WHILE we know it’s important to present your home in the best light when you are trying to sell it, the garden can sometimes be overlooked.

You may be happy with an untamed, bug-friendly wilderness, but a prospective buyer might not see the charm in your eco-friendly jungle.

A tidy garden says a lot about the homeowner, and it will be the first thing that a potential buyer will see as they approach your property.

Speculative buyers driving around an area they like will see your ‘For Sale’ sign. But, however much they like the area, and may even like the look of your house, being confronted with an unsightly garden could well put off anyone even making an appointment to view.

As one of the North-East’s most trusted estate agents, Robinsons has some tips on how to encourage homeowners to get their property ready for market.

Put yourself in the position of a prospective buyer – stand back and take a hard, critical look at your home from the road. What is its ‘kerb appeal’ like? The front garden is the first and last thing that the buyer will see. What sort of impression does it make?

Is the grass neat and tidy? Are the flower beds well maintained and weeded? Are any trees trimmed and manageable? These are the basics, and you can easily improve the look of the front garden by putting in a little work.

If the front is more patio than lawn, try adding some potted plants and flowers for colour and interest. Cut back any ivy or climbers on the walls, trim any hedges, and screen any bins that might be at the front.

There’s usually more going on in the back garden, but those same rules apply.

If you have paving, decking or steps, make sure it is all weeded and jet-washed so it looks clean and isn’t slippery.

Garden furniture will benefit from being cleaned, and maybe a lick of paint or varnish to freshen it up. If the weather allows, ‘dress’ the table with a bottle of wine and a couple of glasses to add that welcoming feel.

If you have a smallish garden, or a yard, a strategically-placed mirror can make quite an impact. It will make the space seem larger and lighter, and will reflect colour. An unusual garden ornament or small statue can create a talking point, and if the buyer likes it enough, they might make you an offer to keep it in the garden when they buy your house!

Tidy away any children’s toys, but don’t just dump them in the shed or garage – the buyer will want to look at that space as well.

Have a sort out - probably a good idea to get ahead anyway - and get rid of all that forgotten and ‘just in case’ stuff that’s clogging up any out buildings.

Gardens viewed in the later afternoon and evening can look spectacular with a few well-place lights. Use them to illuminate a path, sprinkle them through the flowerbeds, or string them through trees to gives a warm and inviting ambiance.

After all, you do want your potential buyer to be able to imagine themselves relaxing in your beautiful garden.

Robinsons has offices all around the North-East, in Darlington, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Ingleby Barwick, Bishop Auckland, Crook, Spennymoor, Durham, Chester-le-Street, Hartlepool, Sedgefield and Coxhoe. They also have a Fine & Country office at Wynyard.