Homebuyers pay as much attention to the exterior of a home as the inside. They want to envision their kids playing in the yard, friends coming over for barbeques and lazy afternoons laying on the lawn.
Sure, bring in flowers, trim the bushes and paint the deck. But don’t forget the lawn. It’s important to get it in shape before showing your home.
Consistent care is key. Failure to invest in long-term turf care can cause a number of problems with your lawn. Give your grass the fertilizing and seasonal treatments it deserves:
- In the spring, keep the grass high—removing more than a third of the total blade height when mowing can remove the food-producing parts of the blades resulting in a brown lawn.
- Leave clippings on the lawn to help recycle important nutrients.
- Water deeply (down to a depth of 6 inches) and less frequently, than lightly and more often.
- If your lawn dulls in color or begins to wilt, then your lawn needs water.
Grass also acts like a natural air conditioner that cools the air as it releases water vapor through its blades. Lawns are a safer surface for children to play on and provide the cool comfort we desire on hot days. Those are selling points that can help any home sale.
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Home sellers spend so much time preparing their interior for the sale that they can easily overlook what’s going on outside of the home. Yet great curb appeal can increase the value of a property by as much as 15-20%.
Mario Garcia, a landscaper in Bethesda, Md. who helps prepare homes for market, says a well-manicured lawn is a magnet for buyers. On the other hand, overgrown trees or large bushes hiding the house are a no-no.
“Buyers associate the condition of the exterior and landscape with the condition of the interior,” Garcia explained. “Curb appeal must invite buyers to view the rest of the property.”
Landscaping fixes include adding flowers or sprucing up the property with decorative grasses or Japanese maples. Accent the trees with rocks or boulders for a bold statement. Consider adding a modest fountain to the yard or garden.
In addition, rake leaves, wash windows and skylights, clean gutters and trim shrubs. Add low voltage lighting to highlight the yard, trees and the home’s exterior.
And you needn’t spend a ton of money to make a difference. “Do something as simple as putting up a new mailbox and address decals on your home,” said Anne West, owner of Wilmette, Ill.-based Redesign Doctor. “Also, adding a new welcome mat with a grouping of potted plants by the front door makes things more inviting.”