Updated: Sep 16, 2020
Don’t Overlook Landscaping
Landscaping is a major part of a property’s exterior appearance and curb appeal. It has a major impact on any visitor’s first impression -- it can feel inviting and well-maintained or neglected and unattractive.
What would you prefer to have a potential buyer feel on their first visit?
Benefits of Landscaping
First impressions are important, and it’s no different for properties. In fact, a 2013 National Association of Realtors survey found that curb appeal is important to 71 percent of homebuyers. So yes, you can increase the chances of selling your home by giving care and attention to your property's landscaping. A property with a maintained lawn will appear to have been a home that was cared for and will appear more inviting to potential buyers.
Increase Property Value
If a better first impression wasn’t enough to sell you on improving your property’s landscaping, then maybe the fact that you may be able to get a better price for your home will be more encouraging. Landscaping can increase your property value up to 20% depending on the level of investment you decide to make. This will result in a return on your investment as you will sell your property faster and at a higher price.
Establish Curb Appeal
Curb appeal takes first impressions to the next level. Curb appeal is the attractiveness of a property in comparison to its surroundings when viewed from the street. Curb appeal encompasses all external components of a property, and landscaping is one of those components. Establishing and/or improving curb appeal can be the deciding factor for a buyer purchasing your house over another property in the same neighborhood.
Understanding the 3 Elements of Landscaping (A Quick Guide)
According to an article by Southern Living Plant Collection, there are three critical elements of landscaping: mass, form and line. The secondary elements are texture and color. These elements work together to transform space and add interest to a property’s landscape.
Mass describes the space occupied by an object or group of objects. This can apply to a house, a patio, a tree or a group of plants. The objective of mass in landscaping is to size individual objects or components in relation to their surroundings. For example, a planting bed would be sized based on its relation to the property or the size of a fountain would be sized based on its surroundings.
Form refers to shapes of individual objects or those formed by a group of objects. Plants, driveways, walkways can create shapes. According to the Southern Living Plant Collection, “Landscape forms evoke emotions and create ambiance. Rectilinear forms feel structured and formal, circles are soft, triangles are strong, and irregular shapes are casual and free. [One] can take advantage of form in a design to set the mood of a landscape.”
Line refers to the flow and direction of the landscape used to create connectivity. Use different types of lines to direct the eye through the landscape.
Vertical lines carry the eye skyward and expand small spaces.
Horizontal lines can make a space feel wider
Straight lines are formal and direct
Curved lines are more gentle and natural
Are Major Landscaping Investments Necessary?
The short answer is No. Deciding to completely redo or revamp your landscaping is your choice, however, landscaping investments can potentially pay great returns in home value.
Here are a few points to consider:
Compare to your Neighbors
It is important to pay attention to how your property’s landscaping measures up to your neighbors. If your neighbors’ lawns are unmaintained and rundown, then putting in thousands of dollars into your landscaping may not be worthwhile. In this case, it would be an overinvestment and will not likely result in such high returns as mentioned above. On the other hand, if other properties in your neighborhood have well maintained lawns, greenery and thoughtful landscaping, you should definitely consider a larger budget.
Match the Property Condition
Additionally, it is important to consider the overall condition of the rest of your property, both exterior and interior. For example, if the property’s exterior has been renovated with new paint, new driveway, or a new roof, it may be worthwhile to put an additional investment into the property’s landscaping. This will make the property’s overall condition cohesive. But, you do not need to overspend on landscaping if it will feel overexaggerated for the property.
Keep it Generic and Universal
If you are selling your property, you likely want to appeal to the buyer with the best offer as soon as possible. The best way to do this, is to make updates or upgrades based on what is trending in the current market. Go with neutral colors, common plant species and upgrades that compliment the house. By keeping your choices generic, it will reduce the cost of your landscaping investment.
Improve your Landscaping on a Budget
So you’re convinced you need to do a little bit of landscaping before listing your property, but you don’t quite have the budget or need for a major landscaping makeover. Show Agents has a few tips that are cost effective and can immediately improve your property’s first impression.
Mow the lawn (and keep it on a cut schedule.) If you do anything at all, make sure your lawn is always cut and well-maintained. Make sure you know the season and how often you will need the grass cut. High grass can make a property appear vacant, cause fines by the city and invite squatters. This is simple, but very important!
Pick up dead leaves and trash. In between grass cuts, picking up dead leaves, tree branches, and other debris can instantly make the landscape look cleaner.
Pull and spray weeds. Another quick way to immediately make your lawn and driveway look maintained is removing and treating for weeds.
Add new mulch. If you have flower or plant beds, adding fresh mulch is a quick and cost effective way to immediately refresh your landscaping.
#ForApartments Add a plant on a window sill. Succulents are a great way to bring greenery to apartments or condos. They live long and don’t require much care.
What are some other cost effective ways or tips you have to improve landscaping?