The McDonald Real Estate Team

RE/MAX North Lake

By Sean and Aimee McDonald | Monday, August 20, 2018
The McDonald Real Estate Team, Showcasing Outdoor Living Space


As the seasons transition from summer to fall, thoughts of outdoor entertainment naturally come to pass.  As with a home’s interior, exterior spaces are also a widely sought-after element of home ownership.  Sellers mustn’t overlook the value of defining and showcasing their home’s exterior living spaces.  Enhancing the appearance and purposefulness of a deck, patio or porch, can heighten a home’s value; such improvements needn’t be an expensive nor arduous proposition, as the subtlest of changes sometimes produce the profoundest impacts. 

A seller’s improvement of their home’s outdoor living space has the power to attract potential homebuyers.  But, enhancing the look and feel of a home’s deck, patio or porch doesn’t have to be complicated.  Oftentimes, the refurbishing of outdoor furnishings and accessories, provides homeowners with an opportunity to breathe new life into what previously had been outmoded.

Addressing exterior enhancements from a neutral perspective, while incorporating hints of vibrancy, can quickly transform a home’s dull outdoor living areas.  Further accessorizing the space, serves to poignantly define the area’s purpose and use.  To that end, sellers mustn’t overlook the significance of features such as outdoor kitchens and bars.  In addition, ambient lighting, fire pits, water features, shade sails and strategically placed greenery, can also enhance a home’s aesthetics.  Through the cultivation of outdoor living space, a deck, patio or porch can quickly become an extension of a home’s offerings.

Regardless of the area being attended, the purposing of outdoor space begins by determining how the area will be utilized; seating arrangements are commonly one of the first considerations.  The orientation of seating is a focal point of a home’s exterior conversational space.  There are numerous options available, ranging from custom builds to store bought furnishings, but the thoughtful grouping of seating areas allows for the entertainment of guests while further defining the purpose of the space.  And, while the incorporation of seating around dining themed areas is commonplace, functional seating configurations aren’t limited to any one purpose.

Still, when preparing to stage the exterior of a home, sellers must declutter and address the surrounding landscape, removing items detracting from a home’s appeal.  When repairs are needed, sellers should undertake those efforts.  Outdoor features in disrepair, especially during the warmer months, can negatively impact a home’s marketability.

Homes with decks are oftentimes afforded the benefits of a view; however, aged materials used can prove problematic and dangerous.  Homeowners are best served in addressing cosmetic and structural concerns prior to selling.  Even if unintentional, there are resultant liability considerations that may result if structural integrity is a concern.  Although decks are exposed to the elements year round, in many cases, the application of stain or paint is a sufficient means of improving outward appearance.  However, those possessing structural weaknesses cannot be overlooked, as safety must always remain a priority.  The careful inspection of decking, railings and posts is important when selling a home, as are foundational considerations and weight capacity.

For those homeowners seeking to update decking materials, there are numerous options.  Beyond traditional wood-based offerings, composite decking has become a popular alternative.  Manufactured using recycled wood and plastic, composite materials are a green solution, lasting longer than wood and requiring less maintenance.  While the cost of composite decking is typically higher than traditional wood-based materials, the investment is routinely recouped over time, respective of the life expectancy of the materials employed.

A well-appointed backyard is often anchored by a patio which serves as a central focal point.  A freshly cleaned and staged patio is a significant selling feature.  Depending on the square footage available, patios can be oriented as entertainment areas, private retreats or outdoor kitchen and dining spaces.

Patios typically require less maintenance than decks or porches; however, sellers are encouraged to attend to those sections where worn materials may have diminished a patio’s appearance.  Whether choosing concrete, brick, pavers or tile, a multitude of durable options are available allowing homeowners to create functional and distinctive settings.

Patios can further be enhanced by the inclusion of a pergola or gazebo.  Both allow for a purposeful, yet visually pleasing connection to a home’s outdoor space.  There are many options, ranging from prefabricated do-it-yourself models to professionally built customs.

The front entrance to a home is a key contributor to a home’s curb appeal.  The front door, locksets, doorbell, lighting, and address numbers collectively make a statement about what lies beyond the main doorway.  Yet, homes possessing a front porch are afforded greater opportunities to influence first impressions.  Whether open-aired or enclosed, a front porch not only serves as a means of transitioning guests from the outside into the home, a porch also enhances a home’s presence, oftentimes making it appear more stately.

The appropriate staging of outdoor living space oftentimes can be accomplished for a nominal expense; yet, the benefits afforded by well-staged exterior spaces may prove substantial.  Thoughtfully prepared outdoor spaces have the power to transform a home’s appearance, while appealing to a broadened audience of prospective homebuyers.

When well-staged external spaces are accentuated by flowers, planters, decorative pots and outdoor rugs, a true connection with a home’s interior is made.  For these reasons, sellers are encouraged to attend to the exterior living spaces of their homes, as those efforts can strengthen homebuyer interest.