Why gardens can improve the value of a house

A great looking garden can help sell your house. First impressions count for a lot and when selling your house that first glimpse of a manicured garden or otherwise can make all the difference.

Imagine the horror of wading through invasive weeds, stepping around piles of rubbish and tripping over discarded shopping trolleys – so don't do it to a prospective buyer. A few simple guidelines will not only help sell your house but can also increase its value.

How to boost home value by making changes to the garden

Quick tips

  • Get everything clean and tidy. If nothing else then mow the lawn!
  • Welcome pots of colourful bedding make an instant impression.
  • Keep guarantees for all garden buildings and fences – they mean a lot to a prospective buyer.
  • Get your boundaries in order – replace rotten fencing or have a quick paint to refresh.
  • If any plants are moving with you then tell the potential buyer. It's only fair – and legal!

Tidy up

It will only take an hour or so but a mow of the lawn, a quick weed around and even a pressure wash of hard surfaces will make that first impression so much better. Spend a little more time, and perhaps £20 on a lick of paint for tired fences. It shows people looking at the property that you care and that will be in their minds as they look around the bricks and mortar.

A little bit of colour

Nothing is more welcoming than a couple of containers crammed with colourful bedding (and that applies to the winter months where pansies come into play) It has the same effect as flooding your house with the gentle scent of freshly percolated coffee and home baked bread – those other well tried tricks to create a welcoming, comforting and reassuring ambiance. The moment your buyers see the plants, they know they are in the company of caring people – people who care about their house and garden. And the containers can always go with you once the sale is complete.

Boundaries count

Get your fences, hedges and walls looking good. Re-point crumbling mortar, paint or replace dodgy fencing and don't forget to cut the hedges. Everyone wants to feel secure in their home and gardens, so show that is the case with your property. Take the time to fill in gaps and make it look cared for.

Landscape matters

It is always nice to see and visit fully landscaped gardens but not everyone wants one at home. Its debatable whether a 'finished' garden is a good thing to a prospective buyer. After all, it may seem daunting and a whole load of work to someone who simply wants to sit and relax in the garden.

A garden described as a 'plantsman's garden' could only be attractive to a plant person –definitely a narrower potential buyers market. Of course, some well placed, easy to care for plants will make a garden seem fulsome, and will not put people off. A well laid patio area is a must for most gardeners and it does evoke a relaxed lifestyle feel when a potential buyer is looking around. Sell that promise of long summer evenings in the sun. Put clean garden furniture out with trendy cushions and parasols. Sell the dream.

Big money spends

I'm thinking swimming pools and other big ticket items! A swimming pool is terrific but to many will instantly cause panic. Safety ( if the potential buyer has young children), cost ( maintenance is a lot) and actually the number of times you can actually use an outdoor pool in the UK may cause a potential buyer to say 'no' to a property. An easily maintained hot tub could be a better alternative.

Summerhouses come into the same bracket. However, the promise of an extra room, an office, storage area or another place to sit and enjoy the garden is surely a positive to most potential buyers. Make sure anything you have is well maintained and if new, wave the guarantee around when buyers are looking. Quality buildings carry a lengthy guarantee.

When you go, they go

A good looking garden can help sell a garden. A great garden can increase the value of the overall house. But sometimes you simply have to take a few plants with you – sentimental reasons often are behind a plants existence in a particular garden. If you are planning to move a shrub along with your award winning collection of toby jugs, you have to tell the buyers and even the solicitors sorting out the legal stuff.

I have known keen gardeners to get it all down on a legal document and then arrange to lift and remove plants in autumn – the best time to move plants. And that shows a really caring garden owner and house seller.