Tag Archives: viewings

When you first put your home on the market, you may have gone to great lengths to make sure it looked its absolute best for each and every viewing.  Flowers, freshly laundered bedding, sparkling windows and the dog out of the way: everything you could do in fact, to really bowl over your viewers and persuade them that yours is the home they want.

As time goes on, and the viewings become less and less frequent, it’s easy to lose your enthusiasm, and perhaps make less effort for each viewing booked.  After all, it’s a real effort, preparing your home for a viewer, and what’s the point, if they aren’t going to make an offer?

But they might! Every new viewing is a step closer to selling your home, and deserves just as much care and attention as those first few viewings that you found so exciting. To keep you on track, and your house looking great, here are my six tips to do before every viewing.  Cut out the list and keep it on the back of a cupboard door, to make sure every viewer sees your house looking its absolute best:

  1. Clean and clear – buyers judge room sizes by how much floor space they can see, and in the kitchen – how much work surface.  Get rid of anything that doesn’t add to the presentation, and that could be distracting to a viewer.  If you’re short of time, grab a washing basket and walk around your house, gathering up anything that shouldn’t be there. Stick it in your car until after the viewing when you have time to sort it out!
  2. Get rid of kids and dogs – you’ll feel much more relaxed if you and your viewer have the house to yourselves, and so will they. You can focus on what to say about each room, and the best order to show your home without a child tugging at your leg, or your dog sniffing your guest inappropriately.
  3. Freshen up – open windows to let some fresh air in, especially if you have pets, and definitely if you are partial to spicy food. Don’t make the house cold though, it shouldn’t feel chilly as you walk round.
  4. Light lamps – take a leaf out of developers’ books, where their showhomes have all the lights on, all the year round. Usually, table lamps are enough to add a cosy glow, and underlighting in the kitchen if you have it.
  5. Bedding and towels both need to be freshly laundered. If you’re a busy household with little time to spare, consider keeping a duvet ready dressed with a clean cover to simply pop over each bed just before a viewing. Same with towels – keep some hidden in the airing cupboard just for viewings.
  6. Finishing touches – if you have time, fill vases with flowers, or simply with some pretty foliage from the garden.  Pop some relaxing music on low, and get your best smile ready – it’s showtime!Whether it’s your first viewing, or your fifty-first, making sure your viewer feels like the VIP they are is super important if you want to get an offer. Giving them the best experience of your home will make them feel important and relaxed, and so in the positive and happy frame of mind to make an offer to buy your house, and not anyone else’s!

    If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

What to read nextWhat’s the Point of a Viewing Rep?

What to do next:  Sign up to my Selling Secrets https://www.home-truths.co.uk/selling-secrets

The agent calls, a viewer will be there within the hour.  What can you do to ensure they see your house in the best possible light?  Here’s my ten top tips to make your house shine in a hurry!

1. Grab a washing basket, and go through each room removing any bits and pieces that don’t belong there: paperwork, laundry, dirty dishes, shoes – anything that’s cluttering up the space.  Pop the basket in your car, out of sight;

2. Swap the towels in the bathroom for freshly laundered ones.  Even better is to have new white fluffy towels that you keep especially for viewings;

3. Make up the master bed with laundered or new bedding.  Again, if you can keep some new bedding to throw on for viewings, it will always look at its best.  One tip is to put your usual duvet cover and pillow cases over the top of your special ones, and whip them off for viewings – ta da!

4. Open a window in each room to let some fresh air into the house – only a fraction if it’s cold!

5. Make sure the heating is on, and light any fires you have in the house.  If you don’t have time, fill the grate with church candles and light them for a cosy glow.  This also works in the summertime when it’s too hot to have a fire lit;

6. Unless it’s an extremely bright day, have your lamps lit upstairs, and a mixture of overhead and low level lights lit downstairs;

7. Create the right atmosphere with low and relaxing music, to encourage your viewers to linger over their viewing;

8. Make sure your home smells as good as it looks: spray beds with a tiny spray of perfume, pop a tumble drier sheet in the bottom of all your bins, and put a vanilla pod in the oven on a low heat for a subtle, homely scent.  If you don’t have one, try some drops of vanilla or lemon juice in a bowl of water and put that in the oven.

