A home in my neighborhood sold in one weekend for $50,000 to $75,000 more than all the other homes that have been on the market for the past several weeks. It is not on a larger lot and it is not in a special location. All things considered, it is pretty similar to the other homes, except for one major thing – the landscaping of this yard is spectacular. I mean it was FAR superior to the other homes in our neighborhood. Sure, the other homes have pretty landscaping, but this one house has stunning landscaping.
For several weeks leading up to the official listing of the house, I watched the landscapers install new materials. They would arrive in the morning and by evening I saw measurable and impressive progress. Once the project was complete, I was shocked to see a “For Sale” sign go into the front yard. Holy cow! It’s rare to meet a homeowner who understands and employs the magic of landscaping to sell their home. Obviously, this homeowner did!
Not only was it interesting to see their house sell so quickly, (especially since three other houses have been on the market in our neighborhood for many weeks), but it was also rewarding to see my neighbors come out so far ahead on their sales price.
As a staging expert, I’m well aware of the power of landscaping, but I never imagined it could have this large of an impact on the bottom line.
Basic Tips You Can Use Right Now
There’s no doubt landscaping affects how the buyers see the home and how appraisers appraise the home, both of which affect the home’s overall value and the seller’s outcome.
Let’s talk about some basic tips on how to improve your own landscaping before putting your home on the market. If you want to sell your house today, you don’t need to spend a fortune, but you may need to visit your local garden center and pick up a shovel. Either that or pick up your phone to call a local landscaper! Whichever you choose, a well landscaped property will always put you ahead when selling your home.
First, evaluate. Second, remove. Third, replant.
Evaluate your overall property to create a plan. First, stand at your curb and look at the big picture, as if your home were on the front of a post card. The focal point should be your front door. Make sure your lawn is thick and green, without weeds. If it’s not, think about calling a lawn service for treatments. Or apply some weed and feed as well as sprinkle some grass seed and hay.
Next, look at all of your trees and bushes. Anything dead, dying or overgrown (beyond its capability to be properly shaped and pruned), or simply in the wrong location, needs to be removed.
Generally speaking, the most important areas are the beds right up against the front, side and back of the house. Beds always look best with curved lines and plantings in odd numbers. To keep it simple, make sure the front of your house has a bed with long, curved lines wrapping around the side of the house and continuing to the back of the house.
You could plant evergreen bushes along the front of your house, in odd numbers. Plant three, five or seven bushes on each side of the door, depending on how large the space is. Make sure there are annuals in front of the bushes. Blooming flowers always make a house look and feel more welcoming.
Oftentimes, the corners of a house can use a different and/or larger bushes. Just make sure everything is well pruned, nicely shaped and free of weeds, with clean edges and fresh mulch.
Remember Walkways & A Welcome Mat
If you want to add something extra for greater curb appeal, you can line your walkway with small green plants and annuals. A blooming tree, such as a crepe myrtle or a cherry blossom, off to the side of the yard can add even more visual interest.
Now that your lawn and beds look great, simply add two pots of flowers to each side of your front door and a new, neutral welcome mat.
Homes that are beautiful and well maintained on both the inside and the outside tend to sell faster and for more money than homes that aren’t. These steps are almost guaranteed to help sell your house fast. Happy Landscaping!
Tracy Kay Griffin is a member of Express Homebuyers Design Team. She was the Series Designer for HGTV’s “Get It Sold,” a Guest Designer for HGTV’s “My First Place” and the Lead Stager for Washington DC’s premier staging company, Red House Staging & Interiors.