Have the garden sell your house
Have the garden sell your house.
Making the garden neater or more appealing can make a great first impression, or help get the asking price you want.
I read an article recently that I had missed first time around. It was the open page of the broadsheet I had on the worktop as I cleaned my boys shoes. It immediately struck a chord. The basic premise was that if you have an appealing or desirable, or even just a tidy garden then you are more likely to sell your house for the price you want.
The last two house I have sold both had gardens rich in features. These were a significant part of the appeal to the new owners.
But the article I read stopped being interesting when it segregated properties and what should go on in a garden by price, with a dividing line somewhere between £2.5m and £5m. A discussion of lakes and expanse of water featuring on the sale brochure sealed my opinion.
But a well-tended and interesting garden is available to everyone, size is not really that important. Unless you really want a lake. The size dictates what can be done up to a certain size, when ideas become the primary factor. As size increases budget becomes the most significant driver.
Use the curb appeal
Whatever you have or plan to do, keep in mind that you need to maximise the appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. A hard landscaped garden room with outdoor fireplace and cinema wall may have great appeal to same, but you can’t play football with you kid in it.
These are the factors to consider:
- Neat and tidy, though wild flowers can scupper that
- Well maintained. It must not appear forgotten
- Interesting, with a variety of plants and features
- With appeal for a family as well
- Minimal maintenance
- Well planted
- Pay more attention to the front for “first impressions”
- Spend a bit on bedding plants to fill any gaps and add colour
The subject of maintenance is very subjective. A cottage garden can be raked over a couple of times a year and work well in spring and summer, but an interested gardener can find something to do every week.
The appeal to a new buyer is the same as that of any visitor, in that they should be finding interest and wanting to look further. Most important is that it looks cared for, and is neat.
Keep it tidy
The easiest way to have the garden sell your house is to trim grass edges, and mow any lawn areas. Neat is not short, so keep the cut higher so no scalping occurs. Then just fork over any exposed soil in the beds, which is infinitely more appealing than compacted soil that has not seen a fork recently. Add pots to areas where you want to draw the eye, away from utility areas.
This same broadsheet article, which I could not find online, suggested covering the beds with bark chippings, as they were good for the soil as well. Of course they are, but they also attract birds hunting insect that hide in it. But birds throw the bark everywhere as they hunt.
So if you need to mulch the beds use a coarse compost rather than bark, or you’ll be picking up bits from paths and lawns every time before someone calls to view.
You can also use time warp to your advantage. Some well taken photos of the garden at its best from previous seasons will provide a better impression than the ones taken before it’s in bloom, or on the grey day the agent comes.