9. Raid your garden for some greenery and colour, and arrange in vases.  Even in winter, you can usually find some sprigs of foliage to add some life and interest to your home.

10. Finally – give yourself a mini-makeover!  Make sure your outfit is smart, your shoes are clean (never slippers!) and you are well-groomed and looking professional.  Your image should reflect that of your home – neat, well-kept and stylish.

Keep these 10 quick staging tips taped on the inside of a kitchen cupboard, so you can implement them quickly, and make sure your family is well-trained so they can leap into action when required!

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

It was a sweltering hot day in June and I was showing a young couple round a very sweet little flat in Kendal, Cumbria.   I was a rookie – only been in the job two weeks working for Barratts and this was a part exchange property I was showing.  The flat was owned by a young professional lady who was buying one of our new properties and we needed to sell her flat to make the figures stack up.   She’d furnished it beautifully, very contemporary (though it was the 1980s, I should point out, so chintz and apricot was definitely the look of the moment!) and the viewing was going really well.  The young couple clearly really liked it and asked if they could look around again, and I waited in the kitchen.  They returned, making the right kind of noises, and I thought it was in the bag.  Then she opened the integrated fridge, and it all went wrong.  It was horrible.  The food, if you can call it that, was all mouldy and furry, and the smell was terrible.  Not only that, but the fridge clearly hadn’t been cleaned for many months, if not longer, and there were bits of decomposing foodstuffs and nasty stains all over it.  For a moment we all stared at it.  Then she shut the door, and looked at her boyfriend.  He shrugged helplessly.  The lady then opened the cooker, to be met by a very similar sight, and finally the microwave.  Horrible.

Needless to say, this couple did not put in an offer.  She just couldn’t come to terms with the owner’s slovenly habits and you just knew that no matter how much she scrubbed, the memory of what she had seen would linger like a very bad smell.  You see, it had tainted her view of the flat, and of the owner, and she just couldn’t separate the two issues.

You may think that what’s inside your fridge is irrelevant when you’re selling your home, but if you have an integrated fridge/freezer, as many of us do these days, I’m afraid it is going to play its part in helping or hindering you to sell.  I’m not suggesting you fill your fridge with champagne and caviar, but you could make sure it is spotlessly clean, and fill it with some nice fresh fruit and veg.  I promise you, it will make more difference than you or your viewers will know, because it is happening sub-consciously.  We don’t make rational, logical decisions when we are buying a house: we choose a new home that “just feels right”, and one of the hundreds and even thousands of clues that we pick up on a viewing, is whether the owner’s lifestyle is something to aspire to, or eschew.

If your home is on the market, go check your fridge.  And if it doesn’t look like an advert for Indesit, go to work.  Your viewers will notice, I promise.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

GRABBING the interest of a potential buyer starts with pictures of your house – and if they are not good enough the buyer simply moves onto the next property.

Even if you have the perfect house, if people don’t cross the threshold you won’t sell them the property. So perfect pictures are the vital starting point.

It is important to be aware of not only what is in a picture – but what is not in a picture. If there are gaps in what a buyer expects to see they will assume the worst. Why is there no picture of the kitchen or front of the home?

Particularly the front of the house – it is the equivalent of the front cover of a book to a reader. If you don’t have this shot, the buyer will wonder why not – does the house need a lot of work? Is it in a bad area or next to an eyesore like an electricity pylon?

Remember – research indicates there can be up to 15 people driving by your home for a quick look for every person that actually visits and you need to convert them into viewings. The front of the house does not have to be the main picture in your brochure if it is not the best but it does need to be there.

