If you’re looking to sell a home in the summertime, you really can’t ignore the power of your outdoor space as a sales tool. From curb appeal in the front to an enticing oasis in the back, inviting outdoor spaces could be the factor that pushes potential buyers over the edge to make an offer. With that said, there are good, better and best ways to spend your money when prepping your home’s open-air areas for the market. To help, here are some smart outdoor investments and upgrades to help sell your home during the sunniest months.
Brian McCourt is a contractor, design expert and co-host of HGTV Canada’s Backyard Builds.
When it comes to impressing house-hunters, curb appeal is absolutely critical. This means your home’s exterior has to be looking its best under that bright summer light. If the exterior paint has seen better days, invest in a fresh coat. Exterior paint is a relatively low investment and can make a huge difference to your home’s first impression. There’s no reason not to update it!
Same idea, different surface: If your home’s exterior features siding, give it a fair assessment before putting your home on the market. If vinyl siding is worn out or otherwise not up to par, replacing it will be worth the investment (you can go for new vinyl siding or consider other materials). Don’t forget: Exterior surfaces like siding (and stucco) can be painted as well, so no excuses for a drab, dilapidated exterior in your listing photos!
Shut the Front Door
Your front door is the entryway to, obviously, your home – but it’s also a make-or-break visual when it comes to curb appeal. Replacing a worse-for-wear front door does more than divide your indoor and outdoor space – it gives you a good return on investment by adding aesthetic appeal that will subtly attract buyers. If you’re ready to invest in a new front door, check out this guide for tips.
Is your yard looking a little too minimalist? Planting a few trees could be the solution. Trees enhance a property’s perceived value and are one of the only home-related investments that truly just get better and more valuable with time. Ideally, plant trees before you’re even thinking about selling, to give them time to really root the look.
Trim the Hedges
Hedges and bushes are another way to add a lush, green feel to your property before your put it on the market, but they can also have a negative effect if they look unkempt. Hire a landscaper (or roll up your sleeves and get trimming) to keep hedges neat and tidy.
Speaking of landscaping: the time when you’re preparing to sell is not the time to go for an incredibly intricate outdoor garden. If you’re looking to sell, don’t get too fancy – clean, inviting landscaping ideas are more likely to boost your property value. After all, an intricate, over-landscaped garden might scare away potential buyers that don’t have green thumbs to maintain it.
If you have a deck, restoring or refinishing it can really pay off when you’re selling. A safe, stylish deck instantly adds more livable space (and value) to a home, especially in the summer.
Smell the Roses
Or the gardenias or the lilies or whatever flowers you like! The point is, planting flowers is a super inexpensive way to bring brightness and style to your home for the summer – which is a great way to entice buyers to envision their own garden oasis.
Love the Lounge
You want people to imagine themselves relaxing under the sun, sipping a cold drink and enjoying their brand-new (and your old) backyard, right? Help them picture it by letting them literally sit in it. If you have a bare patio, consider dressing it up on the cheap if you’re listing your home in the summer. While you probably don’t want to invest in big-ticket new outdoor furniture for a home you’re about to leave, you could try staging it inexpensively with modular furniture that you can then use in your new home. Another option? If you’re hiring a staging company for inside your home, it might be worth paying them a little extra to stage the back patio as well.
Cook up an Offer
Canadians know how to make the most of the sunny months – which is why an outdoor kitchen area translates into a luxe, appealing selling feature to potential home buyers in the summer. An outdoor kitchen can be as simple as setting up a barbeque area or you can add in elements like a mini fridge and serving station.
Walk This Way
Whether it’s a simple stone design or something more intricate, a pathway is a smart outdoor investment. It creates dimension in outdoor areas and designates different areas (like the garden and outdoor dining area) – making a larger yard feel more functional.
Roof Repairs Are a Smart Outdoor Investment
If you’re thinking about a smart outdoor investment, just look up. There’s no way around it: a damaged roof is a major turn off for house-hunters. No one wants to deal with a major roof repair the day after they move in to a new home! Fix up that roof before you list your home to remove that worry from potential buyers’ minds (and to give your curb appeal that extra visual boost).
Light the way towards offers over asking, that is! From porch lights to lighting along a garden path, outdoor lighting is a small investment that adds safety and style to your home’s exterior. And why wouldn’t you want ensure that landscaping you invested in shines for house-hunters, day and night?
Find Your Edge
A landscaped yard is a selling point in any season. One easy, inexpensive way to upgrade this outdoor space? Add edging to your garden to create a clean lines and differentiated areas.