Can Landscaping Add Value to My Home?
It has been said that the difference between poor and excellent landscaping can be 5-15% of your home’s value. If you are thinking about putting your house on the market, it would be wise to ensure that you are getting your house into the best shape possible before listing. This includes your landscaping, as well as your walkways, driveway, patio and other hardscaping features. To upgrade your home’s interior while letting the landscaping sit neglected can discourage interest in your home. Here are some tips to keep in mind in order to allow your landscaping to help you get top dollar for your property.
- First impressions are everything.
In order to get people to see the inside of your home, you need to get them past the front door. Many times, real estate agents will tell homebuyers to drive through the neighborhoods in and around the homes that interest them before scheduling any showings. If a potential buyer were interested in your home and, during his or her drive, saw an overgrown lawn, weeds in the front garden and a walkway that has seen better days, he will likely keep right on going. The exception to this is if he is looking for a bargain. If you are not advertising your home as a “handyman special,” then you are going to want to put your best foot forward and make sure your landscaping is saying, “welcome home,” to potential buyers.
- You need to have a plan.
If you were going to upgrade your kitchen, you would not buy a stainless steel stove one day, begin a tile backsplash another day, then think about painting the cabinets. Instead, you would come up with a solid plan for flooring, countertops, cabinets, appliances, and so on. You would ensure that everything was going to complement everything else, and you would be sure that you could do all that you planned within your target budget. When it comes to landscaping, you need a similar plan. While it’s fine to decide on a whim to plan some annuals in your front garden, you don’t want to get into anything too involved without knowing what each step was going to be, and without knowing how each of those steps would contribute to the desired end product. Talking to a professional landscaper before doing anything else would be a good strategy, if you’ve never landscaped a whole yard before.
- Keep up with anything you begin.
Worse than completely neglected landscaping would be a half-finished project. Your potential buyers are not going to have exactly the same vision that you do, so a half-completed landscaping project, or one that has been allowed to become overgrown and unwieldy, is going to be a major turnoff. This is why it’s important to have stages in mind if you are not able to accomplish everything in one fell swoop. Your landscaper can help you come up with a plan that will allow you to complete one segment of the grand plan at a time, without letting the rest of the yard languish in disarray in the meantime.
Make sure that you are realistic: If you don’t have time to keep your yard well-maintained, then you will want to hire a landscaper who can do it for you. The time that your house is on the market is the most important time for keeping both the interior and the exterior of your home in showing condition at all times, if at all possible. Landscaping can add an average of 10% onto the value of your home, but you do have to maintain it and finish what you started.