You've probably heard how important curb appeal is when you're trying to sell your home. The first thing buyers look at when they pull up to your home is the big picture -- the house, the yard, the trees, the flowers. It's the impression that counts, and all it takes is one thing to ruin the effect -- a cracked walkway, dead branches in the trees, leggy bushes.
As you look around at all the things you need to fix or update to sell your home, it can be overwhelming. Many sellers struggle with the costs, the decisions, and the time it takes to market their homes. Since most landscaping isn't permanent, you may think it's not as important as other projects that need to be done, but you should strongly consider putting it in the marketing budget.
You can do some of the work yourself or you can get help. But here are five jobs you can do that help you make the most of your home's drive-up appeal.
1. Get rid of anything dead. Dead leaves, flowers, and trees do nothing for your curb appeal. Snip it, rake it and bag it. As you finish, you'll see blank areas. Fill these in with fresh flowers, small bushes, potted plants or yard art. No Gnomes or flamingoes need apply.
2. Cut and weed the grass. If you mow your own lawn, make sure it's freshly mowed every week. Pull or spray weeds so the texture of the grass will be more pleasing.
3. Replace or hide leggy bushes. Nothing makes a front entry look more dated than bushes with longer legs than torsos. Pull them out and replace them, or if it's more expedient, plant boxwoods or other small bushes in front. You can also cover a lot of blank areas with mulch, wood chips or gravel.
4. Improve both hardscapes and softscapes. Decorative stone, tile, brick, concrete or wood can add a lot of appeal to the softer elements such as flowers, plants, grasses and ground cover. Landscaping doesn't have to end at the porch. Bring color and vitality to the entry with potted plants and flowers.
5. Light the way. Landscape lighting doesn't have to be expensive. Lanterns to line the walk, or the occasional uplight for the trees can have a glamorous effect on the exterior of your home. Lighting provides security as well as spotlights what you want to call attention to -- a beautiful tree, a flower bed or an architectural element of the house.
If you're not sure where to begin, go to your local supply with a sketch or photo of your home and ask for ideas. Explain that you're selling your home and you need help with curb appeal. You may get a lot of free advice that's really helpful.