Best Landscape Design Features For Property Resale


If you are prepping your property for sale, and want to make it more appealing to potential buyers, then don’t neglect the garden!

Because a well-designed garden can increase the value of your home by as much as 10% to 12%. That's a significant increase that can translate to thousands of dollars!

Money aside, gardens also evolve emotion, and not only is your garden the first thing potential buyers see when they arrive at your property, it’s also visible from almost every window they look out of while viewing your home.  

Whether you’re planning ahead or if you are prepping your property for an imminent sale, it makes good sense to invest in your garden in a way that makes it appealing to future buyers!


So, here’s a little insight from a professional garden designer...

6 garden elements that are most often requested by New Zealand landscape design clients. Get these right, and your garden will appeal to most people, as those potential buyers will be able to visualise themselves using the garden once they’ve made it theirs. Did someone say “SOLD”!

1. Private Gardens Add Value & Make Your Property More Appealing to Buyers

In today's fast-paced world, we want our gardens to provide us with a private sanctuary, a place to retreat from the world, really relax, and spend quality time with the people we love. But it’s hard to relax if your garden feels overlooked. Nearly all of my garden design clients desire enhanced privacy and screening in at least one area of their garden.  The ideal solution usually involves a strategic mix of built and planted screening options:

Built solutions, like fences, walls, trellises, and screening panels, offer immediate impact and privacy. They can also add visual intrigue. Pergolas, overhead structures (which we'll discuss later in this blog), and shade sails are not just useful for giving shade, they are also effective for providing overhead screening.

Planted solutions like tall hedges work a treat for boundary screening, adding privacy above the fence line, and can be purchased in ‘instant’ form. A worthwhile investment if you’re overlooked and in a hurry. Trees can also play a significant role in boundary screening.

Even if you’re moving on, when using planted solutions, selecting the right plants is vital. Bear in mind the plant's mature form, growth rate, and ultimate size to ensure it won’t cause any ongoing maintenance issues. Buyers are savvy and can spot a future problem plant a mile away! If you’re not sure what to plant, get professional help!

2. Low Maintenance Gardens Will Appeal to Potential Home Buyers

Due to a combination of busy lifestyles and limited gardening skills, low-maintenance and easy-care gardens are highly sought after and always near the top of my client’s garden design briefs. Potential buyers will be put off if your garden looks out of control, or as if it will be hard to maintain.

So, if you’re prepping for sale, it’s worth investing time (or outsourcing help) to give your garden a thorough clear out of anything that makes your garden look messy or unkempt. This includes built structures as well as planted elements and weedy areas.  

A great start is to trim the hedges, prune large trees to reduce them in size and open them up to let in more light, and remove any dead or dying plants. Weeding is important too. Nothing brings the tone of a garden down or screams trouble more than areas of weedy garden so give this area particular attention.

If gardening isn’t your thing, get a garden clean-up crew in to do a thorough weed removal. Be sure to take the time to remove roots as well, or those weeds will be back before you can say ‘open home’.  After weeding, and any subsequent replanting, lay a thick layer of mulch instead, as this will give your garden a tidy, loved look. Unless you’re only placing river stones or pebbles on top of it, avoid using weedmat as a solution to weedy areas. Many people regard weedmat as a problem to be dealt with, not a desirable garden asset.

Plants have more appeal than weedmat and if you want to replant your newly weeded areas, you can create an impactful, low-maintenance scheme by planting large drifts or groups of the same plant. This reduces maintenance by allowing plants to happily coexist, minimizing the need for weeding and pruning. If the budget is tight for your pre-sale garden makeover, using large areas of affordable annuals is an easy and cost-effective way to fill up empty garden spaces. It’ll look pretty in the short-term and new owners can replace them with plants of their choice at a later date.

3. Covered Outdoor Living Spaces Make Your Property More Appealing to Buyers

in New Zealand our love of outdoor living and indoor-outdoor flow is strong, and a lot of clients ask for a covered roof area so that they can maximise their outdoor living opportunities.  So, adding a covered area over your deck or patio areas could make your property more appealing to many buyers. 

Louvered roofs are favoured, however, this is a big-ticket item to add when you’re selling, especially as most people want the flexibility that comes with moveable louvres rather than fixed, so they have the option to allow the sun in when desired.

If you’re adding a cover to your outdoor space to raise the appeal for potential buyers, it’s worth looking into cost-effective alternatives such as retractable wave shades and retractable awnings as well.  

Don’t overlook the impact that large cantilever umbrellas and shade umbrellas can have. These can cost-effectively give an outdoor space overhead weather protection, and even provide screening from above helping make a space feel more private and ambient.  Use these to stage your outdoor living space during open homes, to show potential buyers that your property offers a private and protected place for outdoor living and entertaining.   And then, take your umbrella with you when you move.


4. Street Appeal Makes Your Property More Inviting To Potential Buyers

Improving street appeal ranks high in garden design requests. It’s easy to create when you have an attractive house such as a charming villa, cottage or stunning architecturally designed home, as you can have an open garden aesthetic that simply frames and settles the house into the landscape, with a clearly defined path leading to the front door.

For less aesthetically pleasing or plain homes, you can use plants and screening techniques, such as tall hedges or large pots with leafy shrubs, to partially obscure the house. Creating an indirect path to the front door is another way to detract buyers from the fact that the house itself is not overly attractive, as they will approach it from the side, rather than front on. 

Whether it's direct or indirect, the journey from the street to the front door, known as ‘the pedestrian arrival route’ is an important part of street appeal. Use it to create a welcoming feel and enhance the sense of arrival at your property with a clearly defined path that leads potential buyers to the entrance via enticing elements such as fragrant plants,  small entrance courtyards with seats, water features, and impactful feature pots.

Many of these items you can take with you when you move, but as they are part of the staging of your home for open days, it's best to stick to classic looks that have universal appeal. 

5. Edible Plants Make Buyers Feel At Home

Many homeowners desire space for growing a few edibles, so incorporating a little vegetable or herb garden area into your property is very forward-thinking. It doesn’t have to be huge. Most people just want a space big enough for a spring/summer garden for seasonal crops such as lettuce, tomatoes, peas, cucumber, zucchini etc.

This can be as simple as adding a few large pots in a little cluster or building a raised bed in a sunny unused corner of the garden.

There are a lot of great kitset or free-standing planters on the market that make it easy and affordable to create a small seasonal vegetable plot. 2m x 1m x 400mm H is a good size. Filled with affordable herbs, seasonal veges and with a few flowering plants tucked in, potential buyers will be able to imagine themselves harvesting and cooking their own edibles.

Lots of people also request fruit trees. If you have a space to fill, lemon and lime trees top the list of requested fruit trees.


6. Space for a Trampoline Makes Your Property More Appealing to Families

Trampolines are common features in New Zealand family gardens. So, even if you don’t have one yourself, you can future-proof your garden for potential families by creating a space suitable for a trampoline. The area needs to be around 4-5 meters in diameter, with a flat stable base.

Because not all potential buyers for your property will be families with trampolines, I like to think of these trampoline-suitable spaces more as  ‘flexi-nooks’ - spaces that are also suitable for placing similarly sized features such as spa pools or fire-pit areas. Be creative with your ground surface solutions so that the empty space is visually appealing and multi-functional. Consider circular patios, pebbled areas, and artificial turf areas. 

Want More Ideas to Improve Your Garden Prior to Selling Your Home? 

You can learn even more about the topics covered in this blog and pick up some excellent tips to smarten up your garden and outdoor areas prior to selling in our info-packed garden makeover eBook!  

It's a must-read if you want to improve your garden without overspending. CLICK HERE TO GET IT

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