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PHOTO: Kevin Fogle
“I have a home and large food-producing front yard garden in the greater Washington, D.C, area. I’m moving and want to sell the property to a family who will be happy to produce hundreds of dollars of their own organic fruits and vegetables. Do you have any suggestions for the best places to advertise my property?” —Virginia
In the past, the attitude from most Realtors was that a vegetable garden was a negative asset that needed to be addressed. This was either done by removing the garden and laying down fresh sod or completely ignoring the garden during showings. Over the last decade, however, that advice has been changing in certain real-estate markets where some home buyers may be interested in purchasing your house because of your garden, not in spite of it. The following are a few tips from one of my Realtor friends for marketing your garden when it comes time to sell your house.
1. Homes Can Be Staged—Why Not Your Garden?
Take the needed time to get your plants looking their best by pruning back sprawling plants, pulling weeds and tastefully mulching open space as appropriate. The garden itself needs a good cleaning, too. Consider spraying off any pavers and redefining your garden paths. Keep everything neat as possible, making sure all tools are cleaned and properly housed, hoses are rolled up tightly, and any other gardening supplies or clutter is stowed away.
Add a few decorative touches to the garden by planting some flowering plants along the exterior or in strategically placed decorative planters. Another option is to bring in a few nice outdoor chairs to make the garden look like an outdoor retreat. Finally, consider adding some fancy name tags for your different crops to add an air of permanency and help potential buyers who might be new to gardening.
2. Showcase Your Garden’s Sustainability Features
If you live in a region with regular water shortages, highlight water-collection systems, like rain barrels, and water-saving strategies, like soaker hoses on timers. Use creative or commercial signage to let potential buyers know that your garden is organic and pollinator-friendly, too.
3. Display Your Plentiful Harvest
In addition to prepping the garden for its big day, think about showcasing a recent harvest on the kitchen counter. An artfully arranged bowl of garden-fresh heirloom tomatoes can work magic over potential buyers who may daydream about growing and cooking fresh produce.
4. Find A Realtor Who Cares As Much As You Do
Finally, it is important to speak with several different Realtors to see if an established garden may be a selling feature in your particular neighborhood. If you’re serious about keeping your garden intact, be sure to find a Realtor who shares your love of gardening and sustainability so they can convey that enthusiasm with potential buyers.