When selling your home, landscaping determines whether your home feels inviting from the outside. Curb appeal is important to 71% of homebuyers when choosing their abode, according to a 2013 National Association of Realtors survey. Landscaping is a large part of that curb appeal.

That first impression is important. If they don't like the looks of the front of the house, which is mostly landscaping, often they won't even go inside.


Keeping up with the Joneses is important. If your neighbors' yards are run-down, spending a lot on landscaping isn't worthwhile. But if your neighbors have renovated homes with beautiful greenery, you need to do the same so buyers don't move on to homes with better curb appeal.

Here are five things to consider with your landscaping.


Planning ahead is important if you want to sell your home. You can't just decide to sell your house tomorrow and expect the landscaping to be ready. If you're thinking of moving next fall, (then) this spring, you should be working on your landscaping.

Start by cleaning up the yard, removing dead branches, dog droppings, weeds and anything broken. The most important thing in landscaping is maintenance.

Investigate the unseen, ensuring the downspouts are clean and functional, and making sure drain pipes are properly buried and draining so water doesn't pool. Then make sure your hard-scapes (things such as patios, walkways and fences) are level and that roots haven't pushed us sidewalks or patio stones. If your deck has wobbly railings or loose steps, fix them. People don't want a mystery.

Take a serious look at your plants' health. Dead and dying (plants) or things leading to additional maintenance problems need to be corrected.

If you're in an established neighborhood, remove overgrown shrubs encroaching on the sidewalk or ones that are too big, don't flower or are out of style. 


In the front yard, landscaping's role is to help people notice the house first. The landscaping should pull your eyes to the front door. Buyers will be looking around at the landscaping, so have pots of blooming flowers nearby.

Trees, bamboo and other screening plants can be used to hide anything unsightly, such as your neighbor's garage door or the trash cans. You want to make your house look good and hide the ugly views.

Foundational plants such as evergreens are better than those that lose their leaves. What if you want to sell your house in the winter? Also, plants that are beautiful when blooming don't add to curb appeal out of season. Accent plants such as knockout roses bloom all summer. They're super easy to take care of.

Trees can add value, providing canopy, shade and insulation from sun, but they have issues, too. Tree roots can damage the foundation, die or be too close to the house. Buyers may not want fruit- or nut-bearing trees. 

Landscaping features

In the backyard, people like a comfortable spot to hang out. Think decks or patios. Other personalized options, such as fire pits, outdoor kitchens, fountains and lighting, are things that make a backyard more of a paradise.


As for furniture, it doesn't have to be expensive, but it should be in good condition. Power-wash it if needed. Get new cushions. That's an inexpensive way to dress things up.

Don't waste your money

It's easy to get carried away fixing up a yard to look good for buyers. Try not to install anything too personal or unique that lacks universal appeal. 

Don't waste money buying all mature plants. Spend money where you need it. If you have a few spots driving you crazy where you want privacy, buy one or two big specimen trees. For the rest, put in a 3-gallon flowering shrub.

When trying to make a statement by your front steps, spend the money and get a larger plant. Otherwise, put in smaller plants, and be patient as they grow.

Fencing is another asset to buyers, whether they have kids or just want privacy.

Keep it simple

Just like inside, remove outdoor clutter, which could include unrelated, different-size plants. Landscape should be simple, elegant and beautiful.

Courtesy of http://www.foxbusiness.com