Selling your home? How to maximise its value from the outside in.
When considering selling a property most people think of the décor, the size of the rooms, and ‘location, location, location’. However, there is an often forgotten trick to ensure you maximise the value of your home, and that’s the maintenance and beautification of the trees that frame your property.
It’s not just because of the rise of environmental issues in the media and public consciousness, we (humans) have always had a soft spot for nature (we’ve just not always been as respectful as we could have been) and the dominant natural feature of our towns and cities is trees. When roads are lined with trees they are called ‘avenues’ and the price of properties goes up – when they fill our parks, they are called ‘woodland’ and guess what, if you live near one of those then house prices go up. It’s no surprise, therefore, that well-maintained trees on your property could do the same for the value of your home.
From a buyer’s perspective, when looking at a property there are three fundamental steps to their thought process. First it’s the aesthetics: what the property looks like. Second are the costs: both the purchase and upkeep. And finally, there is their imagination… can they imagine themselves living there, falling in love there, bringing up a family there, growing old there?
When an estate agent values a property, one of the factors they consider is its ‘kerb appeal’. That’s what it looks like from the road outside. The more majestic, characterful or cared for it looks from the outside the higher the value an agent will place on the home. This value will then determine the price it’ll be marketed for and the confidence your agent has of getting offers at or around that price. The reason for this is that people buy with their hearts before they buy with their minds. If they love what they see they will go to great lengths to justify, to themselves and others, that it’s the right place for them. So, if you have trees visible from the front of your property, consider the importance of using those trees to frame your property, to give it greater kerb appeal to enhance its value and saleability.
Ask a local tree surgeon to let you know what they can do to cut back over-growth, to thin the canopy to let more light through to shaded pathways, to make your trees look every bit the perfect frame for your property’s kerb appeal.
Once the buyer’s brain kicks in they will see ‘trees’, but think ‘costs’. Most people will appreciate that trees require maintenance and if your trees are unkempt and overgrown, if they are overhanging or leaning in a precarious manner, if they look sick or infested, or if they are too big and close to your property, then all the buyer will see is the cost of maintenance and not the stunning beauty of your oak or elm, fir or alder.
Keep all the trees on your property properly maintained, pruned, thinned and shaped. Get a qualified local arborist to write a report reassuring surveyors about any trees they might have concerns over to prevent buyers using this as leverage for renegotiating the price on your home. Alternatively, an arborist can advise on whether those trees need to be cut back or cut down to prevent such a worry in the first place.
A buyer must be able to imagine themselves living in your home, that’s why agents and property programmes talk about creating a blank canvas (or in total contradiction, creating a character-filled home), so buyers can visualise themselves, their family, their kids and the family dog living there and their friends popping in to visit. Trees are an amazing time-travelling sales tool for your home. One view can transport a buyer back to their childhood, swinging back and forth on a tyre hanging from the thickest branch and in the same moment to imagine their own children growing up under the shade of that tree, from picnics in summertime to snowmen lit up by the winter sun streaming through bare branches.
Help your trees grow big and strong with the support of a trusted local tree surgeon and your tree can pay you back many times over when you find the right buyer with the right imagination.
To book a survey and consultation with one of our ARB Approved arborists for advice on your trees or to book our tree surgeons to prune/maintain or fell your tree(s), call us on 0208 292 8992.