When your house is up for sale, dont forget your garden
is on the market too. In fact, it could be your greatest asset.
There is a peak seasson for selling houses - the end of the
summer holidays and spring. A good garden is a great aid to
selling and can enhance the asking price - so if you are thinking
of moving, it's time to put yours in order.
Don't overdo it
Avoid spending money on expensive improvements that potential
buyers may not be keen on. They may not regard your new hot
tub, water feature or designer makeover as a desirable feature,
and they'll assume you have added the cost to your asking
price. So save the cash and spend it on your new home instead.
Prospective buyers are turned off by mess, So make sure the
garden looks neat and tidy. Keep the grass mown and edged,
hedges trimmed,gravel raked and beds weeded and clear away
rubbish. Its vital to make the place feel loved.
Few prospective buyers are keen gardeners - most people just
want a garden that's easy to look after - so if yours has
a complicated layout , simplify it. Grass over non-essential
beds (for instant results lay turf any time through the winter)
then smarted up the place. Pressure wash paving and plant
up a few colourful, seasonal containers of annuals: spread
fresh gravel over the drive or paths: apply timber treatment
to fences; and do any repairs needed to gates or arches. Screen
dustbins, oil tanks or compost heaps with trellis and , as
a worthwhile finishing touch spread bark chippings or mushroom
compost over beds and borders to freshen them up and give
them a well-tended look.
Use professionals wisely
It will pay to tame overgrown trees, shrubs or hedges. It
will cost you a couple of hundred pounds to hire a qualified
tree surgeon for a day or so, to lift crowns, thin outr branches,
remove dsmsged or oversized trees and take out overgrown or
overcrowded shrubs. Done professionally this will make your
garden look instantly larger and more spacious. And make the
most of the view, as it can add thousands to the value of
your property. A good tree surgeon can open up a vista of
countryside or a picturesque church, while leaving trees or
shrubs that mask eyesores.
Get all the above done before the estate agent takes pictures
and if you dont have time to keep on top of mowing while the
house is on the market, get a man in to take care of routine
upkeep. It's another expense that hardly counts if it helps
you sell quickly or for a few thousand more.
Play fair with buyers
Its tempting to take favourite plants wiht you when you move,
but dont do it. Take cuttings instead, or if you must dig
up a whole plant, amke it clear to the estate agent that they
aren't included as part of the sale.
You should alos let the agent know whether you intend taking
or leaving significant items such as large conbtainers, sculptures
or statuary. If you're taking them, try to m ove them off
site before you show people round.
But there's no reason why you shouldn't make a bit of cash
out of items you're leaving behind. If you're downsizing and
won't need your ride-on mower, rotavator or large furniture
for example, negotiate with the buyers in case they fancy
a second-hand bargain. And if your potential buyer is a fellow
gardener, a well presented folder showing the names and positions
of your plants, plus contacts for the local gardening club
and nurseries, might just be enough to clinch the deal.