Summer is the perfect season for spending time outdoors — which means buyers are going to be on the lookout for a prime backyard space at the homes they visit.
While it is important to make indoor spaces inviting and attractive, you can’t forget to stage any exterior areas that might be begging for furniture and décor.
6 Steps to a Better Backyard
As long as a yard has good landscaping bones, it doesn’t take much effort to freshen up the exterior and create a beautiful space for summertime entertaining.
In fact, with some dedication and decorative style — and with the cooperation of the homeowner and realtor — you can create a better-looking backyard in less than a week.
A Fresh Deck
It isn’t just summer that is sending homebuyers out back to survey the yard and garden. These days, homeowners want an outdoor living space that is just as comfortable as the living and family rooms they have inside.
That means sellers should work to spruce up their hardscaped areas to create the look and feel of a well-appointed outdoor entertaining area.
Cleaning any existing deck or patio is the first step. Power-washing wood and concrete will get rid of unsightly stains as well as hardened dirt that makes the space less appealing. Homeowners should also consider updating any elements that might be in disrepair, like a leaky patio covering or a rotting deck railing.
Finally, once the hardscaping is clean and functional, homeowners might take the final step to add attractive finishings, like enclosing a patio ceiling with drywall and installing a fan for comfort during the hotter months.
These additions might seem superfluous, but they make an outdoor living space that much more deluxe, which increases a home’s value.
Home staging typically involves a home’s living areas — which means stagers shouldn’t ignore the outdoors. Outdoor furniture can make a small and somewhat dingy yard feel cozy and unique, so it is imperative that stagers have a healthy collection of trendy and attractive outdoor décor.
Here are a few outdoor furniture trends worth considering:
- Small and simple. Big, bulky pieces read outdated. Stagers should acquire lightweight pieces with simplified silhouettes.
- Neutral colors. White, black, gray and even warmer neutrals like beiges and browns are incredibly popular.
- Bold patterns. All that neutral is balanced with accents with bright, bold patterns, like throw pillows with tropical florals.
A Lovely Lawn
Every American home needs a lawn, and that lawn needs to be lush. It’s important to note that not all properties need to have their lawn dominate the landscaping; merely having a small grassy area, for pets or kids to play, is enough if the lawn looks healthy and its systems are in good repair.
Homeowners who are struggling to maintain an attractive lawn should hire a lawn care service to help their lawn regain proper color and thickness.
Alternatively, if a lawn is strained due to a malfunctioning sprinkler system, homeowners should pay for sprinkler repair before they put their home on the market.
In addition to lawns, yards need attractive greenery. Unfortunately, extensive landscaping can be difficult to maintain, especially if homeowners are moving out well before a sale takes place. Thus, if possible, stagers should take advantage of container gardening, where plants are grown in pots and smaller beds.
Containers tend to be easier to care for because stagers can take them home or fill them with hardier plants. Additionally, containers are easy to DIY using scraps or leftover materials, meaning they can be affordable landscaping options for beginner stagers.
Lights, Lights, and Lights
A dark yard is a useless yard — and often, it is an intimidating yard, to boot. Many buyers will visit a property after dark, and if the landscaping surrounding a home is not properly illuminated, potential buyers might be turned off.
It’s a good idea to place a variety of landscape lights on a property to provide greater functionality of outdoor space and to increase the landscape’s drama. Here are some must-have landscape lights:
- Path lighting. placed along paths and hardscape to ensure visitors know where to step safely.
- Uplighting. shines upwards to highlight tall landscape features, like a grand entryway, a trellis or an aesthetic tree.
- Floodlighting. illuminates large areas and nooks that might otherwise be dark and mysterious.
- Accent lighting: adds personality and atmosphere to the landscape.
Finally, it’s a good idea to give every backyard a special something that makes it memorable to potential buyers — a unique feature that will distinguish it from all other properties buyers might see. Some good examples of exciting attractions include:
- A fire pit. A gas or woodburning fire pit makes for a thrilling conversation spot in the backyard.
- A hammock. Nothing says comfortable and relaxing quite like a hammock.
- An intricate birdhouse. Beautiful fauna, like birds, is a major bonus for many homeowners.
- A water feature. Stagers can easily add a bubbling fountain, or homeowners could invest in a birdbath, pond or sauna.
Homeowners, real estate agents, and stagers aren’t stuck with the yard they have. Improvements to yards can be easy to make, and they dramatically increase the value of a property.