I have asked real estate agents that I have met in the past about the value of a pool with a house. I generally get the same answer. You will not get all your money back on a pool. But recently I have been watching a show on HGTV called Bang for your Buck. This show focuses on 3 houses in the same area with the same budget and the same type of renovation. In every episode, they get less than what they spent on the renovation. That being said, you will get some money back for what you spent on your pool and landscaping.
I watch design shows frequently, especially ones that involve staging your home before selling it. I seldom see houses that are for sale that have pools so there is not much information on TV that relates to 'staging' your pool or spa. I noted that some of the tips for making the inside of your home buyer ready can translate to the outdoor spaces also.
- The advice most given in staging your home is to get rid of clutter. Inside the house go ahead and pack up books, family photos and collections. Less is more. For the backyard, you will want to store pool toys, floats and inflatables. Also, get rid of any left over boards or pavers that you didn't use. If you don't already have a storage unit for items that you aren't using for inside the house, consider asking friends or family to store them for you.
- Like inside the house, take care of any unfinished project. Broken hinges on gates, loose boards, prune trees or shrubs.
- Clutter gone and projects finished it is now time to clean. Inside the house you will be waxing floors or having carpets cleaned that are in good condition. If the carpets have bad stains and is worn, you may want to consider replacing the carpet before putting on the market. Yes, it is an added expense, but you do not want to lose a potential buyer because the house is not move in ready. In the backyard, you will want to pressure wash your concrete deck, vinyl siding or stain a wooden deck. For vinyl liner pools, replacing the liner is a good idea if it shows wear or if it has white spots from over chlorination.
- Now it is time to stage. If you have patio furniture, add cushions and dress the table as if you were having friends over for lunch. Complete with place settings and a nice size candle in a hurricane lamp. You don't have to spend much to get the buyers attention. Add an outdoor rug underneath and you have created the perception of an extended living area and extra square footage! Plant bright colored flowers in your beds and consider adding hanging plants, such as ferns to give the area a more tropical feel.
- Time for the open house! Just as you might set a bottle of wine & 2 glasses at a bistro table inside the house, carry that theme to the outside. Nothing is more inviting than a pitcher of lemonade on a warm day!
Remember to keep the house and the yard clean until that perfect buyer comes along!