The same is true for the kitchen – this is often the main selling feature of a home and has to look good. Even if yours is not the best, give it a good tidy and de-clutter to make it look spacious and clean. The picture will not be nearly as bad as the imagination of a house proud buyer will make it if there isn’t one at all.

Other key no-nos include pets in pictures – they may be a full member of your family with their own chair at the dining table but they are not for your buyer. Even if a buyer is cat-crazy or doggy-dippy, they cannot be offended by a house that doesn’t have pets, but someone who dislikes animals will be put off by evidence of moggies or pooches as they start to mentally add up the costs of recarpeting, deep cleaning and repairing the imagined damage.

It is amazing how many buyers lack imagination –so do their job for them and ensure your pictures are bright, airy and crisp and show the buyer the very room they could be relaxing in.

Do you get Sam’s Selling Secrets? They’re free! Get yours here www.home-truths.co.uk/selling-secrets

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

Side table with a lampshade on top Get more viewings

I spoke to a lady recently who hadn’t had a viewing in six months; another gentleman seller called me who had been trying to sell his house for three years, and in all that time had only had three viewings.  If you’re in that boat, you have my sincere sympathies.  It’s even harder if a friend or neighbour is getting a viewing a week.  So what can you do today that would help you get more viewings?

1.   Review your marketing – look at your photography, description, online advert and brochure, and make a list of improvements you could make to them.  Ask your estate agent about getting the house re-photographed, and whether they would cover the charge of a professional photographer.  Write the description from scratch, including ‘owners’ quotes’, interesting historical anecdotes, and any other human interest element you think might intrigue a buyer.

2.   Call your agent – my experience has shown that the more often you talk to your agent, the more likely your house is going to be in the forefront of their mind if a prospective buyer calls.  How often have you phoned your agent to ask them why you haven’t had a viewing in a while, only to be told a day or two later that someone wants to view?

3.   Take a break – taking your house off the market for a little while may seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes it’s all you need to increase the interest in your house when you re-launch.  It’s also a good idea if you are going to revamp your marketing materials, as your home will have extra impact when you go back to the market.  As a general rule of thumb, I would suggest a month off the market for every six months you’ve been for sale.  Upon your re-launch, an email alert will hit all the inboxes of buyers who have registered with Rightmove and the other portals, and this alone could help encourage viewings.

By taking action, not only will you give yourself the best possible chance to increase interest in your property, you will you feel reassured that you are taking control of your own house sale.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch

Side table with a lampshade on top Get more viewings

What to read next: Let Buyers See Your Front Door 

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kitchen dining table and countertop with chairs Loft Conversion

Maybe you’re looking at your little ones, and you realise they’re just not that little anymore. Or you’re fed up of shifting essentials from room to room, because there’s not really a place for them to call home. Either way, the spacious home you once lived in somehow just feels a little squishy now. Perhaps your brood is made up of a baby or two more than expected? Or maybe you now work from home, and an office wasn’t on the tick list when you bought. We’ve all been there. The home was once roomy, but now there’s simply no room. Let’s look at the options, and figure out your best move.

Extensions

Extensions always seem appealing. It’ll be the same home you fell in love with, just bigger. No compromise, right? Let’s see…

Perhaps you’re thinking of a modest 5mx5m addition. Nothing indulgent, but just enough to turn your humble kitchen into a more sociable space. What’s the cost? Outside London, expect a bill of around £30,000. And that’s just for the build. Now let’s add on 10-15% for professional fees, because the architect, structural engineer, building regulations and planning permission won’t come for free.

Yes, extensions leave behind a long list of receipts, but what’s the real cost? The council typically takes eight weeks to consider planning permission applications, and longer for more complex builds. So that means two months of thumb-twiddling before the project has even had the thumbs up. And to what extent will your family-life be compromised if the builders do ascend? In amongst the dust, noise, and mess, you start to wonder if it was really worth sacrificing your garden for a larger kitchen. And was turning the children’s playground into a construction site really the right move? To extend is to compromise.


