20.3 C
Monday, January 25, 2021

First impressions count

News of house prices dropping may be good for the buyer, but the seller may need to assess what can be done to encourage viewers.
I have always believed that a home’s outside appearance can be indicative of whether or not inside is loved or just staged for sale.

Sure, decluttering and new cushions do help, but if the garden has been neglected, it is impossible to have instant screening, and often privacy is a prime factor in a successful sale.

Plant out fence lines with screens of pruneable shrubs, which, in this weather, might give the appearance of being planted for some time.

If advanced plants are too expensive, use quick-growing shrubs such as lilypillies and grevilleas, water daily and use Flourish weekly to promote growth.

The Australian love of the great outdoors sets the scene for pool areas and barbeques, and these areas need to be attractive to add value to your home.

A great way to privatise these areas, plus decks or verandahs, is by using timber screening, which is very popular.

Use an interesting pot in front of the screen; even plant a quick-growing climber such as mandevilea or dipladenia.

A row of planter boxes will also give the screen a look of permanency. If in the shade, plant out with palms; in the sun use buxus, which can be hedged for a lower look.

It is tempting to leave a courtyard or deck simple to create a feeling of space, but I’d suggest using groups of pots in different sizes, using a bowl of colour in each group.

Water them daily to maintain a cared-for look; remember, outside will mirror inside.

Have a look at the front door. The best addition is a colourful new doormat.

Add a sculptured fig in a pot, underplanted with white impatiens and hopefully this relays a nurtured feeling to those potential buyers awaiting to enter.

Open houses mean countdown times – as it creeps nearer, you’ll need to trim edges, rake up fallen leaves, weed flower beds, mow the lawns, and prune back anything that is overgrown or dead.

It is wise to have a long-term plan to keep your garden maintained and tidy without a continual rush when a prospective buyer is coming.

Most importantly, your garden needs to look easy to maintain, as we Aussies have lot to do at weekends, especially beach lovers and families with children playing sport.

This week:

  • Fertilise hibiscus, murraya and gardenia with cow manure on a cooler day and water in.
  • Lawns can also be fertilised now to encourage growth in bare patches. Choose a cooler day.
  • Sasanqua and Japonica camellias can be given a little fertiliser now as they will soon begin setting buds. Cover the roots with peat moss.

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