When selling their home, many people make sure that their kitchen and bathrooms are updated to be fresh and modern. But there’s an often-overlooked opportunity to entice a buyer, and it’s waiting just past your sliding-glass doors—Mother Nature. Appealing to a potential buyer will be that much easier if those doors open to reveal a real wow factor. Imagine the delight of potential homebuyers when they step outside your back door and find themselves in a gorgeous, well-planned and colorfully landscaped outdoor living area.
 
Who Is Your Buyer?
Outdoor living can be enjoyed here in Georgia almost year round, and many buyers—growing families, corporate executives and active adults—seek an outdoor retreat as part of their home. Think about the buyer you want to attract to your home and design an outdoor space just 
for them.
 
Calm Creation
If your potential buyer is likely to want a rest from the rat race, you may want to create a peaceful, serene outdoor escape. A bubbling fountain and planters brimming with vines and sweet-smelling flowers or herbs can enhance the space. Use organic materials to add that zen feel—like beach pebbles or gravel as a paving material instead of concrete.
 
Warm and Inviting
Harness the universal appeal of a comfortable seating area around an outdoor firepit. You don’t have to break the bank—look for a high-quality portable firepit that suits the space. If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor fireplace already (or if it’s in the budget to have one built) remember that a mantle is an opportunity to display outdoor art or candles. Even better, use the space above a fireplace for an outdoor-friendly, flat-screen TV to remind the buyer where the best seat in the house is during football season.
 
Appeal to the Down-Sizer
Today’s boomers, many of them looking to “right-size” from larger homes, will appreciate an outdoor living area with thoughtful features that will age-proof a yard. Lighted steps, sturdy railings, wider paths and raised planting beds make the space easily accessible, even if the buyer might experience mobility issues in the future.
 
Outdoor Entertaining
Your outdoor living room can also be a flexible entertainment space. Create multiple seating areas in the yard to look out over a well-maintained garden or pool and appeal to buyers who enjoy hosting parties. And everybody enjoys al fresco dining—an inviting eating area will definitely impress when you add portable heaters, dimmable lighting or surround-sound speakers.
 
Keep It Simple
Don’t be concerned if your outdoor space isn’t large or your budget isn’t bountiful. A few well-placed essentials, like a colorful container with a beautiful plant and a few new patio chairs with coordinating cushions, can take a small space from blah to elegant.
 
Collette McDonald, RealtorCollette McDonald is widely recognized for her in-depth knowledge of the entire metro Atlanta real-estate market. Collette grew up in Wisconsin and moved to Atlanta in 1995. Her direct, engaged and charismatic personality shines through in her work as a REALTOR®, local community advocate, television expert and small-business owner. [email protected]
Photography by Michael A. Schwarz.