A thorough home inspection might tell prospective buyers about a home’s interior, but the exterior is the first thing they see. Needless to say, it should be appealing in every way. Oftentimes, sellers focus on curb appeal in an effort to make a great first impression on buyers. They forget that buyers will also view the backyard. Those looking to sell their homes should make updates to their backyards to appeal to more buyers. Here are some easy DIY ideas sellers can undertake.
Sellers on a limited budget can still make their backyards shine. They can mow the lawns, rake dead grass and trash, and trim trees and shrubs. Overgrown trees and shrubs can overwhelm a backyard and turn it into a buyer’s worst nightmare. Poorly maintained trees attract insects and other animals and can damage nearby power lines. They can also pose a threat to the property if they are too close. Tell sellers to trim trees and shrubs regularly to prevent them from becoming hazards.
Edging flower beds can increase a backyard’s beauty and add value to the property. Sellers can undertake this task and save money they would have spent on professional edging. They can lay concrete pavers and finish them. Edges give flower beds a professional look and make a backyard look stunning. Don’t be surprised if your sellers love the look so much they decide to replicate it in their front yards.
Some sellers are only too happy to leave their backyards open. They’ve lived in a neighborhood for years hence know it is secure and also have a good relationship with their neighbors. It is your duty to advise such sellers that putting up a fence is in their best interests. Many buyers have families and pets and want enclosed backyards. They want backyards their kids and pets can play freely in. They may lose interest in a home without a fence or use that to their advantage (submit a lower offer).
Every buyer wants a backyard with an entertainment spot, a place he can host guests and relax during the warm weather. Sellers who are good with their hands can install stone or brick patios. These are more beautiful than wooden decks and need less maintenance. A patio requires a few materials and can be created in a single weekend. Tell sellers to build patios on days when there is plenty of sunshine and no rain. They can accentuate them with stone walkways and other lovely features. While this is not one of the least expensive projects for the backyard, it is one that gives the area a whole new look.
Inform sellers to keep upgrades to a minimum even if they have a big budget. They should avoid fancy features like gas stoves, grills, spas, and fire pits. While these add convenience and function, they can also signal maintenance issues. Buyers may avoid homes with such features because of their high maintenance costs. A simple setup is all that’s needed to help buyers visualize the patio they want.
Gazebos and pergolas are in high demand as they provide lovely shade on hot days. They improve the look of a backyard making it appear more interesting. A pergola is easy to build and not as expensive as many people think. Sellers looking to save money should build their pergolas from scratch. They can fill the sides of the pergola with plants or dress it with clear lights. The feature creates a focal point in a backyard and is a wonderful choice for improving the look of a deck.
Getting a backyard ready for buyers doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. There’s plenty sellers can do to improve their exteriors and make a big impact on buyers. Many of the projects take less than a day and some may not cost anything if sellers have the basic supplies on hand.
Ronique Gibson is an Associate Architect and a LEED Accredited Professional, who has been in the design industry for over 13 years. She started her design blog in 2009 and today it has become a premier destination for helping homeowners with everyday lifestyle challenges. Her readers check in daily for help with their homes, DIY project ideas, recipes, crafts, and inspiration to beautify and enjoy their homes.