4 mins read

When you’re looking at pictures of new homes, what’s the first thing you look for? For many people, it’s the garden. The dream of a perfect little oasis of the outdoors all of your own.

Rightmove found that access to a garden was a priority for over 60% of buyers looking for a new home. And, according to the Royal Chartered Institute of Surveyors this number is set to grow. They found that 80% of property professionals expect demand for gardens to increase over the next 2 years.

It’s clear that gardens are an asset to a house sale. But, do all gardens add the same amount of value? Is bigger always better? What features are home buyers looking for?

How much value does a garden add to a property?

Research by Foxtons suggested that a garden can add up to 20% to the value of a property, but this amount can vary widely.

In urban areas like London, where outdoor space is limited, having a garden can add a huge amount of extra value to a property. Some buyers in these areas won’t even consider purchasing a property without outdoor space.

In more suburban areas, like Wilmslow, where most homes have a garden, the way a garden is presented, it’s size, and it’s special features will determine how much extra value it adds.

The time of year you’re selling your home will also have an impact. In spring and summer when there are lots of gardens in bloom, buyers are keen to see properties with beautiful outdoor space. In autumn and winter, when the idea of sitting outside, enjoying a bbq, or gardening seems very far away, gardens add less value.

Do garden buildings add value?

There’s a general consensus that having a shed, studio or office in your garden will make your home more appealing to potential home buyers. In fact, a survey of estate agents found that a shed is the garden feature that adds the most value.

Any extra storage is seen as a bonus. It gives home buyers a place to imagine putting their bikes or gardening tools, or making into a little office separate from the house itself.

If you have a big enough garden, putting up a small, inexpensive shed, could be a great investment for your home sale.

Other garden features home buyers look out for

Without a doubt, having a nice garden is immediately attractive to potential buyers. But when it comes down to actually putting in an offer, other features become more important.

In particular: maintenance. A garden could be absolutely beautiful, full to the brim of perfectly manicured bushes and exotic flowers, but if it looks like it’ll need a lot of maintenance it’ll put many buyers off.

It can be difficult for a buyer to imagine using a space if it’s already set up in a particularly complicated or landscaped way. For example, if you have a dramatic rock garden, it probably won’t appeal to someone imagining an open space and a bbq for entertaining. A simpler garden creates a blank canvas for the buyer to project their own vision onto.

On top of this, many people aren’t actually very green-fingered. So, the task of managing a beautifully curated garden can be pretty intimidating.

When preparing your garden for viewings think of it like any other room in your home. Make sure it’s clean and tidy. That there’s no broken or old furniture cluttering the space. And, remove anything too distracting or personal.

Privacy can also persuade a buyer either way. Feeling secure and safe is vital to many homeowners. Buyers can find an overlooked, or unsecure garden offputting. Something as simple as putting up a basic fence can provide peace of mind for a potential buyer (and make sure you get the maximum value for your property.)

To get the most value out of your garden when selling your home, functionality is key. Focus on storage, security, and simplicity to quickly boost your property’s appeal.

We’ve got some ideas on how to make your garden look its best for viewings here.

If you’re unsure where to start, your estate agent will be able to give advice. They’ll know what other properties are on the market, how important having a nice garden is, and what specific value it can add to homes in your neighbourhood. Find the best agents in your local area with our nifty comparison tool.