They say that your home’s front yard makes a big first impression on potential buyers when they pull up to your property, but the backyard makes a lasting impression and could actually close a sale. If you’re looking for a way to “wow” buyers and quickly sell your home, showing your backyard a little TLC can go a long way.
7 Ways to Prepare Your Backyard for Listing
The backyard is often an underutilized area. Because it’s not always visible from the street, many homeowners don’t feel the need to maintain it. This is unfortunate because the backyard is something many buyers carefully consider when visiting a property.
In a market where there’s lots of competition and you need a differentiating factor in order to command a higher price tag, the simple act of sprucing up your backyard can bring a healthy return on investment. Here are a few things we suggest:
- Clean Up Overgrowth
The very first thing you’ll want to do is clean up the yard. If you haven’t paid much attention to your backyard over the years, there’s likely a lot of overgrowth, brush, and debris. Spend an afternoon pruning back trees, shaping up bushes, and clearing out weeds, sticks, leaves, and anything else that has accumulated.
If you have a large backyard with lots of plants and space, this may take you a while. Luckily, this is the sort of labor you can pay the neighbor’s kids a few bucks an hour to handle. It’s imperative that you get this stuff cleaned up before moving onto the other steps. Otherwise, it’ll end up looking like you put lipstick on a pig.
- Pressure Wash Surfaces
Now that you’ve got the yard out of the way, it’s time to turn your attention to manmade surfaces like concrete walkways, patios, decks, siding, and anything else that’s gathered dirt and grime over the years. Get a pressure washer and clean off these elements. Most major home stores will let you rent a pressure washer and all of the necessary equipment by the hour or day. Go ahead and address the rest of the house while you’re at it.
- Appeal to Your Target Market
Who is your target market? Are you in a big neighborhood with lots of young families, or is it an older street with retirees? Depending on the type of buyer, there are different ways to enhance the backyard.
For example, if the target is families with young children, a big open yard with lots of lawn space and a playground is ideal. But if you think your home appeals to an older couple, all that grass may be more of a nuisance than anything else. Instead, they may be more interested in a patio where they can relax. You don’t know who will actually end up buying, but a little strategic planning couldn’t hurt.
- Add Some Shade and Color
When you look at pictures of gorgeous backyards in magazines and landscaping blogs, you’ll almost always notice that they have two things in common: shade and color. Shade goes a long way towards making a backyard enjoyable during the summer months, while colorful flowers and natural elements create a unique visual experience. You can accomplish both shade and color by strategically planting trees and bushes that bloom during the spring and summer.
- Consider an Outdoor Living Addition
If you don’t already have outdoor living space, now may be a good time to invest in a small addition. But be sure to have a local real estate agent or expert help you understand whether the dollars and cents add up correctly before proceeding. The last thing you want is to invest $10,000 into a deck addition, only to realize that it increases your home’s value by $5,000.
Study what your neighbors have done and make sure the addition you choose fits the neighborhood. It’s also important that the outdoor living area is easily accessible and fits the flow of the existing landscaping.
- Aim for Privacy
Privacy is a big deal for a lot of homebuyers. They want a backyard that allows them to relax without having nosy neighbors watching their every move. While privacy is, to a large degree, determined by the natural landscape, there are some things you can do to increase privacy with simple additions.
HGTV personality Brian Patrick Flynn has a bunch of good ideas for you in this article. For porches, he recommends privacy screens made from reclaimed wood or other chic elements. If you want to block off specific areas and still retain that natural feel, a wall garden is a fantastic solution. Feel free to get creative!
- Strategize With Your Agent
You can do all of the preparation you want, but if you don’t clearly communicate how wonderful your backyard is, the buyer won’t notice all of the work you’ve invested. Just as your agent learns everything there is to know about your home – from square footage to the brand of appliances – they need to be just as informed on the backyard.
Explain to your agent the new features you’ve added and provide names of the different plants. Little touches like this can really enhance a prospective buyer’s view of your new backyard oasis.
Get Green Residential on Your Side
When it comes to selling your home, you want someone on your side who understands the marketplace and knows what it takes to command top dollar. At Green Residential, we’re a family-owned and operated business with more than 30 years of experience in the Houston area. From Katy to The Woodlands and everywhere in between, we’re here to serve you.
One of the many reasons homeowners choose to work with us is our convenient, flat fee rate structure. We forgo the industry standard 3 percent commission and instead take a flat fee that could end up saving you thousands. Contact us today to find out more!