Loft conversions

Now let’s consider creating more space by moving up, not out. Loft conversions don’t usually require planning permission, so that’s one headache less than extensions. And unless you’re set on changing the properties exterior, creating a straightforward loft room is, well, pretty straightforward. From a legislation perspective anyway.

It’ll create a new room without nibbling into your gardens, which again, makes it more appealing. And it’s the least disruptive member of the extension family too, since all the work is contained to one unused space above. So as the new room takes shape, mess, dust, and noise is kept well away from family life.

And while grub is kept out, heat is kept in. On average, a home loses a quarter of its heat through the roof. But when converting a loft space, reinforcements are made to the walls, ceilings, and floors. This naturally packs in extra installation, so in the process of creating a functional space, you’re trapping warmth inside the property. This means friendlier heating bills, and a toastier house.

It sounds promising, so let’s consider the finer details. Like floor plans. Architects design homes based on the plot size, and to optimise useable space. So, since your home wasn’t designed with a loft room in mind, how much wiggle room is there for an extra flight of stairs? Spiral staircases are an option, but they’re not in keeping with most interior design and styles. Then there’s the building legislation to think of; the width and headspace of the staircase all need to be in compliance.

Now let’s talk money. A loft conversion isn’t cheap, but it’s generally cheaper than an extension. And it can increase the value of a home by up to 25%. So what does it cost? Like extensions, it varies, but expect a modest conversion to set you back upwards of £20,000. And an elegant master bedroom, complete with an en-suite? £45,000 minimum.

But, again, what does enduring an extension or loft conversion really cost? Let’s take figures and statistics out of the equation. Because mathematics doesn’t have the answer to a happy home.


Time for a move?

Growing your home to accommodate your changing family, or circumstances, seems appealing. Romantic, even. But how many romances end in tragedy? You may gain an extra room or two, but dust, disagreements and dissatisfaction are other likely add-ons too.

A home is a retreat. It’s the place you should look forward to returning to, and it’s a place that can make or break family time.

Perhaps you could put up with turning your kitchen into a construction site. And maybe you could sacrifice some of the gardens to accommodate the new kitchen-diner. The build is temporary, and the garden is plentiful after all. But once the build is complete, will it be just right? Compromising for planning grants, pinching floor space from gardens, and fighting the restrictions of the original house design. When you bought, you bought a home that was built for your needs at the time. It was comfortable, and it was just what your family needed. But when your circumstances change, perhaps it’s time to look for a property that was designed for your family as it is now.

To extend or convert is a compromise. It’s making the most of what you can do with what you’ve got. They both come with limitations and restrictions. And compromises, limitations and restrictions aren’t the homeliest adjectives around. Choosing a new home is an indulgence. It’s a fresh start, and a new beginning. And this time, you know exactly what your family needs.

So if you’re constantly looking for extra room, maybe it’s time to reassess. Families change with time, and if the home can’t keep up, it’ll start to drag you down. When you bought the home, it was right for you and your circumstances. But with time, your tick-list of priorities will naturally change. Write down the things you’d like to stretch, rejig or knockdown in your current home, and it’ll help draw a picture of what your next home looks like. So don’t compromise, move!

kitchen dining table and countertop with chairs Loft Conversion

Flower vase in top of the table Viewings that turn into offers (1)

Your home is for sale, and you have a viewing booked. How exciting! Let’s make sure your home looks amazing and seduces your viewer, so that they turn into a buyer.

Check out our 7 steps to wow your viewer:

  1. Clean and clear – buyers judge room sizes by how much floor space they can see, and in the kitchen – how much work surface.  Get rid of anything that doesn’t add to the presentation, and that could be distracting to a viewer.  If you’re short of time, grab a washing basket and walk around your house, gathering up anything that shouldn’t be there. Stick it in your car until after the viewing when you have time to sort it out!

