Have you ever driven by a house for sale and thought to yourself, “Who would ever want to live there?”. You have come to this conclusion just based on the exterior of the house. The inside may be incredible, but the outside keeps you away. Landscaping may not sell your house, but it will definitely get more people in the door when you go to sell. I previously discussed How to Raise the Value of Your Home and one of the items was landscaping. Being that it’s spring which is a great time to clean up the yard and plant new plants, I thought it was time to write a more specific article.
Keep Your Grass Mowed
This probably seems obvious to most people, but there are always those houses where the grass grows wild and it’s a total turnoff to the entire neighborhood. Mowing your grass is one of the easiest things to do, but can easily be forgotten (especially if you’ve already moved out). If you’re no longer in the house be sure to pay someone else to keep mowing it while you try to sell.
Kill Those Pesky Weeds
Weeds are one of my biggest pet peeves with yards. I absolutely hate them and try to take care of them as quickly as possible. This can be extremely difficult when your neighbors don’t care one bit (as is the case with me), but it makes your yard standout in a good way. It’s so easy to go buy a weed killer (make sure to not get the grass killer one too… I’ve made that mistake before) and spray the weeds before they spread too far.
Plant Flowers, Bushes and Trees
Flowers and other various plants can add a ton of value to the exterior of the home. If you’re really into it you can grow different types of flowers that bloom at various times throughout the spring, summer and fall. For example: tulips are normally one of the first flowers to bloom (at least in MN), so having a few of those around will color up your yard in the late spring before any of the other flowers.
Also, make sure that these flowers and bushes don’t require a ton of work. People love the way landscaped yards look, but they don’t want to do the work to make them look like that. Doing a bit of research beforehand on what plants are easiest to grow and maintain will help keep your yard looking nice for the longest period of time.
Planter boxes underneath your windows and pots with flowers in them on your doorstep can be a nice touch. It makes your house seem really welcoming to potential buyers.
Rock and Mulch Can Be Your Best Friend
Anywhere you have bushes and flowers you can put rock or mulch. If you are starting from nothing, laying some plastic and then putting the rock or mulch on top of it will help manage the aforementioned weed problem. Personally, I like the look of mulch a bit more than rock, but other people prefer rock so it’s just a personal preference. Putting mulch around bushes makes the entire area just seem a lot cleaner and nicer looking.
A Fence May Be a Good Idea
I say it may be a good idea because fences definitely aren’t made for every yard. Remember when you were younger and you always wanted a house with a white picket fence around it? Well, potential buyers still have that in the back of their mind. The type and size of fence is extremely important. While the chain link are efficient (money and time wise), they aren’t the greatest looking. A full privacy fence can look fantastic (and add that needed privacy to a small yard), but they can be a bit pricey. When deciding on a fence make sure to pick one that gives you a bit of privacy, but doesn’t make your yard feel too small. There is a happy medium you are trying to get.
Gardens Can Be Good or Bad
My wife and I love gardens so a garden would be great for us, but you have to realize not everyone has a green thumb. Gardens are kind of like pools when selling a house, but on a much smaller scale. If you want a garden then I say you make one, but don’t do it because of resale value. The next homeowner may come in and take it out if they don’t like it, so you won’t get any money you put into it back when you sell. Now if you have a huge yard with plenty of room and the garden is really fancy then it may bring in some more money, but those are rare cases.
FYI, Here is the mower and weed killer that I use currently (Yes, I use an actual push mower). I highly suggest both of these.
What other things have you done to your yard to help with resale? If you have recently bought or sold a house, did landscaping stick out to you during the process?
Photo by Dan Harrelson