Preparing a garden for a house sale

April is National Garden Month. This fact, combined with the great bank holiday weather we had last week, prompted us to write a post about gardens. Read on if you’ve ever wondered about preparing a garden for a house sale! Because we caught up with Alex from the renowned and local garden design company, Alex Bell Garden Design.

About Alex Bell Garden Design:

Alex is an award-winning Garden Designer based in Steyning, West Sussex. He has over 20 years of experience in garden design, horticulture and environmental consultancy. Alex has created inspirational gardens across the southern counties. He has developed a reputation for an innovative and sensitive approach to each project. Alex’s work ranges from small planting projects to large scale landscaping schemes. But with every project, no matter the size or budget, Alex transforms the garden into a unique and inspirational space suitable for his client’s needs.

So, we thought Alex was the perfect person to share some tips on preparing a garden for a house sale; read on for the full interview.

Preparing a garden for a house sale:

Q: What are the biggest challenges when preparing a garden before listing?

A: There are four main challenges.

1: Budget – Nobody wants to spend a lot of money, especially when they won’t benefit from the result.

2: Knowledge (or lack of) – Garden centres have a way of luring us in with anything that looks good at a particular time. We buy what we think will last, but often within a week of getting the plants home, they finish flowering, and you lose the impact you wanted. It’s better to visit a good plant nursery than a garden centre. Here, you will find trained staff who will be able to advise you on the best plant choice for the time of year you are thinking of selling.

3: Scale of a project: Especially if your garden occupies a large percentage of the property’s footprint. That might even be why you’re thinking of selling. So, it could feel overwhelming, and you might lack the motivation and budget to make it look respectable.

4: Time: There’s no doubt about it; life is busy. And when you decide to list your property and are house-hunting yourself, it might feel busier! So, finding the time to make a difference in the garden can be challenging.

Q: What are your top tips to help vendors prepare their gardens for sale?

Keep the garden tidy with regular maintenance, including mowed lawns, neat edges, tidy and weeded borders and beds and a trimmed hedge.

Ensure that the front approach is welcoming. Include some pretty planted pots (you can always take these with you to your new home), make sure the drive is free of clutter and get rid of that old motor you’ve been meaning to sort out for years!

Sell the lifestyle by carefully placing garden furniture. This can make a massive difference to how someone visualises being able to use your garden.

Finally, distract the viewer’s eye away from those ugly bits by drawing them towards the better parts of your garden. Use focal points like water features, sculptures, a feature tree or a seating area.

Q: What and who would be your go-to suppliers for sprucing up a garden for sale?

A: I’d recommend visiting The Plant Company in West Chiltington and The Camelia Botnar Garden Centre in Cowfold.

Q: Where else can our readers find inspiration for this task?

A: Check out the National Garden Scheme for private gardens that might be opening their gates for charity. Take a look at show homes in new-build estates that still have their sales cabins and garden areas. These can be good places to see some interesting ideas that you can adapt to smaller gardens. Speak to your local horticultural society; the members are garden potty and usually happy to pass on their knowledge and ideas. Finally, book a consultation with your local garden designer (that could be me!). You don’t necessarily have to invest in a complete plan; you could pay for a couple of hours of their time, and they would be able to provide some further thoughts and ideas, so you feel happy preparing a garden for a house sale.

A big thank you to Alex for his time and expertise. To find out more about his work, visit his website HERE. And if you’re looking to sell, talk to us about how we can help.