When preparing your house for sale, the garden may not be on top of your list of things to work on. However according to landscape economist John Harris, it can be a costly mistake to overlook this area. He says that landscaping can increase the overall value of a house by up to 28%. Of course, full landscaping is a pretty big undertaking, but a report by Clemson University suggests that even minor improvements to the garden can add 7% onto the final sale price. If that isn’t enough motivation to get the gardening gloves on, there is also the negative impact that not doing a thing can have on the sale; Husqvarna’s survey of real estate agents across the globe revealed that they believe a neglected garden can lower property prices by up to 15%, and some agents believe the figure is even higher than that!
If you are thinking about selling your house and your garden is looking a little worse for wear, there are lots of ways you can give it a makeover that are both quick and cheap. Read on for some tips on how to keep the costs down but the rewards high:
Before you race down to Flower Power or even pick up your pair of clippers, take a moment to formulate a plan in your head of what you want to achieve. What style garden would you like to create? There are so many themes that can look great; a native Australian oasis, a Japanese Zen style garden, a Balinese retreat … all of these require very different approaches and a firm plan at the start will help you stay on track and not accidentally start mixing themes once you are walking around the garden centre.
A plan gives you a chance to think about what tools you might need to borrow or buy, and also how much time you have available to you. A garden that needs to be completed quickly requires a different approach to one that allows plants to grow over time.
Finally, if you have a firm plan of what you need from plants to furniture, it means you can keep an eye out for sales and special deals at your local shops. It also stops any spontaneous purchases when you are in the moment.
Use What You Have
There is no cheaper garden makeover than a free one! Instead of buying all of your seating and décor brand new, take a look around at what can be upcycled. Upcycling is the practice of taking something old and repurposing it into something new. Take for example using an old bicycle as a prop in the backyard with a flowerpot in the basket. Or popping some tealights into old mason jars for rustic ambience. And old crates or storage containers can be repainted and turned into seating.
As for the fauna, swapping plant cuttings with friends and neighbours is a great way to get a fresh new garden at no cost.
A simple trick to giving a plain looking yard a quick and easy fresh new look is to create defined spaces. This involves sectioning your yard and having a different purpose for each part. You could have the kids play space that has a sandpit, swinging rope or a climbing frame. In another corner might be the entertaining quarter complete with seating, a fire pit and the BBQ. And you could have a relaxing zone with outdoor beanbags, sunchairs and a large umbrella. To keep the spaces defined, separate them with potted plants or use outdoor rugs.
If your home is going to be hitting the market sooner rather than later, and time is of the essence, don’t stress! There are many things you can do to your outdoor area that won’t take too much time and also won’t hurt the budget.
Swapping out old cushions on the outdoor furniture for new ones in cheerful colours can lift the entire mood of the yard.
Adding a string of lights across the patio or yard can turn any boring space into a funky entertainment area. Shopping at places like Kmart, Target or Ikea makes it possible to get the set of cushions or string of lights without breaking the budget.
If you feel like your garden needs to pop, pick out some large rocks and paint them in vibrant colours. Bonus points if you have leftover paint samples in the garage that you can use.
Finally, give the front yard a good tidy up before any marketing photos or open house inspections are scheduled. Good curb appeal really helps get potential buyers interested in your home even before they’ve set foot on the property.
If the increase in property value isn’t a great enough reason to get out into the yard before you list your home for sale remember this; gardening has been known to help lower stress and anxiety, something that would be very beneficial to anyone selling a house and preparing to move!
What other ideas can you think of for a quick but effective fix up for your yard?