Property expert David Leake, of Housesetc explains the importance of generating an impressive first impression.
Gardens are too often forgotten in the race to make the most of a property, but their condition can sometimes be the deciding factor on value. It’s a common-held belief that the decision on whether or not to buy a property is made within the first few moments of viewing it.
The state of the front garden is therefore a prime consideration for anyone choosing to sell their home, and with spring upon us, now is an ideal time to get those green fingers working!
• Drive-by desirability is all important as first impressions really do count.
• Make sure your front garden is neat, tidy and easily maintained. Hanging baskets and flower troughs establish the cared-for look without creating too much work. Any lawn areas should be neatly trimmed, and trees cut back and controlled. A well-presented front door, with pots alongside it, goes a long way towards generating a homely welcome.
• The back of the house is where the most work is likely to lie. Today’s busy lifestyle means many people don’t have much time to spend on gardening, so creating some low maintenance areas is invaluable. Decking, paving and woodchips can be used to differentiate areas of the garden and simplify them, often generating a very desirable ‘outside room’ space, which will be attractive to buyers.
• Smaller and larger gardens alike will also benefit from the definition of specific areas for herbs, flowers and vegetables.
• Those with larger gardens should try to create a sense of flow within the space, which draws the visitor in and avoids the garden area being perceived as an undefined ‘patch’ of land. This can be done using well positioned pathways, lawns, pots and flowerbeds.
• Any trees and hedges should be kept under control and fences maintained.
• If there is space, you could consider installing a summer house and a shed.
• Boost the value of your house, by improving your home in these relatively inexpensive ways. You may find this enjoyable; and further more it will make your house more attractive when the time comes to sell. It can also enhance the general streetscape and consequently the perception of the area as a desirable place to live. This will raise house prices all round, thereby keeping both you and the whole neighbourhood happy!