and well-maintained. If you decide you want to do your own viewings, you’ll soon recognise the keen gardeners over the non-gardeners when showing your home. So it’s great to be able to adapt your pitch to each viewer, tell keen gardeners where the garden gets sun and at what times, what type of soil is present, and generally all your garden’s strengths. Non-gardeners will worry about the amount of time they’ll need to spend on maintenance, so if there are lots of plants and shrubs, assure them there is not a high level of work required.
Just like our interiors within our homes, so long as we have enjoyed our gardens in the way we have wanted over the years lived in a property, then all the hard work (or lack of in the case of a low maintenance garden) has paid off. It’s just a wonderful added bonus if your potential buyer happens to love your garden as much as you have!
Top Tips to Make Any Garden More Appealing
Tidy Up – Whatever time of year it is, ensure your front and rear gardens are tidy. Front gardens can be difficult to upkeep, as rubbish and leaves are often blown in from the street, but kerb appeal is so important when making a first impression on a potential buyer, so make sure there’s no litter or weeds on show. Sweep up leaves both in the front and rear gardens, mow lawns either the day before or of a viewing and keep hedges clipped and maintained.
Give it Some TLC – Make sure you do the little DIY jobs you have been putting off for months, or even years! Ensure gates work properly, oil a squeaky hinge, replace the lock or latch if necessary, re-treat or paint fences and sheds and replace any fence panels which look beyond repair.
De-Clutter Outbuildings – Often used as dumping grounds, sheds, greenhouses and outbuildings being left at the property after a sale can offer fantastic storage solutions to a buyer, so show them off to their best potential. Organise the space with shelving, storage boxes and hanging space for garden tools. Clear out the cobwebs and you’ll also get a head start with getting rid of all those things you don’t want to take with you to the next house!
Tidy Away Children’s Toys – Children’s toys can be bright, invasive and make a space look cluttered, especially an area like a patio. Clear these away into a garage or shed, or to the side of the property, in order to make the space look as big as possible. Also keep wheelie bins somewhere unobtrusive.
Clean Your Garden – Clean your patio, treat your decking, jet wash your garden furniture down to create a space that looks neat, non-hazardous and appealing.
Finishing Touches – If your garden furniture has seen sunnier days and is beyond just needing a good wash, it’s time to take it to the tip and invest in a new set which makes your decking or patio look like it’s crying out for a barbeque with the new owners. A great range of sets, from rattan to wood or metal, can be found in your local garden centre or online at EBay or Amazon, and the best part is, it’s money spent that you can take with you to your new dwelling. Also add some planted pots for a pop of colour during summer months, geraniums are a great choice, as they are cheap, will flower all summer long and work well in any space.
For more help and advice when it comes to selling your property, contact your local Arden Estates office, where one of our dedicated team will be happy to guide you through the valuation, sale and after-sale process of selling your home.