You’ve set the stage to sell your listing, from the fresh-baked cookie smell to adding throw pillows everywhere. You already know curb appeal and outdoor areas only add to the overall effect and make a house irresistible to potential homebuyers.
Real estate agents often recommend homeowners complete a variety of improvement items before listing their homes for sale. In fact, 68 percent of real estate agents recommend landscaping the outdoor area. However, as with staging any other part of your listing, you need to make sure the outdoors are on trend and meet buyers’ wants and needs.
1. Exterior lighting
Is the outside of your seller’s home well-lit? According to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) 2017 Home Buyer Preferences report, about 92 percent of buyers state they want a home with outdoor lighting.
Exterior lighting highlights beautiful landscaping and often includes walkway lights. So many homebuyers look for this feature as part of the overall look of the home at night, as well as its safety.
2. Back concrete patio
According to the same NAHB study, about 82 percent of homebuyers want an outside patio. This might be a concrete pad or a tiled area, but the key is for the patio area to be a place that looks like it’s ready for family and friends to gather and hang out.
It should look manicured and neat, but should also be warm and welcoming. This is easily achieved by adding seating, outdoor cushions and potted plants.
3. Outdoor living area
An outdoor living area expands the space available to a family in warm weather. It typically entails more than simply a patio. It might include a barbecue area, an outdoor kitchen and even a swimming pool or hot tub.
What features does your listing’s outdoor area provide, and what is easily added to increase appeal? Your seller won’t recoup the costs of installing a pool, for example, but adding a small outdoor fireplace might help their home sell faster.
4. Vertical gardens
If the yard is on the smaller side or you simply want to add some interest to the home’s outdoor space, vertical gardens are the way to go.
Vertical gardens don’t take up much space, but they allow buyers to imagine growing their own herbs or flowers close to the back door of the home. For beauty, install arbors or arches and plant beautiful vines that bloom throughout the growing season.
5. Bringing the outdoors in
Buyers are looking for the ability to throw open French doors or somehow expand their open concept living space so it flows naturally into the great outdoors.
If the home currently has a patio door, consider swapping it out for French doors that swing open wide. If there is only one small door going onto the back patio, look into installing a wide door or even a garage-style door that lifts up and opens the entire space.
6. Mood lighting
An inexpensive feature any homeowner can add is outdoor mood lighting. Grab some beautiful stringed Edison bulbs, and hang them across the patio table. Add a solar lantern to the middle of the table. Add torches to the corners of the patio area.
These little features make the outdoors seem almost like an extra living room. It makes the entire home seem roomier and as if it has more space.
7. Blue hues
Right now, the color blue is trending. Blue cushions, planters and outdoor rugs add to the whimsical and soothing color palette.
However, you should choose a color that is neutral enough to go with anything. Trends change quickly, so choosing a color simply because it is trending may backfire if the home doesn’t sell right away.
Succulent plants are all the rage right now. These plants are easy to care for but beautiful to look at. They are very forgiving in dry soil conditions and if you forget to water them. They add a lot of curb appeal to an otherwise plain exterior.
While you can plant them in the ground, they do very well contained, allowing you to add a pop of color or unique elements that give your listing charm and character.
Adding little touches makes your clients’ home seem current. The outdoor space is something that should be staged just as the indoor areas are.
A well-staged home is one that competes strongly against other listings and sells quickly for top dollar.
Kayla Matthews covers smart technology and future trends for websites like VentureBeat, Curbed and Motherboard. You can read more posts by Kayla on her personal tech blog: Productivity Bytes.