I'm surprised that there aren't more answers here....but then again, if there's not an opportunity to pick up a client, then others won't even bother. However, the goal here is to educate, so here is my take. There are many studies that show what you can expect to get back out of various projects (and it breaks it down by low end, middle of the road, and high end.) In general, that amount ranges from 30-70%. When it comes to the outside of the property, that obviously entails 4 sides (assuming a single family detached home), with the front and the back most likely being the main ones. Making sure the front is in tip top shape is critical as you want the curb appeal and as the saying goes, "you only have one chance to make a first impression." Thus, make sure the yard is tidy as can be (trimmed hedges, lawn is green/cut, no leaves/weeds, colorful/welcoming flowers, perhaps a nice fountain, a tasteful welcome mat, do not have any garbage cans showing, have driveway power washed and do not have cars out and about. Also, if you have a mailbox, you could get one that catches the eye of any would be buyers.
As for the back, same thing as the front as far as making sure it is immaculate. Of course, things such as a BBQ, outdoor kitchen, pool, spa, outdoor shower, putting green, tennis court, sport court could hold appeal to potential buyers. However, any of the above could carry little weight or even be a deterrent for those who don't want those particular items.
Anyway, I could go on for quite a while on this subject, but I will leave it at this.
Chad Basinger, REALTORÂ®, CPA, CFPÂ®