5 Tips for Staging Your San Diego Outdoor Living Space
By Bill Edwards
Home selling is not a matter of luck, but rather skill and know-how. Much research delves into the psychology of home buyers, and one thing’s certain: staging matters. A staged home will likely spend 80 percent less time on the market than one that’s not staged. That time is critical for a seller.
While most staging focuses on the home’s interior, outdoor staging may have a more significant impact by increasing curb appeal. Let’s face it, someone buying a home in San Diego is likely planning to spend a lot of their free time outdoors. Research released in April 2019 confirms that Americans love their lawns and other outdoor spaces. An overwhelming 79 percent of Americans say a lawn is a key factor when they buy or rent a home. With that in mind, here are five tips for staging your outdoor living space in San Diego.
1) Demonstrate Care
Sagging gutters, cracked walkways, and stained hardscapes scream, “neglect.” A buyer may wonder what else you’ve let fall by the wayside. Show that you’ve cared for your home, starting with replacing torn window screens and repainting frames with peeling paint. Hardscapes will shine like new after a good power washing, and your windows should be sparkling inside and out. Garage doors should be clean, undented, and definitely not sagging. If your garage doors are not clean and in good repair, replace them before you list your house.
2) Get Ahead With Landscaping
A little foresight goes a long way when it comes to your landscaping. If you want to sell next spring, you should start preparing your landscaping in the fall. Remove overgrown, dead, and unhealthy-looking plants, shrubs and trees, and look at your yard through the lens of a buyer. Take care to properly maintain your lawn by fertilizing, mowing, and watering regularly. Re-sod or seed any bare areas of turf. Mow consistently and properly weeks in advance to give your lawn a neat, professional look.
3) Plant Flowers
Your landscape should add a welcoming look and feel to your home. Planted beds should be visually appealing, balanced, and well-maintained. Prune and shape overgrown shrubs, fill in and freshen flower beds, and make sure your trees look healthy and don’t have hanging dead branches. For guiding focus to a specific area, red or yellow flowers can help attract the gaze of would-be buyers.
4) Add a Thoughtful Human Touch
Staging is intended to help potential buyers imagine themselves in your home. This is particularly important when it comes to your outdoor areas. Adding a welcome mat to the front entry makes the space feel friendlier and more lived-in. If you have a patio or deck, see to it that you have some outdoor chairs, a table, and a grill. These small touches will make the backyard feel warm and welcoming.
5) Remove Needless Clutter
While a thoughtful human touch can be attractive, a careless, haphazard yard can have the opposite effect. Tuck clutter such as lawn ornaments, pool toys, and other personal objects away and out of sight. In you, these items may invoke nostalgia. To potential homebuyers, they look like junk. While you’re at it, remove any broken or unsightly outdoor lights and furnishings and only replace them if it adds to the ambiance of the space.
If you start early and maintain your outdoor areas for a season or two, by the time you put your home on the market, you’ll have been able to enjoy the improvements. A few meaningful touches can drastically reduce the time your house spends on the market, saving you thousands of dollars. So, plan ahead and enjoy a quick sale when the time comes to sell.
Bill Edwards is a landscaper and freelance writer who enjoys doing handyman project around the house. He and his children recently built a neighborhood gazebo next to the community pool.