Home staging is a popular real estate tactic for a reason—it helps sell homes faster. Staging doesn’t end at the home’s back door either; outdoor spaces can—and should—be staged to emphasize the exterior features and curb appeal of your client’s home. When you’re staging a home to sell, there are a couple of outdoor staging tips you should follow that we’ve outlined below.
1: Reduce Clutter
First things first, start by reducing and removing outdoor clutter. Oftentimes, backyards become storage units with unfinished projects, lawn tools, and excessive patio furniture. While your clients may remove most of these items as they move out, as a realtor, you may be stuck removing leftover, smaller items. We recommend hiding personal items and objects like kids’ toys that can distract buyers from seeing the potential of the outdoor space.
Another staging pitfall to avoid is too much outdoor furniture or furniture that’s not in the right place. The goal of staging is to help potential buyers envision themselves in the home, so you’ll want to ensure they can picture themselves in the outdoor living space as well. Ideally, you should create different outdoor living areas. Separate the outdoor dining, living, and kitchen spaces to give the illusion of a larger space.
2: Clean Up the Space
Now that the outdoor space is free of junk and unnecessary distractions, it’s time to clean. Depending on how dirty, dusty, and grimy the space is, you might want to hire professionals, but most of the time, a quick clean is all your home staging will take—potential buys won’t be looking in the corners with a magnifying glass.
Focus on the larger outdoor areas with your cleaning. Start with dusting eye-level areas and any ceiling fans or outdoor mantles. Then, move on to sweeping because it will ensure that the patio or deck is dust-free. Finally, wipe any furniture with a dust rag or Windex to make it shine.
Now that the outdoor living space is clean, take the time to give the home’s exterior a second look. Is it time for power washing? Do any stucco or paint repairs need to be made? Not only will exterior updates improve the value of the home, but it will also reassure buyers that they don’t have a fixer-upper on their hands.
3: Spend Some Time Gardening
We’re not suggesting that you plant an orchard, but you should take the time to do some basic gardening or hire someone to do it for you. The first step is to remove and kill any weeds; sift through flowerbeds, sidewalk cracks, and the lawn to ensure that all visible weeds are removed.
Now that the yard is free of weeds, it’s time to check on the health of the yard’s trees, shrubbery, and flowers. Your clients might need to replace brown and dead landscaping with fresh, green versions. Adding colorful flowers can do wonders for a home’s curb appeal. Even if your clients don’t want to plant anything, you can bring by some potted flowers that you can take home with you once the home sells.
4: Keep It Neutral
The number one rule in home staging is to keep the furniture and home accents you use neutral so that they appeal to a wide variety of potential buyers—that rule applies to outdoor spaces as well. As we mentioned in step one, you should remove large personal items and anything that might turn off a buyer. This includes a lot of bold colors, loud pillows or wild rugs. Remember, you want to showcase the yard, not mask it with removable objects.
Another way to keep the outdoor space neutral is by softening it with the addition of relaxing and cozy features. While you don’t want wild or loud home accents, the addition of clean and fresh couches, tables, and rugs can be welcome staging tools. If the space isn’t large enough for furniture, or you don’t want to invest in such large pieces, consider adding smaller home accents like a fire pit or water feature.
An important thing to note with outdoor staging is that you can hire a staging company to provide the appropriate furniture and exterior design expertise. Hiring a staging company comes in handy when there is no existing furniture available, or when you don’t want to shell out money for individual furniture pieces. After all, unless you plan on taking the furniture home with you, or you want to use it for future staging projects, you won’t have a need for the furniture you invested in.
With appropriate outdoor staging, you’re well on your way to selling your client’s home! Check out our trainings for additional real estate selling tips and real estate continuing education.