So should you be slipping into your wellies, sharpening the secateurs and planning a horticultural masterpiece?
Actually, put the Grand Designs on hold. There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that an overly designed garden can have a negative effect on homebuyers.
Take the case of one estate agent recently. She showed a prospective buyer around a beautifully planted garden complete with pond, outbuildings and ingeniously arranged flower beds … only for the buyer to look over the fence at the featureless, gravel-filled garden next door and say, ‘That’s what I want.’
So it seems that the golden rule about the interior design of a house – i.e. a blank canvas making it easier to sell – can apply to the outside space, too.
What’s more, estate agents report that a garden that looks too costly to maintain – topiary to keep in shape, greenhouses to clean, water features to maintain – can backfire on sellers. So what’s the best way to present a garden that will put on pounds in value rather than put off potential buyers?
Top tips for a garden that will sell your house
- Lawn more
Most buyers of family homes want a decent, straightforward piece of lawn that that the kids can play football on – so don’t break up your expanse of grass with crazy paving or fancy flower beds.
- Tidy and de-clutter
Sweep the patio, trim the hedge, pull up the weeds and remove anything that clutters the view. That prize collection of garden gnomes? Might be worth putting them in storage until after you sell.
- Get handy
Sort all those little jobs that, taken together, could give a poor first impression of your home when someone comes to view, e.g. the squeaky gate, the peeling paint on the fence, the ivy that’s creeping onto the roof.
- Make room
In good weather, your garden is an extra room, so treat it appropriately with some stylish, good-quality outdoor furniture. This will immediately give potential buyers a picture of idyllic summer evenings on the patio.