Backyard mistakes to clean up before selling

December 6, 2019

When you are preparing your home for viewing day or that all-important real estate photoshoot to showcase your property you have probably been over every surface inside and out the front in a cleaning and fixing frenzy, and that's the way it should be. The front of your home and the home's interior presentation are the most important things you need to look after to create a look new homeowners can't wait to dive into.

In my previous blog Garden Design Tips For Selling Your Home I went into looking after your home entrance to ensure a first impression that sparkles. In this post, I thought we'd spend some time talking about the opposite end of the house, that back yard.

With all that focused energy and time going into the front and interior the backyard can get skipped over. This is understandable, a lot is going on, but it's also a mistake. It's so important that you plan ahead with plenty of time to get into everything, which might be six months. If you are selling in a hurry, then you need to understand the price hit you could take by leaving parts of your home untended. It is worth calling for help and paying a professional gardener or cleaner to get in and do those urgent jobs you can't attend to show your home in the best possible light. It's not just about seeing great results in your asking price, it's also about attracting lots of potential buyers and getting your home sale completed quickly.

This is just a helpful look at the really big backyard mistakes that can hinder your home sale so that you get out there and make some easy changes before you go to market.

1. Long grass

It's not just about being untidy, long grass can also hide hazards like tree branches or holes that can cause falls and broken ankles for your potential buyers, rats, snails and snakes.

If you have a lawn make sure it's trimmed short (but not so short you can see the soil), well-fed, well-watered and a consistent carpet. If you have bald spots be sure to treat your lawn to a layer of good soil that seeds well before your open. Ask your garden supplier for what will work best for your current lawn compatibility and soil type.

If your grass has never been green and it's more of a dust patch than an oasis, consider buying some instant turf and be sure to lay a good foundation so it can go the distance from photos to settlement. You can also pave or part pave or lay decking as a lawn alternative.

2. Broken or cheap furniture

If your outdoor furniture has seen better days the message you send is that the weather is harsh, the area is not usable, and this isn't an area worth spending money on. Change that up so prospective buyers see a space worth being in.

If you don't have a high-quality outdoor setting it's a great time to consider bringing one in. When well-staged outdoor space can appeal as an extra living room, dining room or secluded getaway, you are adding incredible value and uniqueness that will help make your home desirable. You might not feel too thrilled about forking out for a timber dining setting just before a sale, to get around that consider hiring, borrowing from a friend, or selling the furniture as part of the house.

3. No BBQ space

There are some things that you automatically expect to come as standard in an Aussie home and that's a toilet, a good quality porch light and a BBQ area. Failing to provide a BBQ space means that those dreams of grilling up a sausage and throwing on some prawns to have with a cold one every summer Saturday go out the window.

Keep their dreams alive with a great BBQ space and a gleaming clean BBQ. Making this space as open, convenient and modern as possible will help. Again, you can hire or borrow a BBQ rather than buy one.

4. The windows are dust covered

There is no point cleaning the inside of the windows if you are going to ignore the outside surfaces, windowsills and screens. A high-pressure hose will do wonders here and quickly. Dry off with a microfibre cloth for a lint-free finish. While you are at it, spray down the walls too, it will take all of three minutes and the results will be instant.

5. Dry decking

Giving your deck a once over is something that needs to be done regularly, how frequently depends on the type of timber and how much weather exposure and foot traffic it gets. It may have been a while since you last oiled your deck, however, leaving it cracked, unevenly coloured or splintering is a really big turn off for potential buyers. The last thing they want to be reminded of before they buy is how much long-term work the deck will be. Move it out of the maintenance column and into the lifestyle column by spending just one afternoon of your time to get it back to glistening again. Decking treatments are affordable and you will see great returns.

6. No place for kids

If your home is well-sized for a family and you are in a good location to attract family buyers ramp it up a notch by making the yard a kid-friendly zone. Make sure it is safely fenced and gated for both pets and small children and add in some well-grounded kids play items like swings, a cubby, a slide set or a basketball ring.

Once again, hire or borrow but make sure the items are high quality and in great condition. If you do buy new consider adding them to the house purchase for the right candidates.

7. Leaf filled gutters

You probably haven't looked up to notice you even have gutters in the past six-months but you can safely bet it's going to be a key zone your home seekers are peering at. If you have leaves blocking the downpipes, grass or trees sprouting or bird's nests poking over the edges it tells sharp-eyed onlookers that you are not up to date with your property maintenance. It can also be an indication that there may be previous water damage to the roof. They will take this as a sign that behind the scenes all is not well. Rather than give them a reason to hesitate, grab a sturdy ladder and some gloves and get to work clearing those gutters.

There you have it. A weekends worth of work to overcome the biggest traps and have a picture-perfect home to present on open day.

Who is Peta Stewart?

Award-winning conveyancer. Entrepreneur. Business mentor. Women’s cycling advocate. These are just some of the ways Peta Stewart is introduced. What ties them together is a steely determination to help people achieve their life goals and have fun in the process.

In 2004, Peta became the first licensed conveyancer in the Albury Wodonga greater region. Five years later, she launched her own business and started shaking up the industry with a good dose of personality, integrity and humanity.

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