How to create a backyard that buyers will love

Whether you’re a house flipper or a homeowner preparing to sell your property, upgrading your outdoor living space can make a big difference. Buyers have always been impressed by lush backyards that provide ample space to entertain and play — and after years of staying home due to the pandemic, they have to come to realize that some private greenspace matters more than ever.

If you want to sell your home, particularly in summer, you need to “wow” people when they walk into your outdoor space. That means turning your backyard into a beautiful, livable amenity by doing basic maintenance and adding a few cosmetic upgrades.

With home buyers seeking next-level backyard spaces, which outdoor improvements are the most cost-effective? Consider these projects to create a backyard oasis buyers will love.

Declutter the yard

Decluttering is often the first step when staging the interior of your home, but it’s also important to make sure your yard looks open and spacious.

One of the biggest problems a real estate agent can encounter with properties is the clutter that people leave in their yards. It doesn’t leave a good impression. Simple things like rolling up your garden hose and putting clutter like kids’ toys away in the shed make as big a difference outside as tidying up does for the inside of your home.

It’s possible that a well-maintained backyard can boost your purchase price by 10% to 15%. And you don’t have to do anything extravagant to reap the rewards. Inexpensive fixes like adding flowerpots around the backyard and entrances, mulch on the garden beds to help make sure the flowers pop, and trimming overgrown bushes or trees make a good impression with buyers, with minimal cost or effort on your part.

Create a lush landscape with a freshly seeded lawn

It should go without saying that if you’re trying to sell your home, mow the lawn regularly, pull the weeds and plant new grass seed in bald areas. These are things that will make your property, and subsequently your home, more appealing to a buyer. An unkempt yard makes buyers think that the home is also poorly maintained. Not a good look.

Buyers want to see lots of greenery in summer. If your yard is an oasis, they’ll easily imagine themselves sitting there on a hot day with a cool drink. If you have mature trees on your property, even better. They add not only charm, but value to your home. Placing solar lighting strategically around your property to show off trees and garden spaces adds loads of glamour to an outdoor space during an evening showing while still making the yard visible.

Paint or replace the fence

Sprucing up your fence can make the entire yard look well-maintained.

For this reason, you need to make sure your fence is in great condition. Fix or replace loose or missing sections. Make sure the paint or stain isn’t flaking or chipping. Power-wash, paint or stain as needed.

If you don’t have a fence, consider adding one as it can improve your backyard’s aesthetic and provide a feeling of security and peace of mind. These factors could increase the property’s value and encourage a faster sale, especially if the prospective buyer has young children or pets.

A permit and a property survey may be required to install a new fence, and there may also be height restrictions, so check on those issues before starting your project. Or hire a professional. And remember, before setting those fence posts, call before you dig!

Invest in a patio

Transforming your backyard into an outdoor living space will turn heads and create eager buyers. Most experts recommend adding a patio, which usually doesn’t require permits and is easier to build and maintain than an elevated deck. A patio can also be installed quickly, which keeps the cost down.

If you already have a deck in place, check to make sure it’s structurally sound before selling. A home inspector will ding the property if there is a safety issue. If the deck is in good condition, power-washing, restaining, or repainting it will give it a fresh look.

Chipped paint ages a property drastically. Both are unappealing, especially for buyers who are not ready to take on home improvement projects. What buyer doesn’t prefer a move-in-ready property?

But don’t build a deck solely to help sell the property. It may not be the style a buyer wants anyway, and it most likely will need a permit to build if it’s over a certain height. Check local bylaws.

Coordinate your patio decor

Fresh furniture on your patio can help bring your outdoor space to life. Investing in a few new items to stage the outdoor living spaces of your home is worth the effort. And if the buyers like the new patio furniture enough, they might want to write it into the offer!

A small weatherproof sofa and end table to complement an existing dining table can help create a cozy outdoor living room. Replacing the cushions on your existing patio furniture is also an affordable way to spruce up the space.

Outdoor pillows can add a pop of colour and make an area feel especially cozy and welcoming. The goal is to show how the area can be used and what a benefit it can be to the home. Extending the indoor living space to the outside is particularly useful if you’re selling a smaller home.

Consider these additional touches to set your yard apart

Individual home buyers may have different needs or desires for their backyard space, but most buyers share one thing in common: They want the backyard to be livable.

People love entertaining outdoors, so consider adding to the amenities you may already have, such as a backyard grill, to create an outdoor kitchen area with cabinets and a hibachi grill.

Outdoor lighting, speakers, and a waterproof TV can all help contribute to that vibe of creating an outdoor room that prospective buyers will love.