With landscaping, sometimes less is a whole lot more.
They say that there's nothing more important in real estate the location, location, location. But curb appeal is arguably a top competitor. It might mean something different depending on who you ask, but two things are relatively certain: your home's appearance can make or break its sale, and landscaping has a lot to do with it.
Some people do far too much with shrubs, flowers and lawn features. And some could use a little green thumb help. If your home is ready to hit the market, take an afternoon to evaluate the landscaping to learn whether it needs a little fine tuning. You'll be glad that you did.
Too Little: Overgrown Lawns Aren't the Only Signs of Neglect
A neglected lawn is an obvious turnoff for buyers. Unless you find one who wants a house on the cheap, you can expect fewer interested parties to make an offer. Keeping the grass mowed, flower beds tended, shrubs trimmed and beds mulched shows an overall care for the home. That's a good sign. It's what buyers want to see. But long-term neglect can't be corrected in a day.
If you chronically put off mowing and other landscaping chores, one long day of yard work won't fix the problem and make it look otherwise. Flowering plants can grow spindly, and shrubs can get leggy, too, with most of the healthy growth only at the tips. Bare patches in the lawn might appear, and those roses that you once loved could be riddled with blight.
Cleaning up a neglected lawn won't necessarily make it look healthy again, at least not right away. Consider digging up what can't or shouldn't be saved. Replace it if you like, and add a little grass seed to ugly spots in the grass. Even if what remains is on the thin side, at least it will look healthy.
Too Much: An Award Winning Garden Could Scare Buyers
Some landscaping is almost too good to be true. Roses bloom, hydrangeas bow over under the weight of sky-blue mop heads, and manicured shrubs and trees create a wonderland of all things green and growing. What could be wrong with that? A lot, actually.
If you garden looks like it needs its own staff, U.S. News and World Report suggests that buyers might turn away with worry about weekends lost to mowers, fertilizer, tools and sunscreen. So you're an absolute pro with gardening shears and everything that you touch grows healthy and lush. That's great for you, but maybe not so great for someone else who doesn't enjoy gardening as a pastime.
A simpler approach to landscaping is a better idea. If you've already invested the time and money into designing a lawn that's awe-inspiring, there's not much to be done about it. Unless, of course, you want to dig it all up. And that would be a shame. But if you're only considering the best way to boost curb appeal, do yourself a favor. Paint the front door instead of planting a host of beautiful flowers and shrubs that the next owner might not want to take care of.
Tidy and simple go a long way toward selling a house.
Just Right: A Simple, Healthy, Well-Tended Lawn is Always a Plus
Put yourself in a buyer's shoes. Imagine how welcoming a healthy lawn with just enough landscaping features to enhance the property might be. Freshly mown grass, tidy flower bed edging, neatly trimmed trees and shrubs all add up to a home that's taken care of.
That's the effect of landscaping that some home owners overlook. The lawn shouldn't be a separate thing. And in a buyer's eyes, it's often not. Landscaping is part of the overall curb appeal, and it signals what the interior of the home might be like.
Think of your property as an extension of the home. If your grass looks fresh and tidy, the floors inside probably are, too. If the plant beds are set with new mulch and the edges are nice and straight, the small but important details indoors are likely well cared for. Keep it simple, and your prospective buyers won't be overwhelmed by something that's beyond hope or beyond their gardening skill set.
The safest approach is the KISS method. Keep it Super Simple. If you're not sure how your home stacks up, talk with a real estate agent. They see homes every day, and know what buyers in your area want.
If your landscaping looks shabby but you've grown accustomed to it, expect an agent to speak honestly. And if it's so high-maintenance that you could scare off buyers, expect the truth about that, too. Remember, it's in the agent's best interest to give you the unvarnished facts about your home, because when it sells they win the same as you do.
If you're ready to sell and need a little help, you've come to the right place. Eppraisal has resources that empower home owners with the knowledge that they need to get it right. Take the first step and find out what your home is worth with a free property valuation today.