Getting the most from your garden when selling your house

First impressions count. When a prospective buyer comes to view your property the garden is often the first thing that they see. It is a recognized fact that a well maintained exterior along with a well presented garden has a huge influence on the attractiveness and ultimately the value of a property to prospective buyers. Nowadays many people look at their garden as an extra room onto the house and consider it’s suitability as a very important part of their decision whether or not to buy a property.
   Without going to too much expense or effort there are a number of simple steps that you can carry out to help make a good first impression. These include making sure that the lawn has been mowed, the hedges clipped, the flower beds edged and weeded and that all paths or driveways are clean and free from weeds. The garden should also be de-cluttered by tidying away things such as children’s toys, bins and old garden furniture. It is also usually a good idea to check the condition of boundary walls and fences to make sure that they are secure and looking good. These should be painted if necessary.
   While carrying out these simple steps will instantly increase the appeal of your property, by spending even a relatively small amount on adding to the exterior of your home you can hope to greatly increase its desirability and its value. Something as simple as plants grown in containers can be used to create an effect. Hanging baskets can be used to both brighten up and add height to walls, while pots planted up with shrubs can be used to quickly add a splash of colour to otherwise dreary corners of the garden. By adding a few well thought out features to your garden you can also suggest to prospective buyers different uses that they might not have otherwise come up with. Examples of this include adding a deck or a patio. An area of hard landscaping can then be dressed with garden furniture and a barbecue to make an area for dining, entertaining or just simply relaxing. When adding these touches, however you should be careful not to be too personal in the choice of features as you still want to attract as broad a market as possible.
   When considering what you want to do with your garden it is also usually a good idea to consider your target market is and what they might be looking for in a property. If you think that the style of your house or the area that you live in is likely to appeal to a certain section of the property market it might be worth reflecting their interests in the garden. To a young family with small children, a house with large garden secured with hedges or fences will provide an area where the children can play in safety, while people looking for a house for retirement might want a smaller garden that requires a lot less maintenance.
© Copyright, Highland Landscapes, Letterkenny, 2008.