Landscaping can be the hidden gem in your home sale process. According to research from the National Association of Realtors, 71 percent of homebuyers agree that good landscaping is an essential factor when they decide to purchase a home.
The home’s exterior, front lawn, driveway, and everything else that surrounds it will color the prospective homebuyer’s first interaction with your property. It’s been said that people make a first judgment within 15 seconds of exposure. You want to make that impression sparkle with excellent landscaping.
Many homebuyers hear the word landscaping and assume that means a heavy price tag. Some landscape elements can be costly, and if you have the funds, it’s a sharp good to invest in exciting features.
But there are many ways to spruce up your yard without emptying your pocketbook. Here are some ideas.
- Keep it clean, trimmed, and shapely
It may be impressive to add a deck, water features, and other grand items, but the simplest yet most profound impact can involve nothing more than basic maintenance. A lawn that’s clean and well cared for makes a great impression.
Start by cleaning up. Remove unsightly lawn fixtures and junk that’s accumulated in your backyard. Weed the flowerbeds and power wash the driveway, porch, sidewalk, and deck/patio area.
Mow the grass. Two inches is recommended for the best-looking height. Rake leaves, clear branches, and trim hedges, bushes, trees, and other plants.
If something is overgrown and blocking the pathway, don’t be afraid to pull it out. You can always replace the resulting space with something more attractive.
All of this work should be done ahead of time. If you anticipate selling your home at the end of the year, use the fall season to do most of the work. Plants take time to grow, so you’ll get the best result with time.
- Add color and points of visual interest
Good landscaping entails more than just grass. Color and variety will make or break your landscaping. Flowers and other features add visual interest to such areas as the main pathway, front porch, or the windows.
Colorful flowers and plants make excellent items for attractive and low-maintenance landscaping. You can fill flowerbeds, install boxes, or place planters around the yard. These floral additions are great for filling gaps left by overgrown vegetation or poorly planned areas in the past.
Plant a tree in the back or front yard. Trees provide shade for the home, which can lower utility bills. They can also increase privacy. Both are huge points of interest for potential homebuyers.
You can also boost visual interest with bricks, stone pavers, or a water feature. Having a professional install these would be an excellent investment, but if you’re not sure you can spare the funds, you might install such fixtures on your own; they’re not that hard.
Stone features will add a touch of luxury to your property that homebuyers will love.
- Make basic repairs to your yard and home’s exterior
Spending time and money on the yard is great, but it can be wasted if the main structure has fallen into disrepair, for example with a cracked driveway and sidewalks, or splintered wooden porches. Basic repairs and maintenance on these fixtures will enhance instead of be at odds with your landscaping.
First, identify the worst issues. It’s been easy for you as a homeowner to glaze over problems because you’ve lived here for so long. Pretend you’re a homebuyer who walks onto the property for the first time.
Scrutinize the driveway, porch, siding, roof shingles, and every other exterior feature. Note the biggest problems and apply touchups wherever possible.
You might not be able to tackle everything, but you might repaint your siding, refresh the concrete driveway, and sand down your porch. These are minor costs that will make a huge difference in homebuyers’ first impression of your property.
- Keep things simple, but beautiful
Don’t get carried away in designing your yard. You probably live in a simple residential dwelling, not a country club.
There’s no need for ornate lawn ornamentation or exotic plants. Simple, clean landscaping will have the best effect on prospective buyers. Limit the number of plants, and opt for ones that are easy to care for.
Most people don’t want a house that promises a lot of work. Simple flowerbeds, planters, and boxes are preferable. If the homebuyer is a gardening type, he or she can always add plants after moving in. Your job is to make it as simple as possible.
If you live in an area where drought is a concern, put in drought-resistant or native plants and limited grass. This will reduce the amount of water the new homeowner will require, and be much easier to care for.
- Don’t forget the backyard
The front yard will be homebuyers’ first impression of your property, but people make their way to the back eventually. If that’s a mess of overgrown weeds and junk, buyers won’t see its full potential.
Your backyard can be an excellent selling point if you prepare it properly. Clear overgrowth and junk, power wash surfaces, and add some colorful flowers and plants. Backyards that have tall trees and fences are also popular because of the luxury of privacy.
When you design your backyard, focus on your target market. If you’re aiming for young families, a fenced-in yard with plenty of grass is appealing to them. Retirees might prefer a covered patio with very little grass and vegetation, to cut down on necessary care.
Let Green Residential Group Help
In sum, your landscaping can be a huge selling point if you put a little time and money into it. Cite the work you’ve done in your listing to attract the right people. You might also make a list of plant names and special care instructions to help the next homeowner keep the yard looking beautiful.
Once you’re ready to list your home, contact Green Residential Group for our realty services. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell in the greater Houston metro area, we have the tools and expertise to back you up. We can also advise you on renovations and landscaping improvements that can add value to your home.
For more information about the many services our realty team offers, contact Green Residential Group today!