By Clodagh and Dick Handscombe Practical holistic gardeners authors and broadcasters living in Spain for 25 years.
Introduction – Your Garden Can Help You Sell
The Spanish housing market is in the doldrums and anyone buying has plenty to consider at bargain prices. However many people dropping prices by even fifty percent don’t get a sniff and when sales are achieved it is often the garden that tips the scales. But is that is surprising? After all the possibility of living outside for most of the year is one of the main reasons people buy in Spain for holidays, permanent residency or letting. A well thought garden can result in an exquisitely designed decorated and furnished house only being used for a few hours a day from Spring to Autumn and for entire days only on the colder wetter days of winter. So ensure that your garden looks as if it meets those needs. We highlight some tidying tasks, likely attractions and improvements that could help.
Make sure it’s tidy
Potential buyers will be attracted by a tidy uncluttered garden that suggests that maintenance will be manageable with or without the help of a gardener.
So as a minimum ensure that the following are done and maintained so that a good image is presented at all times to unexpected potential buyers.
- If you have a lawn ensure it is regularly cut once it starts to grow.
- Ensure that the swimming pool and jacuzzi are kept pristine even if you normally give it little winter attention.
- Keep all paths and terraces swept and edging plants trimmed neatly back. If the surfaces look a little dirty and mossy clean them with a pressure hose.
- Re-point damaged surfaces and the facing of garden walls, and repaint garden walls.
- Prune back straggly plants and deadhead plants that continue to flower.
- Complete the major winter cutback as soon as possible explaining to potential buyers that you are doing it to improve the shape sizes and spring/summer flowering potential of plants. What to do is explained in Chapter 6.9 of ‘Your Garden in Spain’.
- Tidy the garden shed , clean tools and remove smelly out of date and or leaking chemical products.
- Check that the watering system is working effectively. Turn of unnecessary tubes and drip jets and stop leaks..
- Clean up potted plants and their pots/containers.
- Prepare a tidy hidden area for the compost heap, leaves rotting down in bags, logs piled neatly etc.
Beyond a tidy garden what sort of things might be attractive to potential buyers
- All year round colour.
- All year round perfume.
- Sheltered winter sunny spots and shade for hot sunny days.
- Well situated seats for enjoying long distance views.
- Large terraces for entertaining and an outside kitchen.
- An interesting network of paths and internal vistas.
- As well as flowering plants shrubs and trees a collection of fruit trees and the facilities for a comprehensive herb collection and the growing of some vegetables, especially if the potential buyers did this previously in the UK or other northern European countries.
- Plants that require little watering. Part Four of ‘Your Garden in Spain – From planning to planting and maintenance’ indicate which popular plants are drought resistant..
- Colourful window boxes and containers – no tired or dead plants.
- A fountain or pond.
- Evidence of generally reasonable water bills.
- Copies of ‘Your Garden in Spain’, ‘Growing Healthy Fruit in Spain’ and ‘Growing Healthy Vegetables’ to take away if they agree to buy so that they can become acquainted with the significant differences between northern European and English gardening before they move in.
We hope the above ideas speed your property sales.
Clodagh and Dicks books
‘Your Garden in Spain’, ‘Growing Healthy Fruit in Spain’ and ‘Growing Healthy Vegetables in Spain’ are essential reading for both established and new residents of Spain and other Mediterranean climate areas worldwide. They can be obtained from book shops and internet sites including Bookworld and www.santanabooks.com in Spain, Amazon worldwide and Waterstones and the Royal Horticultural Society in the UK.