Landscaping The Front of Your House To Increase Value

Landscaping The Front of Your House To Increase Value

If you are putting your home on the market, maybe your thoughts are turning to what you should do about the garden. Simply Soils asked some Perth Real Estate agents about what buyers like and dislike when it comes to front and back gardens.

We quickly found out that buyers in different suburbs are looking for different styles of garden. For example, a heritage home in Subiaco might be great for splashes of colour in a cottage garden. A coastal property is going to need plants more suited to that tough environment. Whatever you do, consider the style of the existing gardens that thrive in your area and suits the style of house you are selling.

We also learnt that the style of landscaping you use should match the type of buyer you have in mind. A home buyer is looking for more from a garden than an investor who might be seeking a low maintenance garden when buying a property because they want to minimise the ongoing cost of upkeep.

Despite these differences, there were  few themes that you'll see repeated. 

1. Mulch

No matter what style of property you are selling, it’s a great idea to mulch any garden beds because it makes your property look great from the street, during home opens and in your advertising photographs.

2. Water Your Plants

Check that your reticulation is working. Hand water if you have to. Make sure whatever plants and lawn you have are green and thriving.

3. Trim

Spend a little time trimming so that your garden feels like someone has put love into it. Buyers are put off by overgrown or neglected gardens. It's depressing.

If you are still on the fence about how much effort to put into your garden, take a few minutes to read the quotes below from Perth real estate agents. It just might be all the motivation you need to get out into that garden or hire a landscaper to help prepare your property for sale. According to the experts, it's well worth it!

Here's what we asked.

Q. What landscaping features do buyers respond well to?

Q. What landscaping features do buyers steer away from?

Q. If you had one piece of advice to give to prospective sellers preparing their front and back gardens in order to sell a property - what would you say?

Subiaco

Enzo

Enzo Pagnozzi

Yes

Landscaping is a critical component when selling a home. It is the first thing that buyers see when they drive past. Tidy manicured gardens, fresh mulch and colour are the elements that bring a home to life and give it special appeal.

No

Buyers are put off by untidy, unkempt gardens overgrown with weeds and a brown lawn. What else they want depends on the style of home and location. Each home has its own personality so what may suit one home will not suit another. Different environments will require different landscaping such as leafy inner suburbs like Subiaco would require different landscaping to the coastal properties.

Advice

Presentation is always the key. Set a budget, and this will depend on the style of home and price range. In some cases, a complete makeover is the best way forward and this will require professional landscape designers. In other cases, it might be simply pruning, cutting lawns and giving them an extra boost, trimming edges, fresh mulch and adding some colour or planting mature trees in select places. Take the time to give your home some extra attention to attract prospective buyers because it makes a difference.

Cloverdale

Yes

This can be a little dependent on whether the buyer is an investor or a home buyer. The homebuyer will usually appreciate lush lawns and leafy gardens because the cool tropical effect is relaxing and appealing. Investors will look for the more easy care features such as mulched gardens and native plants.

No

Unfinished or damaged paving or walls will usually have a detrimental effect. Very large trees can be a turn off especially if they shed leaves like flame trees or some gum trees. 

Advice

Prune back any overgrown shrubs and trees to create the feeling of open space and a decluttered impression. If there are lawns, have them well watered and mowed leading up to presentation to the market. Mulching the garden beds is always worthwhile. I personally prefer the black mulch but there are plenty of other mulch types available.

Cottesloe

Yes

I find buyers respond well to deciduous trees as they look lovely and lush in the summertime, but allow sunlight in in the winter. Buyers in WA always seek to maximise Northern/winter light and so deciduous trees will always be a winner. Buyers also like screening hedges which give a garden a wonderful sense of privacy.

No

I find buyers do not respond well to gardens that appear to require a lot of maintenance. Therefore, my tip would be to aim to reduce many different and fiddly plantings. People are time poor, and a garden that appears to be tidy and easy care, yet lush and green will be helpful in achieving a sale.

Advice

Mulch or dark soil on all garden beds is a big help with giving your garden a lift for photos and advertising. It even helps if you have very few plants in your garden but still wish to make it look neat.

Stirling

Yes

Manicured gardens and lawns, Dark mulch, reticulation, fountains and shaded areas. More are looking for waterwise and native gardens.

No

Ponds and messy gardens.

Advice

Get the lawns mowed short and trimmed, get the bushes cut back and mulch, mulch, mulch!

Ellenbrook

Yes

  • Well maintained landscaping
  • Attractive from the road
  • Gardens often indicate the inside of the house

No

  • Places that are surrounded by concrete or brick paving
  • Untidy, run down gardens
  • Broken fences and letterboxes
  • Litter around the garden

Advice

  • Clean tidy and weed free – because you only have 30 seconds to get their attention when they first pull up.  If you don’t grab their attention in a positive manner straight away you have already lost them.
  • Lawns mowed – edges trimmed
  • Gardens tidy
  • Bright coloured flowers if possible
  • Fresh mulch
  • Well maintained driveways 
  • Freshly painted fences 
  • Well maintained letterbox and house number

Fremantle

Yes

Full, green gardens, healthy lawns are always well received but buyers love the garden to connect to, or be an extension of, the living spaces. So, fire pits, pizza ovens and dedicated entertaining areas in the garden are very popular these days. Many buyers also love mature trees in their garden or surrounding gardens. Some buyers tend to prefer low maintenance, low water intensive gardens so we see a lot of native gardens around Fremantle also.

No

Gardens that don’t have a combination of textures. All “hard” gardens… walls, paving, glass, stones feel very harsh if there’s nothing to soften the space.

Advice

I would say that you can’t do enough to present your garden well. A well-presented garden can frame a home beautifully and can sometimes distract from some of a home’s shortcomings.