If you are selling a house or a townhouse, the garden is the first live visual your potential buyers will have of your property when they visit your home for the first time. (Well, actually it's the street, but there's not a lot you can do about that, and you would assume that any serious buyer will have done a drive-by before the open).
Which means that your front garden is their first impression - and why you need to make sure it's a good one.
My top tips for the best ways to prepare your front and back yards for sale are synonymous with each other, and while many of them may seem obvious, it's worth having a good checklist at hand during those busy months ahead of your sale:
2. Keep the lawn cut short and either re-seed or replace any bare patches with new turf. You will obviously need to think about this ahead of your campaign.
3. Repair and re-stain fencing if required. Repair any loose gates or locks.
4. Clean barbecue or put a cover over it. Clean any outdoor furniture, and typically an outdoor dining table and chairs or lounge set is enough for a small house.
5. Gurney pavers and rocks and repaint or reseal decking.
6. Clear cobwebs from the exterior of the house and in the rafters of gazebos or outdoor rooms. Clear shade sails of leaves and clean if possible.
7. A few pot plants in clusters - perhaps in the corner of the deck or in a section of a border, in simple, modern pots (neutral, grey or black) - can look nice, but note A FEW. Remove any relics from holidays gone by such as Buddhas and Asian pottery and make sure any water features are working. Replant any empty borders - a small herb garden can be a nice touch.
8. If your garden is heavily shaded by tall trees, cut them back to reduce leaf-fall and maximise light flooding in.
9. Remove any old building debris such as bricks or old roof tiles, particularly those you've hidden under the deck - you'd be surprised at what we find there!
10. Make sure your back garden is enclosed where possible and safe for children and pets if it isn't level.
11. If you're lucky enough to have a pool, make sure it is at its sparkling best and that the fencing is secure and in line with safety regulations.
12. If you have a spa or tub that no longer works and cannot be fixed - get it removed.
Finally, pick up and remove any dog poo.
And did you know, you can even paint your lawn green if you're as hopeless in the garden as I am?