When preparing to sell your home, the outdoor spaces can be as important to a potential buyer as the interior of your home. Whether you hire a yard service or DIY, it doesn’t have to cost big bucks or take a lot of time to make the exterior of your property safe, tidy and inviting.


Set a budget and focus your expenditures in two main areas; safety repairs or replacements and simple aesthetics. First, focus on what needs to be done to ensure all outdoor equipment works and the property is safe to navigate. Second, focus on the minimum necessary to create a clean and inviting exterior. 

Focus on Entrances

The entrance to your home is the first preview buyers will have to what awaits them inside. Sweep cobwebs and dirt out of the corners of your entrance. Remove outdated statues, personal signs, and dry wreaths. Wash the light fixtures, door and any glass panes in the door or surround. Consider spending a bit of your budget at or near the entrances. Solar lighting along the pathway, a fresh coat of paint on the door (yellow, like our cover photo, is really popular now), potted plants, or a new welcome mat add warmth and welcome. 


Buyers want to picture themselves living, playing and enjoying your yard. This means removing your personal effects to allow them to visualize how they would use the space. Clean up all recreational bikes and toys. Place yard equipment, tools, and trash or recycling bins neatly in the garage or shed. If you have a pool, ensure this area is clear of any pool equipment and toys. Remove any “collections” such as garden gnomes, or chimes that may not appeal to every buyer. Decluttering includes the landscaping; weed garden beds, remove dead plants or trees, trim shrubbery and sweep to ensure all pathways are clear of debris and easy for buyers to explore. 

Repair / Replace

Even simple repairs can add thousands to a buyer’s offer price or save valuable time after an inspection. Caulk and paint around areas where pipes or cables are connected to the exterior of your home. Repair cracks in the driveway, walkways, and around the pool area. It’s not always necessary to replace an entire deck or fence. Instead, replace individual boards that have rotted or split, and paint or stain to match the existing structure. Ensure all exterior lighting and equipment is in working order – if the buyer doesn’t check, their inspector certainly will.   

A pergola is a great way to spotlight a favorite area of your yard. This cedar one is 10×10 and only $1,139 from Walmart.

Highlight a Favorite Spot

Do you have a favorite place in your own yard? Maybe you have a quiet, cool spot for morning coffee or a balcony where you sip wine and watch the sunset, an herb garden, or a pool area that’s perfect for entertaining? Chances are, potential buyers will love it too.

Consider spending some of your budget on outdoor pieces that highlight this space. A new outdoor rug or pillows, a tray with outdoor glasses and a pitcher, a few new plants and some color can focus attention on your property’s “sweet spot”. Or think even bigger and invest in a pergola. They range in price and come in a variety of styles. Some are simple like the one you see here in the picture, while others are accompanied with permanent fixtures like a wall or fireplace and flooring. Obviously you want to do “just enough” for the sale of your property without overspending. Leaving the floor unfinished, for instance, can give the buyer an eye of the potential and they can complete the rest.

Southern Californians love their outdoor spaces! While it’s not necessary to blow the budget on your home’s exterior, it’s important not to neglect it as you prepare to sell. 

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