Basics of Curb Appeal: Landscaping Tips to Direct Buyers to Your Door

How Landscaping & Curb Appeal Add Value to a HomeIn today's world of virtual shopping and digital promotion, sellers might think the most important consideration for selling a home is the quality of the photographs and descriptive listing posted online. There's no doubt that buyers, at least 85 percent of them according to the latest statistics, choose which homes to visit in person based on what they stumble across online.

But if they take the time to schedule a showing and don't like what they see as they drive by, they are apt to simply keep on driving. If you want to make sure potential buyers aren't immediately turned off by your home, here are the reasons why you should invest in landscaping and curb appeal and tips for pulling it off.

Benefits of Updating Curb Appeal

Almost every article about selling a home, whether online or in a published guidebook, recommends one piece of advice: all homeowners should do some form of landscaping before putting their home on the market. But what are the benefits of spending this time?

Landscaping Affects a Home's Value

One of the most important parts of a home is its value. Many studies have been done, and one by horticulturist Alex X. Niemiera found that the difference in value between a home that has been a landscaped and a similar home that has not been landscaped can range anywhere from 5.5 to 12.7 percent.

For a home valued at $100,000, that can mean the homeowner can earn anywhere from $105,500 to $112,700 just because they chose to put some effort into making the outside of the home and the grounds look clean and tidy. This can give home sellers an edge in competitive markets like Dolores.

Messy Yards Turn Buyers Away

Chances are, a home buyer's first impression of the house will either be from viewing photos online on a website like Zillow or Trulia, or they'll go to take a look at the home in person. A home's exterior is its first impression for most buyers, and if they see a messy, unkempt lawn or overgrown flowerbeds full of weeds, they're going to be less inclined to want to see the inside of the home. Making sure the lawn is trimmed and the garden is neat are simple ways to make the home more inviting to buyers—and if more people see the home, that means there are more opportunities for one of them to love the home and make an offer.

Landscaping Can Lead to Faster Sales

No homeowner wants their home to be on the market for six months, a year, or even longer. Stylish landscaping can increase a home's curb appeal, and, in turn, that means it may have a bigger draw and appeal to more buyers. Homes with well-done landscaping spend less time on the market because buyers typically don't want to buy homes that need a lot of work.

Peeling paint and shriveled gardens are flaws that can weigh on a buyer's mind and make them hesitant to buy because those are extra costs to factor into the budget in addition to everything else they have to juggle. Doing the work beforehand can lead to buyers having fewer problems with the home and give them more incentive to put in an offer because they know they're getting a good deal.

Real Estate Agents Recommend It

Finally, for all of the reasons discussed above, almost every real estate agent will recommend that homeowners do some form of landscaping before selling, unless the home in question is a high-rise condominium unit. Agents want to see homes sell, and landscaping is one of the most important yet simplest strategies for getting buyers to come see the home.

The importance of landscaping before selling a home is astonishing. Between an increased property value of up to 12 percent and reduced time on the market before selling, the impact of good landscaping speaks for itself. For landscaping ideas, try searching the Internet or visiting the local gardening supplies store.

How to Update Curb Appeal

One of the best ways to get prospective buyers to "come on in" is to concentrate on the front door. Color, style, the entry path, and other necessary elements that include readable house numbers and appropriate lighting all will help a home make a great first impression!

Of course, a colorful front door won't, by itself, prompt lookers to go on in. But it's a large part of the total package. Houzz experts have put together a checklist of pointers:

  • Architectural Details: Take special care to choose elements that complement the style of the home (rather than compete with it), whether you choose to be subtle or showy. If there are doubts about what's appropriate, study Pinterest boards, and browse online style books for ideas.
  • Banish Ugly: Storm and screen doors, when necessary, should be as attractive as possible, not simply functional afterthoughts. In the modern home, there's simply no excuse for ugly security lighting either.
  • Clean and Unobstructed: Make the pathway to the front door clean, attractive and purposeful; it should never become an obstacle course for visitors.
  • Add Punctuation: Paint window trim, shutters and the front door in contrasting colors to add interest and drama to the exterior of the home.
  • Remove Stumbling Blocks: If your walkway is cracked or uneven, fix it. Consider installing handrails if necessary. "Plant" solar-powered pathway lighting if you have a long approach to the entrance.
  • Emphasize Neighborliness: If there is a front porch or patio, add a rocker, a swing, or a small table and chairs. Adding something to emphasize the functionality of these areas can go a long way.
  • Landscape with Purpose: Keep landscaping minimal and appropriate for the region. A buyer might be scared away by the need for lots of ongoing yard work!

Don't Forget About Your Curb Appeal

A lot of the work of selling a home involves the preparation before the actual listing. A home doesn't have to "shout" for attention; just make sure it's well-dressed and well-groomed! By spending some time on the front of your home and its landscaping, you can increase the chances that potential buyers will want to come in for a closer look.

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