  2. Get rid of kids and dogs – you’ll feel much more relaxed if you and your viewer have the house to yourselves, and so will they. You can focus on what to say about each room, and the best order to show your home without a child tugging at your leg, or your dog sniffing your guest inappropriately.
  3. Freshen up – open windows to let some fresh air in, especially if you have pets, and definitely if you are partial to spicy food. Don’t make the house cold though, it shouldn’t feel chilly as you walk round.

  4. Light lamps – take a leaf out of developers’ books, where their showhomes have all the lights on, all the year round. Usually, table lamps are enough to add a cosy glow, and underlighting in the kitchen if you have it.
  5. Bedding and towels both need to be freshly laundered. If you’re a busy household with little time to spare, consider keeping a duvet ready dressed with a clean cover to simply pop over each bed just before a viewing. Same with towels – keep some hidden in the airing cupboard just for viewings.
    .
  6. Beautifully scented – scented candles and room sprays will make sure your home smells beautiful; just don’t overdo it! Your home should smell subtly fragrant.
  7. Finishing touches – if you have time, fill vases with flowers, or simply with some pretty foliage from the garden.  Pop some relaxing music on low, and get your best smile ready.

Whether it’s your first viewing, or your fifty-first, making sure your viewer feels like the VIP they are is super important if you want to get an offer. Giving them the best experience of your home will make them feel important and relaxed, and so in the positive and happy frame of mind to make an offer to buy your house, and not anyone else’s!

* * *

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

Beautiful kitchen What’s that smell

While your home might be flawless in your own eyes, there are certain things that can instantly put buyers off. We aren’t talking furniture or dodgy décor (although, try to modernise if possible), but aspects of the house that can turn a nose up in a second. With this in mind, we have put together our tips- six things to look out for, before the buyers descend…

Bad Smells – Even if your home resembles something from Good Housekeeping’s most desirable homes pages, if there’s a whiff in the air, the buyers are going to care. House smells are top of the list when it comes to putting buyers off. Smells range from cigarette smoke and pets, to mould and mildew lingering in the air. Unfortunately, noses become accustomed to certain smells over time, so ask someone who doesn’t live in your home to smell the air. Don’t be offended if you don’t like the answer; they’re helping you out. Get rid of any bed smells so potential buyers come in to a fresh and clean atmosphere, not one that is filled with spray to cover the smells.

Unclean bathrooms – The bathroom is one of the most important rooms that people like to keep clean. A bathroom can make people dislike your home immediately if it isn’t spotless; if the bathroom is grubby and has mildew, they will wonder what other dirt lurks beneath the surface of your property. Extra cleaning is a must if you want to sell your home. Scrub your bathroom to perfection, paint the chipped walls, put in a new rug and fresh towels, and buy a clean shower curtain. Open the windows when buyers are looking around to let in some fresh air.

Damp Rooms – If you have a basement and don’t use it as a functioning room, you may experience some damp issues. Often it is caused by rainwater seeping into the foundations, and doesn’t necessarily mean you have a fault within the grounds. However, buyers won’t see it like this. If they smell damp, they think cost, or a delay in moving in while the damp is removed. Or even worse, recurring damp problems. This is a red light. To remove damp smells, determine where any water from outside is going. The smell could be caused by the drains being clogged, or rain gutters full of leaves. Investigate and resolve, or lose a sale.

Kerb Appeal – Your house needs to look good from the outside. The front needs to be edging on picture-perfect; not only does it paint a good impression of the owners, it puts potential buyers in positive spirits before they have stepped in the door.

The stalker seller – When people come to have a good look around your home, they often prefer to have a good old mosey around without you following them. Yes, it makes sense to be at least a few rooms away in case they have questions, but leave them be while they wander. They need personal space to chat things through with their partner or agent, and if you’re there, they might not feel comfortable. Let them nit-pick at details with you out of the room. If you hear them talking about changing ‘this, that and the other’, this means they like your home and are already considering how to add their stamp.

