Selling your home? Then don’t neglect the landscaping.
Landscaping your home can seem like a daunting task, but if you’re looking to maximise the value of your property before you go to sell, it pays to get it right.
If you think buyers will want a clean slate anyway, think again! Most buyers will expect at the very least nice paving or a well-maintained lawn. Bare, sandy outdoor areas look like a lot of work and detract from the property.
Buyers want to be sure that they are investing in a product that is worth the money. That’s why we recommend focusing your budget on these key areas below:
1. A great lawn
If your property has lawn, ensure that it is well-maintained and green. Often, it is one of the first things buyers will notice when they’re inspecting the outside areas, so it’s a really important place to give it the attention it deserves. We recommend tending to your lawn a few weeks prior to your first home open, so that you can get it looking nice and healthy by the time potential buyers come around.
A handy tip is to clearly define the edges of your lawn and your garden beds as well, which makes it look cleaner and fresher. Also, make sure you rake up any leaves left over from the colder months to make everything look neat and tidy.
2. Define your pathways
Clear walkways are really important when you’re trying to attract a buyer. Make sure your pathways aren’t hazardous for potential buyers; slippery moss, loose pavers, and tripping hazards such as overgrown roots, don’t leave a good impression on potential buyers.
If you need to re-level and re-pave, you can try and save money by recycling the old pavers. All they need usually is a spray with a high-pressure hose to freshen them up and they’re ready for recycling.
3. Plant for privacy
Are your boundary fences just not enough to prevent catching glimpses of your neighbours washing line, or their prying eyes? If the lack of privacy is a nuisance for you, chances are prospective buyers are going to be turned off as well.
Head to your local garden centre and talk to an assistant about the right type of screening plant for your area; remember that you will need to take into account soil type, water needs, and light/shade exposure to make sure it suits the species of plant.
4. Weed and maintain
Your garden beds should add to the look of your outdoor area, not detract from it. So it should go without saying that your garden beds need to be freshly weeded. Most buyers want a low-maintenance garden, so if you think it’s a chore, imagine what buyers will think!
5. There’s more to mulch
Once your garden beds are weed-free and looking healthy, lay down some mulch to make the garden more presentable. However, not all mulches are built the same; when you’re selling your home is best to stay away from smelly manure and dyed woodchips, as most buyers don’t like them.
Moreover, we don’t tend to recommend covering your garden beds with rocks or pebbles, as more often than it cheapens the look and feels lazy. If you are going to do it, make sure it adds to the design of the space and isn’t just a shortcut.
6. Plant species matter
Always take into account the type of plant species you choose when landscaping, as you want them to thrive and last in their new environment. Native plants are a great choice as they are generally drought-tolerant and encourage native birds to stop by.
We recommend limiting the number of different plant species to give your landscaping a more uniform look. You don’t have to go overboard – as different species will add interest, colour and contribute to the eco-system of the garden – but if every second plant is different, it might be time to rethink.
7. Pruning: know when to stop
There’s a fine line between tidy and well-maintained, and hacked bare. Know when it’s time to put the trimmers down and back away!
8. Pot plants
Pot plants are a great way to direct the flow of traffic along pathways, as they tend to make people slow down as they pass by. This is great if you to draw attention to a particular area like a water feature or bench seating.
Don’t go overboard though – if you have a huge collection of pots that are all different sizes, shapes and colours, with mismatched plants, the look can end up being cluttered and off-putting to buyers. Be strategic about pot plant placement (that’s a tongue-twister!) and always make sure the plants inside them are well-maintained and alive!
Above all, look at your outdoor areas from a buyer’s point of view, and tailor our tips to suit your home.
Some interesting facts
- Trees increase value: Perth-based research* found that a broad-leafed tree located on a street verge in front of a home increases the median property price by about $16,889.
- Choose a leafy street: The economic value of greenspace* case study, put together by Brisbane City Council, found “leafy streets, with 50 per cent or more tree cover, added up to $29,000 (5.4 per cent) above the median house sale price”.
- Landscaping achieves high-value returns: A Michigan University study* found that homeowners achieved a 109 per cent return on every landscaping dollar spent – higher than any other home improvement.
- Good landscape design increases value: The same Michigan University research found good landscape design – as judged by plant type, size and design sophistication– increased perceived home value by 5–11 per cent.