Almost 90% of real estate agents will tell their clients to upgrade their landscaping design before putting their home on the market. Why is landscaping so important? In two words: curb appeal. Your outdoor landscape is the first thing potential home buyers and visitors see when they arrive. Think of your landscaping design as the gate to your castle – – or the moat if you’ve indulged in watery designs. Having an attractive landscaping design can increase your home’s resale value by 14%. It can also raise your property value by 12%.
According to 97% of real estate agents, landscaping design is a top five home improvement, a recommendation they give with the promise of around a 215% return on investment. Not only does having an appealing landscape design increase your home’s value, but it can also decrease the time your house sits on the market by up to six weeks.
So the numbers and experts all point towards upgrading your landscaping design before trying to sell; but how exactly do you choose the right landscape to attract buyers? Everyone has a different favorite flower, after all. It can’t be possible to appeal to everyone’s tastes at once, can it?
While there is no accounting for taste, there are certain landscaping design strategies you can employ that have been shown to have the biggest bang for their buck in terms of broad-range appeal.
- Choose native plants
As many as 92% of homeowners choose native plants when adding to their yards. The reason for that is multi-fold. First, native plants require less maintenance than their non-native counterparts (good for you and your home’s future owner). Second, native plants save you money – – thanks in large part to their lower maintenance requirement. Third, native plants are more likely to thrive and compliment your area. Finally, in simplest terms, native plants raise your home’s resale value. People like native, when it’s done well.
- Build a door for your junk closet
If there are parts of your home (or your neighbor’s home) that aren’t so appealing to the eye, use trees or screening plants to hide it from view. Bamboo and evergreen plants are both good options for shielding eyesores. Look for plants that won’t lose their leaves in Fall and Winter and leave your unmentionables exposed.
- Fence it in
Along with screening plants, adding nice fencing to your lot can make a large difference in the eyes of potential buyers. Since fencing is often a backyard item, it doesn’t have quite the bang for buck of front yard landscaping designs, but that doesn’t mean it can’t add appeal. Most homeowners like having their backyard fenced in, be it for children, pets, privacy, or safety. The trick is choosing the right fencing, however. Adding a chain link fence will do you and your home no favors. An artful cedar plank fence, however, can help raise the level of your backyard.
- Don’t forget the backyard
A backyard should be a homeowners’s oasis. The last thing you want is to woo buyers with a stunning front yard only to dump them onto a lawn and fence in the backyard. While the same landscaping design tips apply to back as they did to front, you should also consider adding outdoor living amenities to encourage buyers to stay awhile. Decks and patios are a natural option, but you can also step it up with outdoor kitchens, fire pits, fountains, gazebos, etc. Just keep in mind that any furniture, while not necessarily expensive, should be well-maintained and clean. A power washing before an open house may be prudent, but we’ll leave that up to you and your realtor.
When it comes time to sell your home, investing in your landscaping design can be the smartest move you make. Among Americans, 83% feel it’s important to have a yard; and 90% will tell you it’s equally important that that yard be well-maintained. A tasteful, well-cared for landscaping design can elevate your home’s cub appeal, raise your resale value, and decrease the amount of time your home sits on the market. Not to mention it’ll keep your neighbors and homeowners’ association happy.