Savvy sellers in today's challenging market are realising money spent on even a minor garden makeover can make a property stand out from the pack and generate thousands of extra dollars. A real estate agent in Toorak said a good garden clean-up could add an extra $50,000 on auction day. He recently sold a home in Sargood Street, Toorak, minutes after auction for $4.7 million, after $3000 was spent tidying the garden and pool. Plant gaps were filled, windows washed, cobwebs removed, new gravel was laid on paths and brown patches in the lawn were reseeded.
''It makes a sizeable difference at that level,'' he says. ''The house had big windows overlooking the garden, so downstairs the garden was always in the sight line. People won't come if a place doesn't look good. First impressions are lasting. Gardens are almost as important as the architecture of the house.''
A Balwyn real estate agent recently spent $5000 to make over the garden of a neglected, two-bedroom, family investment unit in Middleborough Road, in Blackburn, resulting in a sale $25,000 over the reserve.
''A property has to stand out to get attention if someone is looking on the internet or driving by,'' says Don Thomson of landscape company Gardenridge, Box Hill, whose maintenance division, headed by turf management specialist Darren Tooth, is getting more and more requests from owners and agents for pre-sale makeovers.
As Melbourne enters the spring selling season, says Mr Tooth, more owners are inquiring about garden spruce-ups that could cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Ahe pre-sale program of a property generally ties in with the auction campaign, starting with a major clean-up, then a quick tidy on open days and the big day on auction day.
A large courtyard was the point of difference at the Blackburn unit, said the agent, so he took extra care with it. The Gardenridge team terraced it with three flat areas and charcoal paving so it functioned and presented better, with perimeter planting and standard ficus flanking the front entrance.
Source: The Age Domain