Home sellers: Don’t forget the great outdoors
Most homes have some outdoor space – even if it is only a tiny balcony or a pocket hanky-sized patio – and this area really can make or break the sale of your property, especially in SA where the great weather prompts so much outdoor living and al fresco dining.
What is more, it’s not necessary to spend a fortune to get it looking its best. Just focus on the following fixes and your “weekend space” will be a winner when your home goes on show:
- If you have a front veranda, make it say “welcome”. Banish clutter, paint the ceiling, clean the floor and set up an easy chair or a small table for two to show how inviting the space is.
- If you have a back patio, perhaps off the living or dining room, you can easily and inexpensively install some basic exterior lighting, add a (spotless) braai that says “relaxed entertaining”, and stage a party table with fresh linens and glassware.
- If you have a courtyard just off the kitchen, don’t just hang your washing there. Make sure the walls are freshly-painted, add some tubs of bright flowers and herbs, and install some seating to make it an attractive space for morning coffee or afternoon tea. If you have to have a wash-line here, choose one that folds flat against a wall.
- If you have a wooden deck make sure it is freshly washed and / or newly varnished, and once again stage it somewhat to show potential buyers how it could be used. For a look that instantly says summer, add a sun-lounger or two, a large garden umbrella and a couple of planters full of bright blooms. For winter entertaining, you could set up the braai and a patio heater, and dress up your garden chairs with some warm throws.
- If you have a large garden, bear in mind that what most buyers want these days is a low-maintenance space that does not require too much of their limited downtime to keep up. The best way to present a space like this is to mow the lawn, neaten up all the flowerbeds, cut back any overgrowth and stage a gracious garden party beneath a large tree. If you have the money, it is also really worth installing an irrigation system and a timer.
- If you have a pool or a hot tub, make sure it is clean, safely fenced and set off with some shrubbery or planters. Turn on the lights and the pump if buyers are viewing your home at night.