If you’re like most homeowners preparing for a property sale, you probably have an extensive list of fixes and upgrades to complete before you can list your home, much less sell it. Your list could include expensive code violations like a faulty roof or outdated wiring, just for example, all the way down to cosmetic eyesores like fixing chips in your porcelain sink and painting grungy walls in a fresh, neutral palette. But while you’re busy getting the house ready, you may overlook the yard, and this can be a major blunder. Your curb appeal provides the first impression of your property, and if it is lackluster, it can set the tone before interested parties even set foot over the threshold. So if you need to get your landscaping pretty and polished in a hurry to bolster your chances of selling and receiving your asking price, here are some tips to get your yard in ship shape post haste.
- Weed and seed. The first thing you need to do is clean up your current landscaping by pulling weeds, trimming dead foliage, and shaping flora to make it as attractive as possible. If you have time (at least a month) you should also reseed any patchy areas on your lawn. A lush carpet of greenery is so much better than a lawn speckled with brown spots, signaling inferior care. If you can’t be bothered to water your lawn, prospective buyers will wonder what other simple maintenance tasks you have neglected in and around your home.
- Work in three dimensions. A flat, featureless lawn is not the worst thing you can have, but it doesn’t exactly create visual interest and draw people in. When planning your landscaping, you need to think in three dimensions, which is to say, width, depth, and height. A general rule is that planting areas should graduate from tall to short plants. You might want to put taller shrubs or trees on the side of your yard as a privacy screen from neighboring homes or for shade and then add shorter bushes, flowering plants, and then ground cover in front. Or you might create islands with the tallest items in the center. A professional landscaper can help you here, but you might also consider using yard design software like the free trial version of Realtime Landscaping Plus or iScape for your iPhone or iPad.
- Add pops of color. Greenery is nice, but adding pops of color with plant life will create dimension, depth, and visual appeal in your yard. Even if you only put a few potted flowers on the deck and add some colorful foliage running along the walkway or drive, you’ll direct where viewers look and how they see your home for the first time.
- Use native and drought-resistant plants. Unless you live in an area with a lot of rain year-round, you might want to think about adding drought-resistant plants to your landscaping design. This can be a real money-saver for future homeowners. Native plants are also a good option since they tend to have fewer problems from pests.
- Hire professional help. Not many homeowners have the knowledge and experience to engage in creative and successful landscape design. And if you’re looking to sell your home in the near future, you don’t really have time to experiment. So think about hiring a company like MorGreen Landscape and Nursery to help you out. It could be well worth the cost if you create the curb appeal that buyers are looking for.