How your exterior staging looks -- your driveway, your walkway, your lawn, and other landscaping -- tells home buyers a lot about the quality of your housekeeping.
If it's untidy, people who drive up for a sneak preview could literally pass by your home based on their first impression. Buyers tend to associate how well the grounds are kept with how well you maintain your home.
Map and Survey
Some homeowners lack a clear plan for their landscaping. They decide to plant a tree, and later add some flower beds, some shrubs, or more trees. A patchwork landscape can look disorganized and turn off buyers.
According to Money magazine, an amateur can create a professional-looking landscape for $500 to $3,000 worth of plants and materials. Some nurseries and garden centers offer free design help. If you don't have or won't spend money to hire a landscape designer, make a master plan for your yard and stick to it.
To assess the best and worst parts of your landscaping, pretend you're a home buyer seeing your grounds for the first time and talk to people who will give you honest opinions. Take a look at your ground and look for any problems with the following:
- Your lawn - Not mowing often or well enough can result in tall grass that sprawls over the sidewalk, your walkway, and your driveway. Leaves, weeds, and dead spots add clutter.
- Your plants - Watch for worn, cracked, or dirty pots, weeds, dead leaves and flowers, and lack of mulch. Mulch gives a plant bed a finished look, helps with drainage and air circulation, and adds nutrients to the soil.
- Bushes and other shrubbery - Look for uneven sections and growth that is overcrowding other plants. Too many shrubs can be a distraction.
- Your trees - Note any dead limbs, and branches that can hit your roof or power lines.
- Your walkway and your driveway - Check for cracks, wear, weeds, moss, mold, and oil stains.
- Your outdoor furniture or other decor - Does it need an update? See how it's arranged and check for breakage and for wear, such as faded cushions, and lawn chairs that need new paint. Test any lighting to see if it's working properly and if bulbs need to be replaced.
Coldwell Banker Rizzo Mattson, Realtors offers specialized knowledge in all areas of real estate, including staging a home for sale. Call 207.622.9000 today!