Stage that backyard!

While we don’t have long warm-weather periods here in Wasilla, what we are blessed with we like to enjoy fully by being outdoors ― even if it means sticking around the house, entertaining on the deck or patio, catching some rays in the backyard or digging in the garden.

Have you noticed how so many home photos in the Wasilla MLS lack backyard photos? It is a mystery to me why so many of my colleagues don’t understand that someone in the market for a single-family home may need space, and outdoor space is actually high on many homebuyers’ lists.

In fact, a National Association of Homebuilders survey of homebuyers finds that folks want trees, a patio or deck, a fence and exterior lighting in their new home’s backyard. Luxury homebuyers crave water features, outdoor kitchens and lots of space to entertain.

When you consider staging your home, don’t neglect the backyard. Even a few DIY projects will make it more appealing and just might clinch the deal.

Get rid of the kids’ toys and play equipment (if it’s worn, old or ratty). Clean out the planting beds by getting rid of dead or dying plants and then spreading a fresh layer of mulch over the soil. Since it’s spring, consider planting some colorful annuals.

If you have pets, do a thorough poop scoop and mow the lawn. Then, get to work on the patio or deck. Your outdoor dining set and barbecue can be staged attractively. Get ideas online, such as

If you won’t be staging the deck or patio, take the barbecue equipment to storage. If staging is on the list, however, you can find ideas online, such as at Pinterest and here, Design Remix, Better Homes & Gardens and DIY Home Staging Tips.

Here are a few additional tips to consider:

  • Paint or stain the wood deck.
  • Repair any damage to the fence and paint it, if needed.
  • Buy a new door mat.
  • Fill in bare spots in the lawn.
  • Clean the outdoor light fixtures.
  • Prune trees and shrubs.
  • Leave only decorative items on the patio or deck.

A recent home improvement survey finds that a mere $564 spent on a DIY landscaping project results in a 215 percent return on your investment when the home sells.

There’s your motivation, right?

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