Guild Blog: The Top 10 Ways to Add Value to your Garden

It is difficult for a garden to look beautiful in Winter however it can look tidy and have a little colour.
Ideas of jobs you could be doing – 

Generally tidy your garden –                                                                                    Get rid of the dead Christmas tree. 
Rake/sweep up any leaves left from Autumn. 
Cut back anything that you can, at this time of year. 
Tie back any loose branches or climbers. 
Make sure your bins look tidy. 
Kill any moss. 
Plant some winter colour – winter pansies, early flowering Spring bulbs etc

Now is the time to plan the changes you would like to make to your outside space in 2019 …

Before selling your home, most people try to spruce up their property by decluttering and doing a thorough clean. But many people forget the area that gives a first impression is the garden. We all like to get outside and enjoy a sunny summer afternoon, so make sure your garden looks appealing for a potential buyer. Here are some easy tips to follow to make your garden add value to your property. 

1. Spruce up the space 

Just like inside your home, some decluttering and garden maintenance can add value to your property. Always start with tidying and key maintenance. 

“Depending on their situation, buyers could see the garden as entertaining space, a hobby, the place where their children will play, space for their pets, a source of food or a combination of any or all of these, so it is crucial that sellers place as much importance on the presentation of the garden as they would on the presentation of the house,” says Steve Thompson from Thomas Morris in Cambridgeshire. “Good gardens can add value to a home and poorly kept gardens can detract from it.”

Susie Davies from Debbie Fortune Estate Agents in Somerset recommends maintaining the lawns. “A manicured lawn always enhances the appearance of a garden and makes it look bigger,” she says. 

Lee Hussell from Webbers in Devon has some practical advice. “The first place to start is to give your garden a good tidy up. Winters are never kind to our gardens and damage may have been caused to fences and trellis or maybe the larger shrubs and trees. Any dead growth can be cut back and fallen leaves and other debris can be removed and cleared away.”

2. Add some seasonal colour  

Once your garden is tidy, it is time to make it into a key selling point that potential buyers will love. 

“When showing your home, you want the buyers to visualise living there, so have pot plants filled with flowers to give it some colour and the lawn mowed to make it look tidy,” suggests Celeste Hannah from Hamilton Parkers in Hampshire. “First impressions count, and in the spring and summer months, you want to show your garden off to its full potential. This will definitely add perceived value and gives you a better chance to maximise the selling price.”

Pretty Garden with trees

3. Focus on what is seen first 

Struggling for time or budget? Start where your potential buyer will start and focus on this area. 

“Never forget kerb appeal, and, more relevant in the online age, photo appeal. The first impression really does count, so always start with the front garden,” says Martin Moore from Morris Marshall & Poole in Wales. 

4. Add a key selling point 

A well-maintained garden will make sure a buyer is not put off your property, but something more can make them want to buy your property above any others they have seen. 

“A nice summer house is a garden goal for many people,” says Phil Pritchard from Williams & Goodwin in North Wales. “It often feels like an extra room away from the main property and can be utilised as anything from a place to relax, an office, a man cave or a playroom for the children.” 

There are ways to maximise the impact of an existing summer house, too. “If you have a summer house, it is worth making sure the wood has been treated so that it is weather proof and you can easily give it a face lift by adding a touch of colour,” suggests Andrew Lodge from Andrew Lodge Estate Agents in Surrey. “There are so many good quality garden paints available in neutral tones.”

Don’t forget the impact that a child’s opinion may have on the decision makers, advises John Newhouse from Roseberry Newhouse in North Yorkshire. “Buyers may love the idea of a summerhouse or man cave, and of course children will be drawn to tree houses or play areas.” 

Simon Miller at Holroyd Miller suggests caution, though. “The truth is that some people like hot tubs or summer houses and some don’t. Additions of this kind shouldn’t be thought of in terms of re-sale, however, well looked-after and presented in the right way, they will certainly present something unique and a lifestyle image that potential buyers can see the value in.”

5. Add some shed-quarters 

Sheds are not only practical, but they are coming back into fashion. They can be used from anything as a useful place to store bikes and lawnmowers to a garden retreat. 

“By putting up a good-sized shed, you are adding a useful storage space for gardeners and families with outdoor furniture and even toys,” says Andrew Lodge. 

Many people choose to work from home, and an insulated shed could provide the perfect home office. John Newhouse says: “Additional space in the shape of pods, studios or cabins provide potential work space options for house hunters.” 

Painting a garden fence

6. A little paint goes a long way 

If you’re looking to spend less to add value to your property, don’t underestimate the impact of a good coat of paint on fences, sheds and other wood in the garden. 

“Adding value to your home through the garden doesn’t have to break the bank. If you have decking or a perimeter fence, you could freshen it up with a coat of paint. If the garden is presentable it will be more attractive to viewers and could increase the price a potential buyer is willing to pay for your home,” suggests Jared Thomas from Emsleys Estate Agents in West Yorkshire. 

7. Think about the patio 

“We recommend investing in good quality patio, paving or decking,” says Andrew Lodge. “Having a professional job done will enhance the overall appearance of your outside space. Decent sized patio and decking areas add value as they are great for entertaining and alfresco dining. Adding some good lighting outside will also enable people to make the most of the garden on those long summer nights.”