Lighting – Even if your rooms are tidied to each corner and crevice, if they’re dark and unlit, they can be a turnoff and give the wrong impression of the room. Remove heavy curtains that prevent light getting into your rooms, and turn on lamps that give the room a homely feel. If a room has dark wallpaper or paint, consider giving it a repaint to make it feel fresh; white works wonders.

By making such small simple steps, you will be presenting your potential buyers with a home that will delight them from start to finish. Look at your home before any viewings begin, and see what you can change; it will be worth it when a new family are signing on the dotted line.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

Beautiful kitchen What’s that smell

What to read next: First impressions

What to do next:  Sign up to my Selling Secrets https://www.home-truths.co.uk/selling-secrets

Who should show viewers around your house? Over the years, I’ve heard many arguments for and against the homeowner showing their home to potential buyers. There are agents who will always tell a vendor to conduct viewings themselves, saying “you’re the best person to show people round; after all, you know your home better than anyone,” and on the other hand, just as many agents who believe they should accompany every viewer, with the argument “buyers often feel uncomfortable with the seller, as they are unable to say what they really think of the house”. In my view, both are right, but only to a point. Here’s to the Who’s Who of Viewings:

The first viewing on your home should always be accompanied by your estate agent. They are the expert – not in your home, admittedly – but in selling! They are (or should be) trained to listen for buying signals, and respond professionally and skillfully to ensure the buyer feels comfortable and secure enough to share their thoughts and feedback with them. The best course of action, is for you to prepare your home yourself for the viewing: light lamps, ensure the central heating is at the right comfort level, but still leave the house aired, light the fire, and leave it looking absolutely gorgeous whilst still homely. Once you’ve done this, go out! Walk the dog, pop out for dinner, go next door for a coffee: whatever you need to do to make yourself scarce. Leave the agent your mobile number so he can call you once the viewing is over and it’s safe to return.

On a second viewing, it’s good to be there. A couple of exceptions to this rule: if only one of a couple has viewed the first time, then the second viewing is actually a first viewing for one of them, so needs to be treated accordingly. The other rule is much harder to gauge, especially if you’re the seller! If you or your lifestyle is fundamentally different from that of your potential buyer, then it’s best if you keep yourself scarce. For example, if you’re in you’re in your nineties and married, and your viewer is in his twenties, and a bachelor, then there’s no way he will connect with you or the house in any way, other than as a ‘project’, and you can only sabotage that vision.

Otherwise, prepare your home as before, and allow the agent to let the viewers in and to have a look round, unaccompanied if possible. Then, time your return for around twenty minutes or so into the viewing. If they are really serious about buying your house, they will be there at least that long. When you arrive, introduce yourself and shake their hands warmly, then offer to make them a cup of tea or coffee, adding that you’re making one yourself. It’s a good idea to have a prior agreement with your agent that if this part of the viewing is going well, they should actually make themselves scarce, perhaps leaving to go to another viewing. Then you can settle down to focus on building rapport with your potential buyers, and answering any questions they may have with interest and enthusiasm. As they leave, again shake their hands warmly, and let them know they can contact you at any time with any further questions.

All being well, your viewers may at this point put an offer in. If they have met you, they are much less likely to make a very low offer! Human nature and our traditional English reserve will usually mean that it is just too embarrassing to risk the possibility of causing offence to a seller you have met, by submitting a potentially insulting offer. Meeting your buyers will also help to ensure that negotiations start on the right footing, will consideration and respect on either side, and a genuine motivation to find a middle ground acceptable to both parties.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

What to read next: 3 ways to prepare your home for viewings on holiday

What to do next: Sign up to my Selling Secrets https://www.home-truths.co.uk/selling-secrets

First impressions count for a lot in the property market, and the garden can often get neglected. Here on Home Truths we think the outdoor presentation of your property is vital, after all, it’s what catches a potential buyer’s attention. A lot of people take care of their garden in the summer only to skip maintaining it as the colder months approach. Yet if your home is on the market, keeping your garden tidy in the autumn and winter is just as important.

