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Home Special Sections Home, Yard & Garden How to improve your landscape before selling
How to improve your landscape before selling

Selling a house is seldom easy, and homeowners are often willing to do whatever it takes to make their home more attractive to prospective buyers. One of the areas sellers typically focus on is the home's landscaping. A well-maintained lawn and garden increases a property's curb appeal considerably, increasing the chances a buyer will have a strong first impression of the home.

But homeowners don't need to have a green thumb to ensure their lawn improves curb appeal. The following are a few tricks of the trade savvy sellers can employ to make their home an instant hit when buyers pull up to the curb.

Landscape

Cleaning water features around the
property is one way for homeowners to
increase the curb appeal of their home.

* Color the landscape. The plants outside a home shouldn't stick out like a sore thumb, but a few splashes of color can make a home more appealing. For the cost of some annuals, which are typically inexpensive, homeowners can turn a drab flower bed into a colorful spot bound to catch a buyer's eye.

* Lay down new layers of mulch. Mulch is not only good for plants, helping them to retain moisture while inhibiting weed germination and growth, but a fresh layer of mulch also adds to a yard's aesthetic appeal. Mulch made of wood or bark chips is also slow to decay, so apply a new batch right before the "For Sale" sign is erected and you might not have to apply another batch before selling the home.

* Prune trees and shrubs. Pruning trees and shrubs is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve a landscape. Dead branches in shrubs and trees might suggest to buyers that the homeowners weren't terribly preoccupied with maintenance, and this might cause them to think twice about making an offer. Stay on top of pruning regardless of what season it is, and be sure to remove any fallen branches from the yard on a regular basis.

* Clean bird baths and other water features. Water features create a peaceful atmosphere around a property if they're well maintained. If not, buyers won't see the yard as a sanctuary but rather a place where mosquitoes congregate and odors emanate from algae-filled water. Remove any debris from water features, including leaves and algae, and clean the filters so water is always clear.

* Invest in a power washer. Buying a power washer might be a tad over the top, but homeowners whose yards are filled with grimy surfaces might find a power washer can work wonders at restoring a home's external appeal. If plants are in pots that are covered in years-old dirt and grime, a power washer can restore the pot's luster in a matter of minutes. Spray down walkways and even home siding that has fallen victim to dirt and grime over the years.

* If planting trees, don't go too big. Especially large trees are not always attractive to prospective buyers, who likely won't want sight lines obstructed or won't want to worry about a tree falling and destroying their home during a storm.

* Address issues with weeds. A prevalent problem with weeds around the property is another situation that some buyers might feel is indicative of neglect. Weeds are a pretty simple problem to remedy, so buyers might be correct to assume weeds around the property are there because the homeowner was not concerned with maintenance. Lay mulch around flower beds and gardens to reduce weed growth, and pull any weeds from sidewalks and the driveway. Once weeds are pulled, spray areas that were infested with a weed-treatment product to ensure weeds don't grow back.

A well-maintained landscape is a great way for men and women hoping to sell their homes to make a strong first impression.

 
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