When you’re sprucing up to sell your home the interior undoubtedly takes center stage, but it is the exterior that will create that all-important first impression for every potential buyer. This is why a well-appointed backyard is crucial, since it may be the thing that will seal the deal. Knowing this, many homeowners invest a lot of time and money in a total backyard makeover, but before you call the excavators, you should consider a much simpler and cheaper approach – using simple staging techniques. It’s all about showcasing the best features of your backyard when potential buyers arrive and we’ve listed some ideas for you to consider.
Keep Your Greenery Nice & Neat
Your lawn is without a doubt the first thing potential buyers are going to lay their eyes on, so it’s crucial to cut it and keep it neat. If the first thing they see is an overgrown lawn littered with weeds they probably won’t even bother coming inside. You also need to make sure it has plenty of water so it doesn’t lead to discoloration. If water is not the issue, know that yellowing can have different causes and solutions that come with them. Your lawn is the central feature of the backyard, but that doesn’t mean that the rest is less important – sweep away all the dead leaves, trim your hedges, prune the shrubs, and don’t forget to weed and water your flower gardens. Keep in mind not to overlook the front stoop – remove all the cracked pots and planters and those with dead blooms inside.
The exterior of your home needs to be as tidy as the interior – there must be no trace of any kind of litter around the backyard. For potential buyers, everything that shouldn’t be there is considered litter. So remove old newspapers and junk mail from the front stoop, put away scattered garden tools and children’s toys, and keep your car inside the garage. When it comes to decorations we don’t need to mention that old, worn-out and unattractive ones need to go, but you should also remove those that reflect your personal taste – not everyone has a thing for pink flamingos.
Small Repairs & Quick Cleaning
Take a look at the structures in your backyard the could need smaller repairs – raised planting beds, patios, fences, etc. If there’s a buildup of dirt and grime on your wooden deck you should simply power wash it. A power washer is equally efficient when it comes to dirt, mold, and cobwebs which can accumulate in other places during winter – siding, windows, driveways, fences, etc. It is the quickest way to clean the whole backyard – no more than a few hours – and definitely the cheapest since you can rent a power washer for around 60 dollars per day from your local hardware store.
Set up Different Areas
You need to arrange your backyard in a way that will show potential buyers there are different areas available for various uses. A hammock or benches in a back corner could make up a quiet relaxation area. A small outdoor dining table on the patio is enough to create an eating area. Just remember to leave enough room to walk around when you arrange the other patio furniture – if it becomes cluttered it will result in poor traffic flow. The same way you should leave some open space in the middle of your backyard that will indicate there’s also room for entertaining and playing. You could also create a focal point under a tree or near the grill with an all-weather umbrella, some chairs, and a picnic table. Adding some attractive lanterns will keep these areas inviting throughout the evening.
Add a Splash of Color
Nothing can make the backyard look more attractive than dressing it up with splashes of color. Instead of bringing in a bunch of accessories, just take advantage of nature and plant some colorful annuals – place them along the edge of the driveway, in your backyard, and in window boxes. If there’s not much space left for planting, just install a couple of hooks on the eave and hang your new colorful plants there. In order to hide the dirt around these new freshly planted blooms, simply lay down some organic mulch.
Achieving a well thought out and inviting backyard needn’t take long or cost a fortune. You need to maintain your greenery, remove all the unnecessary clutter and have an objective eye when planning out the various areas for entertainment and leisure. Think about what a potential buyer might want (or not want) from the available space and proceed accordingly. Setting aside a couple of weekends for the work, you’ll soon be able to create the kind of backyard that will create the ideal first impression come selling time.
Author:Bethany Seton is a recent economy graduate. Before settling in an office, she decided to follow her passions for writing and traveling. Currently, she travels with her laptop and writes for various blogs, hoping one day she will gather all the experience she gets in one book.