Potential property buyers form their first impression of a home from its curb appeal, so your front garden is an important factor. Sam Funnell from Fine & Country Rugby discusses gardens that sell.

An attractive and well-maintained property landscape can add as much as 20% to the value of your home, yet outdoor landscaping can be overlooked when planning to sell. Curb appeal often forms a potential buyer’s first impression of your property and your garden can also help you make a sale. This makes some basic landscaping a win–win proposition.

The ideal time to consider your garden is around a month before you put your house on the market. Too soon and it’ll need another tidy, too late and it’ll look like it’s a quick fix. As a starting point, mow and edge your lawns to make your yard look neat. This also gives the impression of lower maintenance, which is a popular selling point. Creating an edge is easy – just use a spade to cut a neat separation between your lawn and the garden bed, path or fence. For a longer lasting option, a simple physical barrier can be created from timber, steel, brick or stone.

A lush lawn can make any home sparkle. If your lawn is looking a bit patchy or off-colour, consider oversowing it – this will help fill damaged or thinned areas, improve the lawn colour and reduce weed and moss invasion, leaving your lawns lush and green.

Weeding and mulching your flower beds also gives your garden a low-maintenance appearance and the colour enhances the contrast of the surrounding plants, making everything pop. Pruning can be a wise move to shape unsightly or overgrown trees and shrubs. But don’t get carried away; you don’t want your garden to look bare. Any water features in the garden may also need tending. Scrub away any visible algae, remove leaves and clean filters so the water is clear. A mucky water feature can be an instant turnoff.

Seasonal colour can add appeal to your outdoors, and container plants filled with clipped topiary or bright flowering annuals or perennials can give the garden an immediate facelift. Potted plants add considerable interest to patios and doorways in particular, where potential buyers enter and exit the house. If you already have container plants in place, give the pots a wipe over and clip away any dead leaves or bulbs to enhance the appeal.

It’s also worth putting some thought into whether plants can solve any property shortfalls, such as overlooking neighbours or busy roads nearby. Hedging or a row of trees can block noise and provide privacy and even if the plants are not mature, you can point out the future benefit to buyers.

If your property has extensive paved surfaces, it may be worth buying or renting a power washer. With limited time or effort, you can make grimy surfaces look new. Power washers also do a great job of cleaning fences and bricks.

Finally, if you have the chance, water the garden half an hour or so before a showing. The water reduces the glare of paved surfaces and sends the message that your garden is well-maintained.

These are all relatively quick fixes that can help your garden shine, but don’t go overboard – while buyers like having outdoor space, unless they’re keen gardeners, they may not appreciate a high-maintenance garden. Before you go all out on hiring a landscape gardener and designing an ornate garden, remember that people sometimes prefer a blank canvas. A neat, clear space can fire a buyer’s imagination.

For advice on selling or buying property, please contact Fine & Country Rugby on 01788 820062 or visit www.fineandcountry.com