Many of you are beginning to plan a move in the spring. First, of course, you’ll have to sell the home in which you currently live. As you think about how you might best prepare your home for listing, don’t forget to make the most of your outside living spaces. Home stagers tell us that we spend so much time tending to the rooms we have with walls that we sometimes fail to create a design for our rooms outside – the ones without walls.

Having a well-designed outdoor living space is one way to add value to your house and help it along towards a bigger sale price. Prospective buyers are, after all, looking for the biggest bargain. More living space is a sure way to satisfy them and inspire larger offers. When that happens everybody leaves happier.

If you are having your home professionally staged, you may or may not have your outdoor living spaces among those that are designed, furnished, and decorated to sell. If you opt to design and deal with your outdoor living spaces on your own, now is the time to get started on creating or updating your outdoor rooms. Please keep these tips in mind as you do.

Take Your Time.

Anybody can pour a slab of concrete and call it a patio. Add a table and some chairs and you have an outdoor dining space. If you really want to up the ante on your home, take some time to dream big. Brainstorm a bit about how you would like your outdoor space to function. Do you want it to be a mini-retreat – a place to grab a hammock and a good book — or do you see it more as a place to invite others into your lifestyle? Do you envision a big fire pit? Do you want a water feature? Imagine the perfect space for you, then – if necessary – scale it back to fit your budget.

Consider the Layout

Attaching your outdoor living space to your home, as one might add a wooden deck or a simple patio, is one way to go, but if your home (and the local building codes) will permit why not extend your vision toward the back of your property? A meandering walkway to another outdoor room can evoke feelings of a genuine getaway. Don’t eliminate any idea as too lavish until you’ve played with it and the budget to see how it might be accomplished.

Take It Away

Be sure that your plan takes steps to insulate your new space from the rest of the world. It’s okay to add a wall or two, whether it be a privacy fence to act as a buffer or something as inexpensive as a lattice partition on which you can grow vines and/or place potted hanging plants that will absorb sound and help to create a tropical or forest feel.

Talk to Your Home Stagers

When it comes down to brass tacks, and you have an idea you love, take the time to talk to your real estate selling agent and your designer. These two members of your sales team already know many things about the people who will be interested in your home. They will know how much these folks might up the price for any outdoor space you add. You don’t want to invest so much in your living area that you price your home out of the market, but you absolutely want to make it as irresistible as possible. Your stager will have these answers and be able to advise you on what features to add or subtract.
Style and Decorate

From here, you approach the furnishing and decoration of your outdoor space in much the same way as you would your walled rooms. Choose a focal point, create a colour scheme, add comfortable furnishings – hammocks or day beds, a dining table and chairs or benches, or ottomans for seating. Add accessories, and you have an outdoor space that will make your prospective buyers’ hearts beat a little faster.
As with anything to do with the sale of your home, don’t forget to seek the advice and help of your home stagers. These professionals keep their fingers on the pulse of the real estate market and will know precisely how to use your new addition to attract the right buyer.

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