As conveyancers who have been operating in Adelaide and South Australia for almost 40 years, we’ve seen our clients achieve better prices when selling their homes by carrying out some basic home staging.

While there is much written about making your interior areas more neutral and less cluttered, your garden and exterior areas are the ones that need to make a good first impression.

We’re not gardeners or home stagers, but we have gleaned a few tips for you.

The view from the curb

The first thing potential home buyers will notice is the view of your property from the curb.

Sometimes, just wandering around your front yard will give you some insights, but we find that taking a photo of your property from the street tends to give you a more thorough and neutral basis for assessing what you need to do.

What you most want home buyers to sense is that the property is neat, easy to maintain and even has a little wow factor.

The first step is the lawn

In Australia, most home owners pride themselves on having plenty of lawn for aesthetic appeal and also for ‘kids to play on’.

Most gardeners will tell you that autumn is a crucial time for giving your lawn some tender loving care to prepare it for winter.

Some important tasks, now that it is getting a bit cooler:

  • Aerate your lawn with a garden fork or with an aerator. With a fork, drive it into your lawn about halfway, move it back and forth and extract. These ‘holes’ will help your soil make best use of autumnal rains.
  • Check the pH level of your lawn with a kit from a garden centre. Ideally you want 6.5 to 7. Your garden shop will be able to advise you on what to do if your readings are too low (acidic) or too high (alkaline).
  • Lift your lawn mower a little to leave some extra length in the lawn, now that its growing spurt should be over. This will look healthier and more inviting to potential buyers.
  • Fix any ‘bald spots’ by sowing some lawn repair mixture. Autumn is a great time for this.

A trim and a tuck will clear up overgrowth

Something we get used to in our own gardens is overgrowth, some say it ‘grows’ on us.

An afternoon spent pruning back wieldy branches and shrubs can lift the appearance of a house and garden and make it more inviting for home buyers.

Pay particular attention to vegetation that hangs over pathways or obscures windows.

Another useful tip is to mulch garden areas with rich, deeply coloured mulch. Not only will this help your garden grow, it will cover a multitude of sins.

It’s the house, stupid

Another task during autumn is assessing the exterior of your house and yard.

Are there cracks in the building, paintwork or paths? Addressing these can reduce haggling during the sale process and help firm your price.

Are your gutters and piping sound? Cleaning and/or repairing gutters now will reduce the risk of flooding and staining as the winter rains arrive ahead of the spring house selling season.

And an afternoon with a high pressure water cleaner can work wonders in lifting stains off pathways and helping to clean hard-to-get-to areas around your home; just make sure whoever controls it doesn’t shoot water into places that cause damage!

I realise you don’t come to us for household tips but we hope these pointers will help you prepare for a profitable sale and showcase the way we like to dot Is and cross Ts during all stages of the property transfer process.