If you’re like me, as soon as the sun starts to shine I have my shorts on and I am out in it, enjoying that room that only comes into play for a few months of the year, the Garden.
Most of the buyers I have dealt with over the years would love an outside space, if their budget permitted it or indeed if the area permitted it. (Some of the properties I sold in London didn’t have access to either an outside space or a balcony). There is an old saying that gardens look better in the spring or summer, therefore that must be the time to sell your home; whilst I agree that your flowers will be in bloom and your grass will look lush, I must also point out that you will have the same garden for autumn and winter and that not all buyers will be looking to buy whilst your garden is in bloom.
The problem comes as the temperature drops and the rain begins to pitter-patter down our windows, we abandon the garden and disappear inside to our central heating, hibernating until those rays of sunshine grace our lives yet again. Does that mean your outside area also goes into hibernation too? No, of course not, the grass still grows, the shrubs and plants still live on and any additions to the outside get battered by the weather!
The outside area is such a plus point to buyers, it is seen as an entertaining area and somewhere to go just to get outside; whilst adding additional value to your home. With that in mind it is a shame that many outside areas get neglected (not just over the cold months), some to a point where it actually reduces the value of their property.
Fill your balcony with life, shrubs and plants that will stay colourful all year round giving the feeling of a true outside space. Paint the inner walls of your balcony to your own taste – just don’t leave it looking tatty or dull and place some nice all-weather furniture out to show that this is somewhere a buyer can enjoy. There is nothing worse than opening the French doors to a balcony that is rusty, dirty and has render falling off remember it is an extra room and extra rooms command more value.
Not all of us have a garden area large enough to host a cricket match or the time to look after one, which is why many buyers are just after an outside space. Keep your lawn mowed and try to trim back any shrubs or plants that may try to take over the space you have Also, make any entertaining area you may have look inviting so any potential purchaser can imagine this as a good place to relax. A photo like this will appear on your property details and will be the first time a buyer gets to see it, so whilst any changes you make may seem trivial to you, a buyer will think differently.
Lastly, use everything you have to your advantage, always let the buyer wander into your outside space, if it is warm enough – leave the patio doors open to show that this space is a part of their new home and if its getting dark early and you have out side lighting, put them on and showcase it as an area that can be used 12 months of the year.