Garden mistakes that ‘devalue’ property – ‘instant turn-off to buyers’

Garden mistakes that ‘devalue’ property – ‘instant turn-off to buyers’


There are plenty of ways to spruce up a garden by removing weeds, trimming hedges, replacing broken fence panels, painting the garden shed, refreshing planters, and more. But no matter how pretty households make their garden look, there are a few things that will “instantly put off a potential buyer” who values a good garden, claimed property experts at Park and Bailey. To help households avoid this, they have shared five garden-related features that can “devalue” a property and “instantly put off your house viewers”.

1. Invasive plants in the garden

Many homeowners don’t like the look of bare fence panels in the garden and will often plant one or two fast-growing, creeping plants to green up their fences.

Plants such as Japanese knotweed, rhododendron ponitcum, and green alkanet are popular choices for rapid fence coverage, but they can be challenging to control.

The experts warned: “These invasive plants can quickly choke out other greenery in your garden and overwhelm your garden fences. 

“They are very tricky to get rid of and can cause some structural damage to building foundations if planted too close to a wall, outhouse, or shed.”

Professional removal costs for invasive species such as this can “easily top £5,000”, so it can be an expensive problem to fix for potential new buyers.

2. Worn out garden furniture

Many may already be aware from watching so many property TV shows in recent years that staging a home and garden is important because first impressions really do count.

While households may not want to invest in brand new, contemporary garden furniture if they are selling their home, they shouldn’t forget that they can take their garden furniture with them to their new home. 

The experts urged: “Staging your garden is essential as you want your house viewers to picture themselves living here.

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“They certainly won’t be able to see themselves relaxing in your garden on tatty old garden furniture.”

3. Overbearing water features

While the trend over the past few years is to create a focal point in the garden with an eye-catching water feature, if a garden has one that is too big for the space or costs a lot of money to maintain, it can be an “instant turn-off to a buyer”.

The property gurus warned: “A permanent water feature such as a koi pond or landscaped rockery waterfall can knock off up to £8,000 off your asking price.”

Instead, why not add a bird bath to the garden as this is one of the easiest water features to maintain, which also attracts wildlife to the space. A bird bath doesn’t have pumps, filters or a costly installation fee.

4. Artificial grass

Many families with dogs or young children switch out their lawn for artificial grass because it is a convenient, low-maintenance, and hardwearing choice for a busy family, according to the experts.

However, most potential buyers typically see artificial grass as a problem that needs removal. 

The experts said: “Removal costs can add up, mainly when you include the price of preparing the garden for seeding a new lawn.”

5. High maintenance planting

Depending on the season, garden borders and flower beds can be bursting with seasonal plants or be as bare as the surface of the moon. 

A sparse-looking garden with empty beds and borders looks like “a lot of hard work” to many potential buyers.

Whereas a well-kept garden that includes evergreens, shrubs, and plants that flower during different seasons all year round can look more enticing. 

It can also look less time-consuming than a garden that needs a lot of maintenance with all or nothing seasonal planting.

The property experts said: “Remember that you are selling your house and your garden to prospective buyers, so you need to make sure you present them both as an enticing package.”

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