Spring can be a great season to showcase your home. And, the spring real estate market is beginning to bloom. It is also the perfect time to highlight your outdoor living areas including staging your deck for maximum appeal.
But often, home sellers are in such a rush to get their homes to market, they forget about their decks. Decks can be an expensive home improvement, especially if you are using upgraded materials, you certainly want to highlight your home’s deck as a great area to relax and spend time.
Spring, summer and early fall are ideal times to show off your deck with good staging techniques in New England. Presenting your deck in its best possible light can be as important as a home’s curb appeal
Buyers in the spring are ready to get outdoors after a long winter and make the most of their new outdoor spaces. Don’t make your deck an afterthought, staging a deck can potentially add value to your home.
In other, warmer parts of the country, a deck can even hold more appeal if it can be used all year long.
Advantages of Staging Your Deck
Often the deck is ignored when preparing and staging a home to sell, while so much thought is put into preparing the inside of the home. There are some advantages to showing your deck’s full potential.
The benefits of staging your deck include:
- Outdoor living areas can offer lots of appeal to your home. A deck can be a great place to dine, be a great overflow space for entertaining or even be a great place to send the kids to play and get some fresh air. A useful deck can tip the scales on a smaller home if the home buyer can imagine how they can enhance their living area with it.
- If your deck is staged well and you appear to use the deck as part of your daily living. And your deck integrates well with the interior of your home, it can actually make your home’s square footage look larger than it is. A larger home tends to bring more money! Of course here in New England we can’t use our decks year-round but the warmer months are a great chance to take advantage of that opportunity.
On the downside, a deck that is poorly maintained and underutilized will seem more like a burden than an asset. All a buyer sees is $$ signs to fix it up and the time spent turning it into something they might enjoy.
Tips For Staging Your Deck
Clean Your Deck
Like all staging, it starts with a good cleaning. A deck can certainly benefit from a good power washing. Remove all the leaves, grime and mildew that has built up over the past year.
While it certainly can be done with a brush and a deck cleaner, renting a power washer can make a quick task of cleaning your deck. Check out your local Home Depot for power washing rentals. While you have the power washer consider other outdoor areas that can be quickly cleaned with a power washer prior to selling.
Repair Your Deck
After the deck is clean, inspect your deck and see if any repairs are necessary. Because it is exposed to the elements your deck is going to take a beating. Are the railings in good repair, is there rot in any of the flooring or stair treads?
Before moving on to the next steps now is the time to make the necessary repairs to your deck.
Refinish Your Deck
With everything off your deck and sparkling clean it’s now time to assess if your deck needs a new coat of paint or stain. Hopefully, you have kept up on the refinishing and it does not require a complete overhaul of the finish.
Like any other area of the home that needs painting, there is nothing that has a greater return than a fresh coat of stain or paint. Now is a good time to give your deck a fresh finish.
Assess Your Deck Best Use
Most often a deck will house a grill and an outdoor eating area. Cooking outside and enjoying the end of the day holds a lot of appeal for many home buyers. This is probably the number one use.
But is your deck large enough to have a small intimate seating area with a coffee table? Again what will appeal to your buyers?
Get an idea of what furniture to bring back onto your deck and what areas you would like to set up. Like staging any other area of your home less can be more.
Also, be very careful of the flow. Don’t block the screen door with furniture, you want to create a seamless flow from the interior to the exterior of the home.
Your Decks Furniture
As you have all the furniture and items pulled off your deck, carefully go thru the items. Do they require a good cleaning as well? Maybe a fresh coat of paint or finish will go a long way in increasing the overall appeal of your deck.
Are seat cushions stained and mildewed? Consider replacing them with brand-new cushions if that is the case. Many discount stores like Big Lots, Christmas Tree Shops, etc… make it possible to buy replacement cushions cheaply. Throw out any deck furniture that is in disrepair.
Make sure that grill is clean and if need be throw on some fresh black paint (make sure it’s for grills).
If you don’t have deck furniture think of borrowing some from friends and family members during the sale. Or go on Facebook Marketplace and find an inexpensive, used set of outdoor furniture.
With today’s technology and the use of LED lights, adding lighting to your deck is a breeze. No outlet, no problem. You can buy LED lights that are battery-operated.
I know my deck is used most often in the evening and into the night. On warmer nights, the addition of lighting makes the deck more functional and can be used for more of the day. Bonus!!
Lights can be added to the railings, strung up overhead, on table tops and more….
Accents For Your Deck
Now it is time to dress up the deck a little. Consider outdoor carpets to help separate and soften individual areas. Staging a deck can be similar to staging a living room in your home.
What about a planter with some colorful flowers?
Use outdoor throw pillows to add a pop of color.
Or add a privacy screen to gain more privacy.
Make your deck look like it is something you like to enjoy and use as additional living space on a daily basis.
The value of your deck comes from making it appear to be additional living space. Here in New England, we use our deck from April to the end of October, depending on the weather.
Have you ignored your deck over the years? Check out flea markets, garage sales and curb alerts for cheap decor items to give your deck a homey feel.
Final Thoughts On Staging Your Deck
Your deck can certainly add appeal to your home during the warmer New England months. While it can add appeal it can also add value in a home buyer’s mind.
To make your deck add value make sure it is in great repair and it looks like it is something you enjoy and use on a daily basis when you can.
Stage your deck like you would any other living area of your home It won’t look that way if it is dirty, leaves are piled up in the corners, your deck furniture looks rundown and mildewy and has just become a dumping ground for junk.
Your deck is a great place to start showing off your outdoor living areas but don’t forget to stage your other outdoor living areas, like a patio, garden sitting area, gazebo, play areas, etc…
Other Real Estate Resources:
- Get those must-do spring maintenance chores done before listing your home with this great list from Bill Gassett.
- Sharon Paxson creates outdoor living space with a deck in her article on 6 Renovations with a Payoff.
- Want a quick home sale this spring? Paul Sian points out that no matter what the season getting your home’s price right is cri