EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Real Estate News

April 2, 2012

How Outdoor Space Can Help Sell Your Home

- — Humorist Fran Lebowitz once wrote,

"The outdoors is what you have to go through to get from the apartment into the taxi."

But she’s an exception. When considering a new property, nearly every home buyer considers the outdoors in some way as a requirement for a property they’re considering.

If the buyer is looking for a home in the suburbs, they want to know about the size of the lot, access to the yard, whether or not there’s a pool, or the location of the lot in relation to the neighborhood.

Some buyers love properties on corner lots; others, not so much. In more urban areas, buyers want to know if a property has any outdoor space at all and, if not, where is the nearest park?

Big cities, small spaces

Brooklyn townhouse for sale has coveted outdoor patio

Just having some outdoor access doesn't always do the trick, either, unless you’re in a large city like New York, where private outdoor space is few and far between and therefore something to be coveted. New York City apartments with a deeded, usable outdoor space often sell for 20 to 30 percent more than the same apartment without the highly sought-after outdoor access.

The key word when identifying the value of outdoor space is “usable.” Having usable -- easily accessible — outdoor space from the house that can be enjoyed most of the year definitely helps sell a property. This is why, if you’re a seller and you've got the goods, you should make the extra effort to showcase your deck, yard or patio.

If you have outdoor space but it’s detached from the property — like a backyard one floor below a condo, to which you have rights but no easy access — you should still point it out to potential buyers. Just realize that they aren't likely to pay as much for your place as they might for a similarly configured and priced property that offers direct, easy outdoor access.

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