Don’t make the mistake of thinking that having a great house will distract potential buyers from considering the yard. It’s happened before: a buyer loves the house, but the koi ponds in the backyard kill the deal. If you are putting your house up for sale, make sure your yard is as attractive as the inside of your home.
Here are some characteristics of a yard that will make buyers drive on by, instead of stopping for a closer look.
- Too Much or Too Little Landscaping
Vintage clothes are coming back into fashion, but vintage landscaping, not so much. Yards that look natural are what’s hot right now in the world of landscaping. However, be careful not to take the natural look to the extreme by completely neglecting your garden and lawn areas. A yard needs to look well-kept and attractive to catch a buyer’s eye. Keep your shrubs and lawn trimmed, and rake up fallen needles, pinecones, and leaves. Plant flowers and trees to make your yard look happy and welcoming.
- Lawn Ornaments
You’ve probably already learned the importance of de-personalizing the inside of your home (so buyers can imagine themselves living in it), but did you know the same goes for the outside of your home? Put away any lawn ornaments—especially the collection of gnomes and baby deer you have peeking around your geraniums. Even simple ornaments should be put away as you stage your home and yard for viewing. You can’t anticipate what kind of yard art will suit a potential buyer’s taste, so either choose ornaments that will appeal to the majority of people or take them out completely.
- No Grass
People who are buying a house want grass. Replacing all your grass with rocks may cut down your list of Saturday morning chores, but it will also cut down your list of potential home buyers. Keep in mind that grass is only attractive if it is green. Brown grass or grass with obvious dead spots or weed patches will make a horrible first impression. Trim and water your lawn regularly. Try to keep your grass as even and as healthy as possible.
- Sports Courts and Pools
Major attractions like sports courts and pools seem like they would add value to your home. They cost a lot to install, so they should make someone happy to buy your home, right? Not necessarily. Pools are dangerous to children and take quite a bit of time and money to upkeep. If you live in an area where everyone has a pool in their backyard, you have less to worry about than people in locations where pools aren’t as common. Ponds can present similar concerns—safety and upkeep. Sports courts can also be a problem. The court area cuts down on grassy, open yard space. A potential buyer may not like that. The safest option for your backyard if you plan to sell your home in the future is to keep as much open grassy space as possible.
Think of your yard as if it were a department store window. It should draw people in and make them want to see inside the house. Use your yard to make a great first impression with potential buyers.
If your yard has any major unattractive features, get rid of them. If you have something that is not easy to change—such as a sports court or a swimming pool, make it as appealing as possible so buyers can see why they’d want to have it in their future yard.