Here are some of the things you can do to keep your garden tidy throughout autumn and winter:

Give your lawn a good sweep

If you leave a dense layer of leaves on your lawn, they will kill the grass underneath, resulting in problems in the spring. If your garden is regularly covered in leaves, one of the best things you can do is to make a leaf mould. Alan Titchmarsh recommends stowing damp leaves away for a year in a black bin liner until they become a crumbly brown mould that is ready to use.

Early autumn is also the best time for lawn care—sow fresh seeds on bare patches, trim plants, and remove invasive weeds.

Start sowing plants for the cooler months

Since growth slows in autumn and almost stops completely during winter, early autumn is the best time to get rid of those ugly, empty containers and reuse them with plants that grow in the colder weather like pansies and viola, bulbs like grape hyacinths, and shrubs like euonymus, evergreen sedges, and evergreen ferns.

You can also start growing some winter vegetables. Good winter vegetables include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, all of which flourish in the cooler temperatures.

Onions, shallots, and leeks are also great choices, and these can be planted in the garden in autumn ready for an early spring harvest.

Apart from getting started with planting, The Telegraph also suggests you start moving tender plants like canna, citrus, and young olives indoors or to covered areas. Less hardy plants need winter protection, so make sure you have covering materials like fleece.

Feed your plants and improve your soil

Autumn days are your last chance to add fertiliser into potted plants before the cold months begin. iNews state that it’s best to use low-nitrogen fertilisers, to avoid soft growth that will make your plants more vulnerable to disease and frost. These kinds of fertilisers promote robust frost-resistant growth, perfect for winter.

Autumn is also the most important season to improve your soil. Besides adding fertiliser, adding organic material like compost, shredded leaves, and organic nutrients help provide the soil microbes with food, and protect the soil from being too bare during winter.

Sort out your pond, fountain, and bird feeders

If you have water installations like ponds or fountains, now is the best time to scoop out leaves that may have blown into them. Remove any pond plants that have died, too, to prevent them from rotting and sinking to the bottom, which can upset the ecological balance of the pond. If your garden pond does not contain any fish, you can cover it with plywood or a tarp. Don’t forget to turn off the pumps and filters for the winter, as they can freeze and damage the equipment. Take down bird boxes and empty them as old nesting materials, unfertilised eggs, and other debris that may carry diseases. Make sure you also clean out feeders and regularly refill them.

Clean your garden shed, sharpen your tools, and check your fences

Don’t think maintaining a garden ends with the plants and soil. Your shed is still part of your garden. Keep it neat and tidy by sorting through your tools, cleaning them, and repairing or replacing any that have become damaged.

Don’t forget your fences, too. Check for any shifting in the soil, cracks, or any insect infestation. If any of these are present, it is best to replace your fence with pressure-treated panels to prevent any damage in the future. The bulk of the garden fences showcased on Screwfix come with a manufacturer’s guarantee, which shows how modern fences are much better equipped to last longer. Besides ensuring your fences are made of good-quality materials, make sure you pick a design that will complement your garden and potentially increase the value of your home.

Like the old adage says, first impressions last. And if the first thing a potential homebuyer sees is a poorly kept lawn, a rotten fence, and a patchy garden, the top quality designed interior of your home could be irrelevant.

AUTHOR BIO: Emerson Rosenzweig is a marketer by profession and is based in Bristol, UK. Having grown up with a passion for all things landscaping and gardening, Emerson appreciates the importance of maintaining a beautiful garden not just for boosting property value, but also for health and wellness. When he’s not at work or tending to his garden, Emerson enjoys visiting the national arboretum and going for long runs.