You never get a second chance to make a first impression. That old favorite saying certainly applies when you’re trying to sell a house. We’ve all heard agents talk about the value of curb appeal, and this includes not only the exterior of the house itself but also to the landscape around it. It’s hard to overestimate the importance of a tidy, appealing yard, and yet so many sellers neglect this crucial element. A healthy lawn and landscaping make a big difference when it comes to drawing in buyers.
Landscaping for Resale: Worth the Cost
According to a 2018 study by the National Association of Realtors, agents rated lawn care as the number one project that appeals to buyers. Overall landscaping was also identified as a major factor in boosting resale value. The study also showed that landscaping and tree maintenance almost always recover 100 percent of their cost at resale. So sellers can rest assured when they make that investment: landscaping upgrades are worth it and then some.
Landscaping for Resale: What Are the Priorities?
Knowing that you’re almost guaranteed to recoup your costs–and make your home more attractive in the process–can help you get energized for identifying and completing landscaping projects. Since aesthetics are key, it’s well worth it to hire a professional to take care of these important elements. For example, the NAR (National Association of Realtors) study showed that an overall landscape upgrade, including mulch application, lawn mowing, pruning shrubs and planting some eye-catching pops of color cost around $3000, and the full amount was recovered at resale.
Here are some landscaping projects that are almost guaranteed to draw buyers in to see your home:
- Professional lawn care: many sellers don’t realize the bang for your buck that professional lawn care provides. A neat, lush lawn is one of the most important elements in terms of curb appeal for buyers. Hiring a lawn care company for mowing, fertilization and weed control often brings in double its cost at resale, according to the NAR study. That’s an amazing return on investment–and you’ll have more free time to handle other home improvement projects.
- Tree and shrub care: pruning trees and shrubs–and removing unsightly or obstructive trees when needed– are key to an appealing yard. Professional tree care is another great investment and recovers full cost at resale, according to the NAR.
- Mulching: refreshing and adding mulch is one of the least expensive and most effective landscaping projects you can undertake for curb appeal.
- Planting: putting in new plants and flowers, including annuals and perennials, can add those all-important splashes of color and vibrancy to your landscape.
What Are Some Other Outdoor Features That Boost Resale Value?
Outdoor extras not only boost curb appeal, they can also be the deal-maker that leads a buyer to fall in love with your home. According to the NAR, some landscape features that are big with buyers include:
- Patios and hardscaping: these features tend to be more expensive but recoup much of their value at resale. Inviting hardscaping elements can often be the extra touch that really sells your home.
- Fire features: fire features are growing in popularity as we look more and more to our home’s outdoor spaces as a gathering place for friends and family. Adding a fire pit or other features can hook buyers with the promise of happy outdoor evenings in their new home.
- Irrigation systems: Irrigation for your lawn and landscaping is one of the most overlooked elements, but also one that ranks high on the NAR’s “Joy Index” which rates homeowners’ satisfaction with home improvement projects. Installing an irrigation system can make your yard lusher and more appealing from the street and more welcoming and liveable–a pleasure to spend time in. The great news is, if you have an irrigation system installed for your family, you’ll recover most or all of the cost at resale.
Landscaping for Resale: When Less Is More
Landscaping for resale often means adding features–like colorful plants, fresh mulch and hardscape elements. But it can also mean removing some of the eyesores and problematic elements that can turn buyers off. Ask your landscaping service to cut back plants encroaching on walkways and driveways, trim tree limbs too close to your house and even remove trees that are obstructive or in bad shape. Feedback from agents confirms that this kind of clean-up is always worth it at resale time.
Landscaping for Resale: Hire a Pro
One of the takeaways from the 2018 NAR study is that homeowners often don’t have the time or expertise to knock out the meaningful landscape upgrades that really boost curb appeal. Whether it’s basic lawn care or more labor-intensive landscaping, the study confirms that hiring a professional landscaping company is always worth the investment when you have resale in mind. At Epling, we have decades of experience in helping clients create enjoyable, livable outdoor spaces that enrich their lives, while also creating stellar curb appeal when it’s time to sell. That’s what we call a win-win.