How to Stage Your Backyard to Sell

Sprucing up a yard can make your property more attractive to buyers.

Sprucing up a yard can make your property more attractive to buyers.

“Staging” is a term real-estate professionals use to describe the way a property is decorated or set up and presented to potential buyers. Staging a home puts the property in its best light, showcasing the desirable assets of a property and downplaying the negative ones. Staging a backyard to sell involves making the space look as welcoming and appealing as possible to prospective buyers.

Clean the backyard of all debris and refuse.

Remove dead or dying plants and replace them with new ones. If trees or shrubs are overgrown, trim them back.

Remove or hide dog houses, kennels and children’s play equipment, if possible. If a structure is permanent and will be sold with the house, spruce it up with a fresh coat of paint and make sure all elements of the structure are in good working condition.

Clean up sheds and out-buildings by washing and painting them. Any structure in very poor condition should be taken down.

Test the sprinkler system to ensure it is in good working condition. Repair leaks and broken sprinkler heads. This will help keep your lawn green.

Fertilize grass and plants to make them appear full, lush and healthy. If grass is sparse, consider replacing it with fresh turf or desert landscaping.

Repair cracks in concrete patios or resurface cement walkways. Power wash and restain decks and outdoor wooden structures.

Repair, paint or stain fencing. Use small sections of fencing to create barriers to hide trash can storage areas, lawn tools and toys.

Create focal points in the yard by adding a fire pit and seating area, a free-standing swing or glider, a rock garden or a koi pond.

Add a built-in barbecue grill with bar or a patio cover, if your budget permits.

Install decorative concrete curbing around the perimeter of the yard to give it a finished look and feel. Decorative rock, stone or bark mulch can be placed within the curbing for added appeal.

Drain and power wash pools and spas and use a tile cleaner to give outdoor water features a fresh look. Consider adding colored lights or water fountains to pools to make them more inviting.

Create raised flower beds and gardens to make a back yard seem colorful and three-dimensional. Install lighting features so the yard can be viewed during the evening hours.

Items you will need

  • Gardening tools
  • Trash bags
  • Paint and repair materials


  • Ask your real-estate agent for tips on staging your backyard to sell. Your agent can advise you on how much money is appropriate to invest in staging and what impact the improvements are likely to have on the asking price.
  • If you keep pets in your backyard, clean up after them regularly and always do a quick check for droppings before the property is shown.

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About the Author

Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

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