What does a potential buyer first see when their car pulls up in front of your house? Curb appeal is a hot topic in real estate. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Sprucing up your home's exterior, including the lawn and flower beds, can help your home sell faster.
If last year's fall leaves have turned to soggy piles in your garden beds, or winter storms have knocked branches into your yard, you should clean them up before listing your home. Other than the obvious, what yard and garden improvements should you make to help your home sell?
Clean and Fix Up Any Broken Landscaping
It might not have bothered you to live with broken or uneven cobblestone paths, but imagine a buyer tripping over a raised stone and skinning their knee. They're unlikely to leave with a great impression of your house.
Level off paths, and replace broken stones. Power wash your driveway, deck, and any patios. Fix broken or loose deck railings. While you're at it, check that your downspouts aren't blocked with leaves or other debris and dig up dead plants. Discard or replace any broken or cracked planters and pots so that your yard looks as if you've taken care of it.
Most of these fixes are cheap to free, and will only take a few hours of your time. But they'll help your house sell faster.
Use Plants to Hide Unsightly Views
No matter how many times you've asked them to find a different place, your neighbor puts their trash cans right up against your fence. Or a neighbor is in the process of re-sodding their yard and it's an ugly mess visible from your front porch. Use plants to hide or distract from unsightly views.
Mature trees and bushes can be quite expensive, so look into screening plants and bamboo to hide that view. Or make an effort to distract from it by installing a beautiful flowering bush near the eyesore. While there is only so much you can do, attempt to draw a buyer's eye away from your house's negative features.
Dismantle Play Structures
Much like staging a house, you want a potential buyer to be able to envision themselves in the space. If you have a large play structure in the backyard, consider taking it apart. You can take it with you to a new house, and it's not a guarantee that a buyer will have children. If the person interested in your home is childless, they may see the swingset as a chore for when they move in.
While you're at it, tidy up balls and jump ropes, and invest in a discrete, plastic outdoor toy bin if needed.
Simplify and Condense Plants and Lawn Decorations
Have only one hydrangea bush in a bed? Or a random mix of flowers planted over the years? Think of simplifying and pulling out flowers to create a more cohesive look. You want your garden beds to be attractive and appealing, but if the buyer isn't a gardener you don't want them to look overwhelming.
Consider digging out random, one-off plants, and expanding your selection of a certain type. Try to pick low-maintenance varietals which don't require a lot of watering or tending. Cover fresh dirt from newly-installed plants with mulch to integrate them into the landscape.
While you may love your collection of garden gnomes from around the world, think about paring them down or storing them away while your home is on the market. Just like your house's interior, think less clutter and more open spaces.
Think From the Outside In
When someone is standing at your living room window, looking out at the view, what do they see? Is it the back of a sparse bush or something equally unattractive? Walk around your home and look out the windows as if you were buying it, not selling.
Then see what you can do outside to improve the views from the home's interior. Move a pot or a large fern, that's blocking a mountain view. Create a more attractive focal point than a bare fence.
Tidy Up Your Lawn
A lawn is full of tall dandelions and weeds isn't attractive. Most people can't see past the messy yard. Spend a few hours digging up or treating weeds, then mow and trim the lawn's edges.
Keep the lawn mowed and edges trimmed while your house is on the market.
Make Your Backyard Inviting
Fire pits, patio furniture or a canopy shade, you want your backyard to invite buyers to sit and linger. Many people like to entertain outdoors during nice weather, so help buyers picture how they'd use your backyard space. Create conversation areas where people can gather in your yard with furniture and potted plants.
Throw out or pack up broken and faded patio furniture, filthy fire pits, and torn sun shades. Even if you can't afford to replace them to stage your outside areas, empty space is better than presenting buyers with an eyesore.
When deciding what to fix up, replace, or install in your garden, enlist the help of an experienced, local real estate agent. They'll point out areas where you could make quick and easy improvements, and help you avoid costly and unnecessary upgrades. When making suggestions, they'll draw on their deep knowledge of buyers in your market and what they prefer in their outdoor spaces.
If you're ready to find out more about selling your house for top dollar, contact Clever today. Our representatives will connect you with a low-commission agent to help you sell your home fast.