Thursday, August 19, 2010

Does Your Outdoor Space Help Sell Your House?

Front yard, back yard -- they are both part of your home's package, and the way your outdoor spaces look gives buyers their first impressions of your home. 

The more private areas of any property are where homeowners will feel most at home. Let's review what's essential in these back yards and side yards in order to win buyers' hearts and minds.

Paths make it easy for people on a home-buying tour to navigate your yard.
Paths are intriguing, especially if they lead to a visible destination, like seats. 
 
When people shop for a home, they like to imagine themselves relaxing outdoors, entertaining friends, and spending time with family there.  Don't ignore theses areas when you stage your property. Even small spaces can be selling points when staged appropriately.

To begin your outdoor staging work, consider how you've used your exterior spaces while you've lived in your home. Consider how new owners might want to use the same spaces.

Seating is essential. A patio or deck of any size should have a couple of outdoor chairs, and if possible, a table. Larger areas call for a four-seater table and chairs, or benches.

Having outdoor seating is so important that it doesn't matter if seats match.
Center seats around a fire pit or table to create a role for them to play in buyers minds. 
Every area of your property won't look its best all year long.  This quiet corner comes to
life in springtime. Each separate landscaped area can have its time when it peaks.  
Giving definition to a landscape with edging and mulch makes
the outdoors look tended and important. It's economical and simple to do.
Aim for comfort by adding cushions covered with weather-resistant fabric, and maybe a tantalizing lounge chair, sling chair, or swing. I once rented a house almost solely because I was captivated by the charming, old fashioned porch swing!

Your outdoors can be more colorful and busy than your indoor rooms, so don't be shy about adding elements like a firepit, grill, lighting, side tables, and a bar to convey the idea that your home is designed well for entertaining. 

Keep any lawn and landscaped areas lush and inviting. Make sure any flowers are looking tended. At this time of year in many parts of the country, gardens are winding down or overgrown.

Add color to outdoor areas. If you can't have blooming flowers,
you can paint furniture, or look for suitable cushions and other colorful accessories.   

Don't be afraid to toss plants that have lived their lives. You can simply put down fresh mulch in their place, or replant with seasonal color.

I love the sound of a fountain that greets people as they step outdoors.  Even a small fountain, one put together from a handsome container and a small submersible pump will provide the sound and sight of bubbling water. Wind chimes are another low cost addition that appeals to the senses.

These bright cushions are made from vinyl tablecloth fabric.  
Photo: Martha Stewart.


If you do not live in the home you are staging, it is not unusual for house hunters to check out a home's outside spaces, and even walk around the property. If that's a possibility with your home, it's even more important to stage the outside of your home to be as alluring as its interior.  It could be the thing that ropes in that buyer.

In my eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar, I offer lots helpful pointers and easy projects to make the your home look more appealing to buyers, including a 15-page section on staging your home's exterior. Order today, and start staging today! 

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