Spot on Garden Presentation Sells Homes
In a time where homes are styled, re-arranged and de-cluttered within an inch of their four walls, gardens are often overlooked. However, gardens make the first impression on a prospective buyer, as the state of the front gate, pathways, and plants tell a thousand words. It’s imperative that your garden is as clean, neat and welcoming as the home itself.
Spot on garden presentation, with attention to detail, can go a long way to improving your sales result. We have been been working with a local real estate agent to prepare a guide to help prospective sellers get the very best from their sale. “A well-presented garden that creates a good picture and feeling can potentially add a further five percent to the final purchase price,” says Kevin Walter from Walter & Irvine Real Estate. “That is an extra $50,000 on a property selling for $1 million.”
While it’s important that garden and entertaining areas are clean, neat and welcoming, it’s also vital that you fix anything that may deter potential buyers. If your front gate has a broken hinge, your letter box is askew or you have unkempt plants, make sure you attend to them. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that a little planning and time spent on detail will have your garden and exterior looking it’s most attractive.
These are our top tips on preparing your garden and property exterior for sale.
- Number One. Be sure your home’s street number is visible and in good repair. New numbers are inexpensive to buy, and better than scratched and damaged ones.
- Love your Lawn. Nothing screams attention to detail more than a well groomed, lush, green lawn. Ensure your lawn is free from weeds. Using a ‘weed and feed’ product, or hand pulling weeds 6-8 weeks prior to sale, and maintaining weeding throughout the selling period will help. Apply a lawn fertiliser about 4 weeks prior to sale, and ensure your lawn receives adequate water in the lead up to and during the selling period. If needed, an application of liquid fertiliser about 5 days prior to market should see your lawn looking lush and green for its first viewing, and of course, keep your lawn well mowed, and the edges well clipped.
- Colour your Garden. Plant bright, seasonal flowers in the front garden. This will take some planning. Seasonal annuals like viola and pansy in winter, and vinca and petunia during summer, work well in this situation. Planting seedlings is the most cost effective option, but also the one which takes the most planning, with seedlings taking about 8-12 weeks from planting to full flowering. If you’ve the opportunity to plant seedlings you will need to purchase advanced flowering annuals which you will find available in most good garden centres and hardware stores.
- Gone Potty. You’ll be forgiven for going a little ‘potty’ when preparing your property. Planting up existing pots with advanced, bright seasonal colour to achieve a welcoming look can make a real difference. Pots should be placed near the street and adjacent the front door where they will create impact. The upside of planting up pots is that you can take them with you to your new home. If annuals are not your thing, then consider planting your pots with geraniums, daisy and mandevilla for a full sun aspect, or fuchsia, clivea and potted hydrangea to name a few for a shadier aspect.
- Maintenance is a must. Remove any dead or straggly plants, and be sure to dead head roses and spent flower blooms.
- Clip Clip Clip. If hedging and topiary are a feature of your garden spend some time ensuring they are neatly clipped.
- Spikey leaves are not welcoming when they are adjacent pathways, doorways and at eye level for children and dogs. The last thing you want is have prospective buyers scratch themselves in your garden. If you have plants like these near your walkways pop them out of the way or remove them altogether.
- Keep the Water Coming. Don’t skimp on water in the lead up to and during the selling period. Ensure your garden is well watered – depending on the species planted and your soil, watering deeply and less often is better than watering for 15 minutes each day. Speak with the staff in your local garden centre if you are unsure on water requirements in your garden.
- Mulching is a must. If you can do nothing else, applying a layer of mulch to your garden will really give it a lift. For most impact select a dark coloured mulch.
- Protect your plants: If your home is on the market during summer consider applying Droughtshield which acts as a ‘sunscreen’. Droughtshield assists in preventing and reducing sunburn damage to plants, and is useful at other times of the year by reducing transplant shock, and helping keep your plants look fresher for longer. As with all products, apply as per directions on the packaging.
- Squeaky Clean.. Check that the handle on your front door turns and locks smoothly, and that your front gate is not squeaky! A quick spray of RP7 or WD40 will fix both problems if needed. Check screen doors, door knockers and door bells to ensure they are all in working order, and repair any torn fly screens.
- De-clutter and Clean Prospective buyers like to see the potential in a garden and outdoor living area. Remove and store clutter – this includes pushbikes, old pots, and garden tools. Remove Cobwebs from eaves, and external windows and doors, and clean debris from your gutters.
- Welcome. Finally, make your prospective buyers welcome by purchasing a new, thick doormat. Not only is it a welcoming gesture, but it shows buyers you value your home by wanting to keep it clean from any underfoot dirt that might be brought inside.
Armed with the knowledge that a well-presented garden can instantly add more to the final purchase price, you will be able to prepare your own garden for sale. If you need advice, our qualified staff will be happy to help you get the most from your property, and if you can’t do these jobs yourself, the time and expertise of a gardener or handyman will have your home looking spot on for market.
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