First impressions count and none more so than when buying a house. In fact, research by Barclays Mortgages suggests that a third of potential buyers won’t bother viewing a house if they don’t like what they see on the outside.
“A well-maintained garden with clearly defined, landscaped spaces can easily add 10 per cent to the value of a home,” says Redbrik’s David Cooper. “Presentation is key. Ensure cars are off the driveway and the garden is uncluttered and tidy. Simple things like ensuring the lawn is mown, fallen leaves are tidied away and adding a few brightly coloured shrubs or pot plants can make all the difference to the kerb appeal of a property.”
Of course, if you really want to add some wow factor to your property then you might want to consider a garden makeover. However, there’s no need to break the bank as most buyers have their own vision for the garden. These tips from property and garden experts will help you make the best of your outside space and reap what you sow when it comes to selling.
THE ESTATE AGENT
David Cooper, Director at Redbrik, has these suggestions:
• Keep it simple and low maintenance. Buyers with busy lives may be put off by fussy borders and features which require a lot of maintenance.
• Buyers crave privacy and so clever use of fences, walls and trees can really help to screen your property from neighbouring houses and improve safety for children and pets.
• Water features can add a calm feel to a garden but beware of deep ponds or pools as these can put off buyers with young children and add extra maintenance costs.
• Buyers are looking for flexible spaces so outdoor buildings such as summer houses and garden offices
can double up as a home office or gym.
• Storage is important, especially in houses with no garage, so consider installing a shed or utilising an existing garden outhouse as a storage space.
THE GARDEN DESIGNER
Shaun Coupe, from S Coupe Landscapes, offers the following advice:
• Lighting is important and can really make your garden a social space on summer evenings. There are some great options available inexpensively from large garden centres or DIY stores.
• If you’re planning a new hard standing area then avoid decking if you can as it has a short lifespan and requires too much maintenance. If you already have decking then clean and treat it yearly to keep it looking its best.
• Modern gardens should feel like an extension of the living area so if you have a patio or bifold doors consider adding a flat terrace outside and try to match the outside flooring materials to those used inside.
• Traditional ponds can be difficult to maintain so if you’re keen on water features, try a contemporary stainless steel rill or shallow reflective pool.
• Garden offices can be very attractive spaces for those working from home and there are so many great options available. They are generally considered as permitted development so usually don’t require planning permission – however, do check with your local council or garden designer first.
Neil Grant, of Ferndale Garden Centre in Dronfi eld and BBC Radio Sheffi eld’s gardening expert, has these tips:
• When adding plants to spruce up an existing garden for selling you should concentrate on ‘focal points’. For example the view from the lounge, the kitchen window, and the approach to the front door. Adding quick colour from bedding plants is easy to do and very effective.
• Fast growing large shrubs such as hydrangea and Spiraea japonica will fill up large borders quickly and inexpensively.
• Pots are brilliant for quickly adding garden appeal and when you move you can take them with you! Lavender smells amazing and looks great planted en masse in matching contemporary troughs or classic terracotta urns.
• Herb gardens are increasingly popular and add a certain lifestyle appeal. Position it near the kitchen door if possible or use a raised planter in smaller gardens.
• Invest a little time in sorting out your lawn. Weeding, scarifying and feeding it will make a huge difference. If you are selling your home consider paying someone to do this for you if you haven’t got the time, it will be a worthwhile investment.
S Coupe Landscapes is based in Chesterfield. Tel: 01246 824824 Ferndale Garden Centre, Dyche Lane, Coal Aston, Dronfield.