TOP SELLER: Yards and decks are prized by buyers.
TOP SELLER: Yards and decks are prized by buyers. AzmanJaka

Do kitchens and bathrooms really sell houses?

GLEAMING kitchens and sleek bathrooms - they're what we've always been told are the most appealing factors to home buyers.

But the theory has been debunked by a new survey the reveals we're much more excited by what's outdoors than indoors.

In a time when housing blocks are shrinking and apartment living is on the rise, it's interesting to find that almost one in four (39 per cent) of Aussie home buyers prioritise outdoor living features such as balconies, decks and courtyards, compared to just 12 per cent focusing on kitchens and only 3 per cent on a deluxe bathroom.

The Yates survey also found our love affair with the outdoors doesn't end at the deck, with 16 per cent of home buyers looking for a backyard to create lasting memories as their first priority.

"We wanted to understand the role of outdoor and green spaces for home buyers and sellers, especially within the context of more apartments and smaller land sizes,” Yates marketing director Paddy Bryans said.

"The findings revealed some interesting differences between age groups but highlights the importance of great outdoor spaces when looking to sell.”

The research found outdoor living spaces such as balconies, decks and courtyards are most important to buyers over 65 years (46 per cent) while younger buyers (18 to 34 years) are most focused on an awesome outdoor space to entertain (45 per cent).

Accoridng to Yates horticulture consultant Angie Thomas said preparing your prized deck and garden for sale, or simply maintaining it with the future in mind, doesn't need to be a complete backyard blitz.

Remember to prune

It's amazing what a good trimming will do. Pruning wayward plants and giving hedges a neat trim will help make the garden more tidy and presentable. Regular trimming and applications of a liquid fertiliser will also encourage fresh flushes of healthy new foliage.

Get mulching

Mulch is magic stuff. Applying a layer of mulch - such as eucalyptus mulch - around garden beds not only helps to reduce moisture loss from the soil, it also acts as a final unifying touch and brings the look of the garden together.

Add a pop of colour

A few well-placed pots of colourful flowers, such as on a front veranda or outdoor seating area, provide a beautiful and welcoming focal point. A little colour will instantly improve a home's first impressions.

Plant a kitchen garden

A space to grow your own food is fast becoming a must-have part of any garden. Consider installing a small raised garden bed ina sunny corner of the backyard that's filled with seasonal produce to inspire and tempt buyers.

Keep it low maintenance

A garden that requires a lot of upkeep can affect the valuation price and saleability of the home.


Privacy is important to house buyers so fencing, a wall or large plants will help improve the value of a home.

Create a sense of balance

Make sure your garden is designed so it is balanced and feels like part of the house. A clever design will also make a garden appear larger than it is by using certain vistas and viewpoints.


Lighting allows your garden to become a usable space at night. It also doesn't have to cost a fortune.

If you are selling your home, it's good to note that some viewings take place in the afternoons and evenings, therefore it's worth investing in some garden lighting so potential buyers can get a good impression.

If you already have this in place, check that none of the bulbs need replacing ahead of any viewings.

Create an al fresco kitchen area

Gone are the days when a portable barbecue would suffice. Separate buildings or sheds containing kitchen and/or dining space outside the house are becoming more popular and are attractive to buyers.

Running water

Running water can help mask background noise in areas near busy roads or schools. Small fountains or water features can help create a more peaceful environment, making it more attractive to potential buyers.

General tidy up

Think of the garden as another room of the house - mow the lawn, sweep up, de-weed and get rid of unsightly clothes lines.