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Even if you’re not a Master Gardener, you need to make landscaping a priority when you plan to sell or rent your home. Real estate agents call it 'curb appeal'–the visual message sent by the collection of plants, trees and other aspects of your landscape that improve your property’s desirability and potential marketability. Attractive curb appeal creates a compelling first impression when marketing your home.

Not only will an attractive exterior entice more potential buyers to view your property, but it translates to a higher sales price. A well-landscaped home has a significant price increase advantage over a home with no landscaping. This price advantage ranges from 5.5 percent to 12.7 percent depending on the type of landscaping and the home’s original value.

Even if you’re not planning to sell in the near future, investing in landscaping now will bring better returns when you sell, more than investing in a kitchen or bathroom remodel, according to Money Magazine, published by TIME.

Take a Step Back

First things first: analyze the current condition of your property with a critical eye and identify what needs repairing, replacing or cleaning.

  • Is the entrance welcoming?

  • Is the hardscape in good condition?

  • Do you have a safe pedestrian access – well-lit and crack-free?

  • Is your driveway in good condition?

  • Do you have a defined landscape style or is it hodge podge and random?

  • Do your trees require pruning, removal, or are they well-shaped and a landscaping plus?

  • Is your fence attractive and structurally sound?

  • Are your plants in good health or in need of replacing?

  • Do you have an old-fashioned, water-thirsty yard in need of renovation?

Do not show your home with a conventional lawn that’s damaged or in poor condition (i.e. dead, dry, brown patches). Consider a xeriscaping makeover as you anticipate going to market. If you love grass, consider a new variety known as UC Verde Buffalo grass that uses 75% LESS WATER than traditional grass.

By combining strategic groupings of low-water plants (both indigenous and introduced), stone, gravel and mulches, you can create a modern message that signals environmental sensitivity.

Plantings: Less is More

Clean and tidy suggests pride of ownership. If you have an overgrown trellis or arbor, for example, cut it back and remove all dead vegetation. Of course, weed ruthlessly so permanent plantings are immaculate.

Keep Marie Kondo in mind, and de-clutter. Taste is subjective, but in general people want to see less of your personality and more open space in which to express their own. Go for a sense of classic calm, rather than excitement in your staging. Plants that are wildly mismatched in scale and style may have a bohemian appeal, but order, symmetry and balance will sell your home.

If you’re not sure where to begin, we can help. We offer free 30-minute consultations to help you figure out how to get started. Whether you need a simple plan to make modest improvements, or a complete makeover of your yard, we will work with you to help you get top dollar for your home.


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