Today we have a guest post, courtesy of Rob Steen, which looks at how tidying up that garden area can help you sell your home.
Anyone who has ever watched any of the many home improvement or selling programmes on television must be aware of the term ‘kerb appeal’ and how important it is when selling your home.
Although it isn’t necessarily a fair assumption, many buyers are put off by a messy garden as they assume it means that the seller is a bit slapdash and the house might be the same under the superficial tidiness. Unfair or not, this is an easy problem to solve in very few steps and with a nice tidy garden you are more likely to achieve your asking price, and in record time, too.
If your garden is really untidy, chances are you are not one of nature’s gardeners and so you might be a bit overwhelmed by the task ahead of you especially if you want to sell your house fast. Just hacking and slashing is not really an answer to the kerb appeal issue, because bushes and trees that have been recently chopped usually look a little sad and forlorn. Start by cutting them back a little, leaving plenty of healthy growth to the fore so that they look healthy and established. Then clear the ground beneath them and think about some planting strategies, which will largely depend on the time of year.
Winter can be the garden tidyer’s friend (with snow being the ultimate smoother out of problems, of course) because a neatly cut lawn and some trimmed shrubs will make one garden look much like another, even if one has been neglected for months and the other tended daily. You can buy most bulbs ‘in the green’ nowadays, which means that they are already growing in their pots, so if you can clear a few beds and plant some bulbs such as crocus, hyacinth and muscari you will make it look very good and everyone is cheered up by bulbs.
Spring and summer are a little harder to handle if you are not a natural gardener, as you need to give the garden a lot of time you might not have. If the garden is very out of shape, it might be a good investment to engage a garden maintenance company to give it a good going over in the first instance and then come in at designated intervals to keep it looking good. If your strategy works and the nice tidy garden nets you a sale, your outlay might not be much at all. If you would rather do it yourself, some bedding plants always look jolly and if you buy a bag or two of bark or coconut mulch, you can hide the weeds rather than pull them up. This isn’t a permanent solution, but it will certainly last while the house is up for sale.
For quick fixes when you are expecting a viewing, sweep all paths and drives, clip the edges of lawns, put out a few chairs and a table to make it look as if the garden is a haven of tranquillity – people buy aspirationally, so they would like to think they will be spending their days outside, sipping Pimms!
Rob Steen is a freelance copy writer who is particularly passionate about home improvement and loves a tidy garden. He sometimes writes for property companies Tom Craven Property Buyers and Gateway Homes.