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Sell You Home Faster by Landscaping!

December 10, 2010

Loan Officer Lou King, this week's featured expert

Neatly trimmed lawns and flowers are a big welcome mat to potential buyers looking for a new home. It enhances curb appeal, which is essential to getting people out of their cars and into the home you have for sale.

According to a Michigan State University (MSU) study, high quality landscaping can boost a home’s selling price in some markets by 5-11%!  Another study by the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association learned that attractive landscaping can move a property sale up by six weeks! So, where should you invest your time and money when sprucing up a home for sale?

For an existing home:

Start with what you have and make sure it looks good.

  • Edge the lawn and planting beds so there’s a definite border and consider filling them with mulch. While doing that, adjust the shape of your beds. According to horticulture professor Bridget Behe, the lead researcher on the MSU study, something as simple as curving the edge of your flower bed may increase the value of your home by 1%!
  • Green lawns bring in more green: A scruffy yard is nothing compared to a lush, soft looking lawn. Fertilizing, either yourself or by hiring a professional, will nourish the lawn and make it healthier. A weed treatment will also keep those dratted dandelions from taking over everywhere. A well cared for lawn implies that the home is well cared for, too.
  • Brighten up with color:  Strategically place bright flowers throughout the yard in bursts here and there. Choose hardy, long-blooming flowers that will look good throughout the spring, summer and into fall. Focus on three main areas: walkway, front yard, and front door.
  • “A few good-size plants have more appeal than 20 little ones,” says Chicago landscape architect Douglas Hoerr. A comprehensive landscape plan that considers all parts of the lot will deliver a more impactful design. Ranging anywhere from several hundred dollars to much higher, consider offering a gift card or credit for a landscape architect to potential buyers as part of the home sale.

For new construction:

There’s no formula for what types of landscape additions lend the most value to a home. Right now, decks, outdoor rooms, fire pits and fireplaces are popular because they further extend their living space.  Whatever plans you make, as a general rule, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recommends an investment of 10 percent of the home’s value in landscaping.


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