Sometimes we just have to "fake-it!" I just finished doing a home staging consultation on a very large, expensive and nice house. It needed some tweaking here and there, but overall it was in pretty good shape. Then, we went outside.
Apparently these folks rarely if ever use their patio and it showed. They had a lovely yard, well-kept, but not too many plants or colorful flowers. The patio chairs were stacked. There was dirt and spider webs everywhere. The chair cushions were in terrible shape.
So, after a look around, I suggested we show off this area as additional living space. With fall approaching, it's a perfect time to enjoy a bererage out on the deck, and even eat out there!! This seemed quite foreign to my clients.
Anyway, long story short, we cleaned it up put the chairs in order and added some nice touches such as potted flowers, a tray of glasses on the table, a nice birdbath in the flower bed and when there's an open house or a showing, they will put out some colorful placemats and dishes. What a novel idea!!
If you aren't staging the outdoor areas, you are missing a big part of the process. A lot of people use their decks and patios as an extra room. This is just as important as the front lawn, or any other room i the house. If your clients aren't big on being outdoors, tell them to "fake-it"and pretent like they are! It will help them in the selling process to highlight this area, and buyers will see themselves sitting out there sipping a cold drink or entertaining their friends.