20th April 2021
Assistant Marketing Manager
Never before have we craved the great outdoors as much as we did, when we were forced to stay indoors. Covid-19 took us all by surprise, but what won’t come as a surprise is that having some outside space has become the most desired quality of a home for those looking to move.
Private outdoor space was the strongest predictor of comfort during lockdown and the most valued quality of a home during the pandemic. While we’ve all been spending more time at home, those of us who’ve had somewhere private to enjoy the simple things in life, such as enjoy the sun on our face while relaxing with a good book or space to give the children somewhere to let off some energy after hours of home schooling, have had a considerably better time during lockdown than those without.
1 in 8 households (12%) in Great Britain have no access to a private or shared garden, so it’s not surprising that ‘garden’ was the most popular property search term over the course of last year.
As outdoor space has become more desirable to buyers, the presence of a well-maintained garden may now add a premium of between 5% -20% onto the sale price of your property.
What are buyers looking for in a garden?
Real grass is a winner! Not only does it feel fab between the toes, if you have space for children to play there’s nothing better than an expanse of lush, green lawn for them to run around and play on.
Next up is sunshine. Whilst this year’s spring weather has been a little unseasonal with snow in the South of England, a south facing garden means it will be pointed towards the sun for the majority of the day and therefore will be worth a premium over a north facing garden.
Our new WFH lives! As we’ve transitioned to a nation working from home (WFH), for the time being at least, a well designed home office or at least space for one in your garden will also add value to your property. We’ve covered previously why a Home Office is now at the top of buyer’s wish lists.
Improving your garden to add value
As a seller, if you don’t happen to have a south facing garden or a home office, there are still plenty of smaller improvements you can do to your garden to make it more attractive to buyers. Real grass, sheds and outdoor seating areas for alfresco dining are all popular features among home buyers and spring is the perfect time to start investing in it ready for those balmy summer months.
Research by Post Office Money found that landscaping your garden could add more value to the property than a new kitchen, a conservatory or even an extension.
Next time you want to add value to your home, consider outdoor enhancements such as planting beautiful new flower beds, adding a sturdy deck, creating a patio or opting for water features. If you have space, more elaborate outdoor renovations such as a swimming pool averaging £30,000 or a new driveway at £25,000 can also offer significant uplifts in value.
1. Keep the garden neat and tidy
Keep the lawn mowed regularly and trim any hedges and bushes so they look neat and tidy. If the lawn is in a really bad state, consider investing in new turf before selling – depending on the size of the garden a new lawn can be a relatively cheap investment, but well worth it for impressing potential buyers.
Clear flower beds of any dead or tired-looking plants and replace with new ones. Fill any empty areas with bark chippings, light stones, granite or flint.
If you don’t have any or much lawn, plant pots are a great way to brighten any space and come with an added bonus – you can take them with you when you move!
2. Break out the jet washer
When the day finally arrives to get the jet washer out – enjoy!
Although it’s a messy job, now is most definitely the time to get those patios, decking, paving, steps, PVC facias (and almost anything else you can find) sparkling! The winter months can make them incredibly slippery so not only will it look a lot better, it will also be safer for any visitors during viewings.
3. Garages and sheds
Make sure sheds are tidy and in good order. If they are looking a bit tired, give them a lick of varnish or paint. The same applies to fences, it’s an easy job and the results can be very rewarding.
Give your garage a once-over and make sure that all internal lighting works and that doors open and shut properly. If you have a car that fits in your garage, tuck it away inside or park it along the road outside. A clear driveway looks much better than a cluttered one – creating the impression of more space is very important. Ensuring your car is not on the driveway is something we always encourage when professional marketing photos are taken.
4. Garden toys
If you have young children you’ll no doubt have a trampoline, swing or other multi-colour toys in the garden. Large items can be left in-situ if in good condition, but anything smaller is best to tidy away in the garage or shed. Similar to the inside of our home it is best to de-personalise this space as much as you can.
If you are willing to sell any garden toys such as a swing as part of the house sale, make sure your estate agent is aware so they can let people know whilst on viewings and include it on your Sales Memorandum.
5. Lighting and accessories
Making sure your property has adequate outside lighting is a must. Not only does it help illuminate your house for added security, but stylish lighting is now considered an essential component of landscape garden design, not only in the back garden but lighting the driveway too.
Our top tip is to remember to remove any lights that may be leftover from Christmas as they’ll date any photos that are taken of your home by your estate agent.
6. Wheelie bins
We all have them, but no one particularly wants to see them, so it’s a good idea to make sure they’re not over-spilling by paying a visit to the tip before viewings or hide them away if possible.
You can buy transfer coverings or even bin sheds to put them in so they’re out of sight. It’s especially important to make sure they’re out of view when your estate agent takes marketing photos of your property.
7. Neighbouring gardens and adjoining areas
When you come to sell, in the ideal world neighbouring gardens should also be as neat as possible as potential buyers will be using them as a gauge for what they may be like. But, if you literally can’t get away from what your neighbouring property looks like, consider installing blinds on internal windows that look out over your neighbours property to help distract potential buyers.
If your property backs onto communal areas or a public footpath, give them a quick litter pick and make sure any boundary fences and gates are secure and maintained.
Source: Dataloft, ONS, Place Alliance, Zoopla
Those of us who are lucky enough to have their own outside space will spend on average 114 hours per year on gardening tasks.
Our gardens and outdoor spaces are ‘valued’ more than ever, so if you’re considering selling, now is the best possible time to make the most from any investments you can make to ensure it is a well kept garden. We hope these simple tips can get you on the way to achieving a premium price for your property.