As we settle into British Summer Time (BST), we are all looking forward to warm, sunny days spent in the garden with the BBQ going and an ice-cold drink in hand. So, it’s no surprise that outdoor spaces are hugely important for many homebuyers. An attractive and functional garden can add significant value to a property – up to a whopping 20 percent, in fact!

You don’t need to spend a fortune or be a budding Alan Titchmarsh; there are a number of simple ways to make the most of your garden and maximise your property’s value when it comes to selling:

1. Less is more

A garden that requires a lot of upkeep can affect the saleability of the property and put off potential buyers, so keep it low maintenance. The key to a desirable garden is making sure that it looks attractive without making buyers concerned about its upkeep; a garden should be a source of pleasure, not a burden. While plants may look appealing, they can also require a lot of attention. Limit the number of different kinds of plants you have, as this will reduce the time spent caring for them. Hardy shrubs will keep your garden looking green in the winter and cheap bedding flowers will add brightness and colour in summer. Lawns need regular cutting, so try to keep them as simple shapes as possible or why not invest in some artificial grass which is becoming increasingly realistic-looking and growing in popularity. Alternatively, you can replace lawn areas with paving, gravel or even decking – all of which require minimal upkeep.

2. Go al fresco

One of the most appealing qualities of any garden is a functional space for al fresco dining, entertaining friends and hosting family BBQs. If you have a patio or decking area, adding some outdoor furniture, such as a table, chairs and parasol will allow buyers to visualise themselves enjoying the space on a hot summer’s day. It is also worth noting that a great deal of viewings take place in the afternoons and evenings, therefore it’s a good idea to install some lighting around the garden, particularly around dining areas, so buyers can make the most of the garden on summer evenings.

3. Keep it private

For most home buyers it is important that a garden is private and secure. If your garden is overlooked, it is worth investing in fencing, walls or hedging, particularly in key spaces such as patios, decking or seating areas to give a sense of privacy so that people feel they can relax. Buyers with children or pets will want to see that the garden is fully secured so ensure that there are no gaps in hedges or fencing and install gates at entry points. Fitting good quality, solid locks on gates and sheds is also an inexpensive but effective way of deterring intruders.

4. The classic garden shed

When viewing a property, buyers are looking for space both inside and outside and outbuildings are becoming an increasingly sought-after addition for potential house buyers. A shed is a classic feature in many British gardens as a useful space for storing anything from outdoor furniture to tools to bikes. But they can also be so much more! Luxury sheds, cabins and other outbuildings that are weatherproof and insulated are becoming more desirable for use as studios, gyms, studies or even additional living rooms. These spaces can add more floor space to a property and therefore value, at a fraction of the cost of house extensions, loft conversions and conservatories.

5. Mask the noise

After spending a great deal of time and effort on preparing your garden for sale, you don’t want buyers to be put off by outside noise. While there is little you can do about the proximity of your home to busy roads, railway lines or local schools, luckily there are few simple solutions that can help to soundproof your garden. Installing a fence or planting tall trees and shrubs around the perimeter of the garden can help absorb external noise and running water features or fountains will help to cover it up, with the added bonus of creating a more peaceful environment.