Backyards might be the most underrated aspect of a house being sold. Of course homebuyers will focus on the interior, but once they step outside into the back it’s usually a smiling “ah…” or a frowning “ugh.” So when repping sellers, make sure they understand the correct visuals to present. Buyers want backyards for relaxation, for their kids to play and to entertain friends and relatives. Here are four things that should be addressed in back before the For Sale sign goes up in front.
Unsightly lawn. Project number one. Pull weeds, add sod over dirt and trim overgrown bushes and tree branches. Nothing growing should touch the house. Replace missing fence boards. As much as new owners want to envision living in the house, so too do they want to picture enjoying being in the backyard, usually with their children.
Worn-out deck. A deck should be structurally sound, with code-compliant guardrails. There must not be obvious water or termite damage. Applying a new coat of polyurethane is recommended. Homeowners should not have to think the deck needs immediate repairs, or they could request the owner to cover the costs.
Junk and old stuff. Old tools or piles of anything people would not find visually attractive should be removed. Random plants in mismatched pots should be goners. Sheds should be clean and ready for new owners. Tired, rusty outdoor furniture should be replaced, discarded or put out of sight.
Neighboring yards. Every homebuyer wants to know who their immediate neighbors will be. Before meeting them they’ll see their properties. A dump next door is a major turnoff. Request messy neighbors to declutter their backyards, or offer to do it yourself, possibly going so far as to pay for inexpensive improvements.