Tuesday, August 21, 2018 / by Anne Rose
Practical front yard appealIt’s never a good idea for a realtor to put your “For Sale” sign in a messy flower bed, un-edged lawn, and overgrown lawn.
If you are selling your home, your goal is to present an attractive, well-maintained landscape. Your lawn shouldn't look like it will take too much work, which might intimidate buyers. It also shouldn't look like it will be too expensive to care for.
Stage your landscapeIn much the same way that you stage the interior of your home for sale, you should "stage" your landscape. Clean, refresh, and declutter. Then declutter some more.
Here are landscape staging tips to help sell your home, starting with the outside.
- Remove debris, fallen branches, leaves. Pull weeds from both your lawn and your landscape beds. Deadhead your flower garden. Remove plants that look like they are struggling.
- Trim hedges and shrubs, especially those that are up against your home. Make sure that bushes haven’t overgrown your front windows or front porch.
- Add color with seasonal flowers. If you haven’t tended flowering beds and cultivated perennials, you can add annuals to brighten the landscaping. Plant strategically so that flowerbeds extend the lines of your home. In North Carolina there are great choices for every time of year. Consult an annual flower guide specific to coastal North Carolina.
- Instead of a flower garden, purchase flowering plants for your front steps. Choose a color that pops from the street. Many garden stores have attractive flower and foliage combinations pre-planted in nice quality pots. A pair of matching planters on the porch are attractive. Add planters at varying heights if you have room.
- Add new fresh mulch to all garden beds. Spring for the expensive option; pine straw is less attractive than rich brown mulch. Mulch has the added bonus of making your plants stand out.
- Add edging to paths and beds. Use a high quality ending material like aluminum, steel, or fiberglass. Don’t waste your money on the inexpensive flexible plastic edging; it will look cheap and often doesn't stay in place.
- Create tree surrounds with bricks, or use mulch and edging.
- If you are planning on moving treasured plants with you - like those hosta you can’t leave behind - remove them now and transfer to pots that you can put in the garage when you are showing your home. Otherwise, mark those plants and make sure that your agent knows which are going with you.
- Fix and adjust the irrigation system. Replace mal-functioning sprinkler heads. Turn off sprinklers during open houses and when you have a scheduled showing. Make sure that you leave instructions on operation of the irrigation system for your buyer.
- Wrap and store your hose. If you don’t have a hose caddy, consider purchasing one. Store garden tools, empty pots, and other gardening paraphernalia out of sight. Now is the time to pack away your quirky garden decor. Remember: declutter.
- Make sure that outside faucets don’t drip and that they are well-maintained.
- Power wash your driveway, front sidewalk, and front porch.
- Pick up dog droppings, patch urine-spots, and keep your pets off your lawn while your home is on the market.
- Repair and replace discolored or broken brick walls, stepping stones, gravel paths, and paved walkways. Make sure that flagstone bed borders are in good shape. If you don’t have walls, borders, or paths, consider adding them to accent your landscaping.
The effort that you put into perfecting your landscaping will pay off when you sell your home. Many realtors estimate that a well-tended lawn and exterior spaces can add up to 10% to the value of your property.
Reap the landscaping benefit
If you have a thumb that is in no way green, you can hire a landscaping professional to do a one-time, intensive, property cleanup.