8. Style your garden with furniture 

You wouldn’t show a room to a potential buyer without any furniture in it, so why show a garden without a table and chairs? 

“Depending on the size of the garden and who it will appeal to, ensure that the lawns are cut or the terrace is swept and ideally have the garden furniture set up so buyers can imagine themselves sitting out enjoying an al fresco evening,” said John Newhouse. 

small dog in garden

9. Secure the garden 

If the people viewing the house have pets, they will want to see a garden that is fully secured to avoid an escaped dog. 

“It is important that you invest in secure fencing, walls or gates,” advises Andrew Lodge. “People like to feel secure in their gardens so that they can relax. It also makes the garden more appealing to those with young children and pets.”

10. Make it private 

If your home is overlooked by other homes or gardens, it’s a good idea to give the idea of privacy to the garden. If it isn’t too expensive, add hedges or trees in key spots. It will make the potential buyers be able to imagine themselves enjoying a peaceful afternoon outside in the summer. 

Susie Davies advises that ornamental trees have a pleasing, aesthetic effect in a garden. 

Are you looking for a new home with a beautiful garden? Contact a Guild Member today to start your property search. 

Home Staging

Guild Blog: Stage Your Home Like a Pro

Stage your home like a pro

When it comes to selling a house, ‘staging’ is of the utmost importance. You might spend hours upon hours dusting ceiling corners, scrubbing at the kitchen floor or rearranging the furniture of your home. However, there are other changes you could make which you might not have thought of.

Recent research carried out by Carpetright explores how our living spaces can often dictate how we feel. Given that we spend 80-90% of our time indoors, it makes sense that, as people, we want to go to great lengths to ensure our surroundings make ourselves feel happy and positive.

Key findings from the study found that three-quarters of people surveyed agree that the layout of a room can impact their mood. Two-thirds of the group found a messy room stress-inducing, while a third associate gardens with relaxation.

Feng Shui master, Alan Stirling, recognises that “our environment is very often an expression of how we feel inwardly. Ideally, it should inspire us to make the most of our lives from when we open our eyes in the morning and help us relax after a rewarding day”.

If Carpetright’s findings tell us anything, it’s that if we can positively influence how people feel when they step foot in our home, they are more likely to be open to purchasing. So, how can you harness this knowledge and achieve ultimate zen within your soon-to-be-sold home in preparation for viewings?

Use plants and natural materials to your advantage

The study showed that 81% of participants agree that having an outdoor space at home is important. Many other studies have also shown that adding plants to your household creates a calming and colourful environment.

Plants are quick and relatively inexpensive additions to make; simply head on down to your nearest garden centre and stock up on ones that go nicely with the colour palette and space you’re working with. According to Mark McCance, Director of Hortology.co.uk, ‘The Indoor Plant Experts For Home & Office’, some of the best house plants include Dragon Trees, Kentia Palm and Snake Plants because of their air-purifying qualities.

“Plants in the home have generally been linked with improved well-being, optimism, calmness, particularly as they dampen sound in noisy environments, and a sense of stability and reduction in stress and anxiety”, says McCance.

In addition, natural materials such as wooden flooring not only offset the human-made parts of your home visually but also have positive effects on yours and your guests’ mental states, simulating proximity to nature.

“The introduction of greenery such as houseplants, green walls or natural materials is an important element of health and wellbeing”, says McCance.

The abundance of plants and natural materials will leave your viewers feeling relaxed and calm, with a positive impression of your home.

Change up the lighting

You want your home to ideally be bright and airy when expecting visitors or viewings. A dingy, poorly lit environment will be an immediate turn-off to potential buyers, whereas standing lamps, intricate fairy lights or mood-boosting colour-changing LED lights signal warmth and comfort.

Lighting can instantly influence the mood of your guests, so it is definitely something to take into account when preparing your house for viewings.

Stimulate your guests’ senses with smells and sights

This can be in the form of bright, eye-catching rugs, essential oil diffusers or scented candles. These small additions to your household stimulate at least one of the five senses and have a big impact on your space and how relaxed your guests will feel.

Entering a house that smells divine and oozes colour is going to immediately impress your visitors. When it comes to décor, certain colours can evoke specific feelings and sentiments too; for example, yellow is associated with optimism, green and blue with harmony, while reds and oranges go hand in hand with warmth and excitement. Decide how you want your guests to feel and adjust your colour palette to suit.

But this ‘sense awakening’ doesn’t have to be synonymous with splurging; miniature adjustments to cushions, rugs and small furnishings can make all the difference.

Get rid of clutter 

It goes without saying that too much clutter can be very off-putting to potential buyers. By placing bits and pieces into storage units and boxes, you enable visitors to get a clear picture of the space on offer. Mess and clutter can often hinder this.

Home organisation expert and Netflix show host Marie Kondo has taken the internet by storm with her trademarked ‘KonMari’ methods. By only keeping items that “spark joy” within you and discarding those that fail to have the same effect, you are able to both declutter and surround yourself with plenty of positive vibes.

In addition to this, two-thirds of people feel stressed in messy rooms – the last thing you want your guests to feel when thinking of potentially buying your home.

 

Sell your property

Are you looking to sell your home? Find your local Guild Member today. Don’t forget to use our free instant online valuation tool on our website to get an instant quote. For a more accurate valuation of your property, we advise you to contact your local Guild property professional.