If you want to get the best possible price from selling a property (and why wouldn’t you?) you need to make sure it grabs potential buyers. That may mean repairs and redecorating, but it isn’t just the inside that needs to appeal. In expert hands like professional landscape architects, Liz Lake, even an ordinary garden can be transformed into a selling point.
What the Buyer Wants
You can’t know exactly what a given customer is going to want to use the garden for, but it’s possible to make guesses, based on the type of property.
If you’re talking about a communal garden shared by tenants of one-bedroom flats, for instance, you’re looking at the needs of single adults, whereas buyers of a three or four bedroom house are likely to have children. They’ll need to see a garden that’s exciting to play in — that’ll make them badger their parents to buy — as well as there being areas for the adults to relax and entertain.
It’s best to assume the buyer won’t be a dedicated gardener, while still giving enough to work on if the property is bought by an enthusiast. Even the Royal Horticultural Society recognizes that a low-maintenance garden is sometimes the way to go.
What’s the Best Surface?
There’s no need to choose just one type of surface — you can create distinct areas that nevertheless flow together. Some of the best surfaces are:
- A paved area is perfect for the garden furniture, whether to chill out or entertain, and could include a barbecue or fire-pit.
- Wooden decking has the advantage of being raised, making drainage easier. It can also be used as a social area, but obviously not for cooking.
- Gravel paths look elegant, but use a woven polypropylene landscaping material as underlay to avoid weeds growing through.
- Some grass prevents the garden from looking too sterile, and it’s essential if you expect the buyer to have children. For easy maintenance, keep lawns to a regular shape, or invest in good-quality artificial turf.
Flowers make a garden, but keep them to small borders. The BBC’s gardening page recommends a combination of shrubs, conifers and bulb-grown plants to look good and keep them that way with a minimum of effort. The Telegraph has some suggestions to maximize the aesthetic effect of the garden by color-coordinating the flowers, not only to each other, but also to fences, garden furniture and the like.
It may seem a lot, but landscaping your garden doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and it’ll be worthwhile if it helps the property to sell quickly for the full asking price.