A well-kept garden can attract more potential buyers and add up to 20% to the value of a home. especially in cities.
But there are some gardening mistakes that can deter buyers and actually put them off from making that all-important offer. Spring and Summer are the most popular seasons for buying and selling a home and it is also the time when gardens can look at their best. But what is it that buyers don’t want to see in your outside space?
Selling a house is all about creating engaging first impressions so it’s important that your garden looks the part. Broken gates and fences, cracked paving, unkempt beds and overgrown lawns can be a turn-off for buyers who think that this lack of TLC might have spread to the rest of the property.
Lawns need to be cut at least once a week during Spring and early Summer, probably increasing to twice a week at the height of the growing season in July and August.
Ornate water features
Eye-catching water features can look impressive but buyers know they can be expensive to maintain. Even simple ponds can be looked upon as a potential danger zone by parents of small children.
Try to keep things simple and manageable. A simple bird bath will attract wildlife, it’s easy to install and little or no maintenance is required.
Broken or worn-out garden furniture
Whether it’s the chair that was broken during the kickabout at last Summer’s BBQ or the parasol that split during last November’s storms, we’ve all been guilty of leaving last year’s garden casualties on display. But staging is everything when people are selling a house – you want viewers to imagine themselves living there. You may even feel inclined to sit them down in your garden while you are showing them around. Make sure the furniture is sound and the grime of Winter has been wiped away. If necessary, give it a fresh coat of paint or stain or a good old polish.
Is a bit of a ‘no-no’ for many would-be buyers. It may be convenient and easy to maintain but for many people it’s another problem that can only be solved by pulling it all up and laying new lawn.
As we all become more environmentally conscious, the lack of bio-diversity in fake lawns has made more us fans of good, old-fashioned grass.
And after all, nothing beats the smell of a freshly cut lawn.
And it’s not just Japanese Knotweed. Everybody knows the dangers of this invader – it can cause so much damage that some lenders refuse to offer mortgages where this pest is present.
Climbers like ivy or wisteria can also cause problems by lifting roof tiles or damaging rendering on walls.
Buyers may also be on the lookout for any plants that may be poisonous or harmful to pets or humans. These include laburnum, rhododendron and giant hogweed.
Shallow-rooted trees like Willow can cause damage to buildings and need to be at least 20m away from any buildings. Their roots can spread over large distances and even neighbouring properties can be affected.
Mature Oak trees need over 1000 litres of water a day and have a massive network of shallow roots. Oaks are believed to be the biggest single cause of subsidence in the UK.
While having a well-kept garden is a definite positive for home sellers, they would do well to remember that not everyone is a green-fingered expert. If a garden is jam-packed full of ornamental shrubs and exotic plants, it can be seriously intimidating for buyers who might prefer a rather simpler botanical life. The trick here is to keep it simple – your buyer may not be a regular panellist on Gardeners’ Question Time.
Cut back on trees, shrubs and plants that block light from rooms in your house. There are two reasons for this:
- No-one likes a dark and dingy living room – it makes the space look smaller and more depressing.
- If you’re on the inside looking out, you’ve got a great view of the garden. You can keep an eye on the kids or the dogs or the house sparrows taking a dip in your new birdbath!
Here at Phillip Mann, we can help you with the successful selling of your property to help you get the most from your sale.
We operate in the Seaford, Peacehaven, and Newhaven areas. If you would like further guidance on any part of the sales process, get in touch with us today.
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