Editor’s note: We’re excited to have expert guest writer for this post!
By Joe Turpin, Fralich’s Landscape
For most homeowners, selling a home requires touching up the paint and minor cosmetic work inside the house. What most homeowners don’t think about however is that the first thing any potential homebuyer sees is the exterior entrance to the house.
Here are some tips to help make your curb appeal, more appealing.
The easiest way to tidy up your curb appeal and maximize your dollars is by cleaning up the existing landscape.
Tidy up all plant material by pruning and cutting out any dead branches.
Power-wash decks and walks (just be careful that you don’t strip paint or gouge hardscape surfaces).
Putting down pre-emergent in early spring will help control weeds. Pre-emergent stops weeds from germinating. Note: DO NOT USE IT if you’re trying to re-seed your lawn.
Remove any dead or overgrown plants. These will make the property look like it has been neglected.
Mulch, mulch, mulch. Fresh mulch has the same effect as new paint. It will liven and clean up your landscape beds.
Make sure you look up while cleaning, messy gutters and chipping paint can ruin the cleanest of landscapes.
Remove Yard Art
Keep your landscape as simple as possible. Try to remove any yard decorations and novelties. Buyers tend to go off of their first impression, what may be cute or chic to you may make your landscape look cluttered.
Draw the eye to the entry way
Having had several years in design, the first thing I think about when working on a front yard landscape is the direction of movement your eye takes to the front door. Subconsciously, when the eye is drawn to the front door, the house seems more inviting.
The easiest method to achieve this is by using the plants from tall to short and repetitive plantings or hedges to move the eye to the door. You can also use landscape lighting to highlight the front door at night. Yes, potential buyers will drive by your home at night. (See Landscape Lighting Below).
Add color and interest
Adding decorative pots with colorful annuals can really make an impact in the front yard without breaking the bank. Be sure to give yourself enough time to allow plants to grow before listing. Add a slow release fertilizer to the soil to increase plant size and remember to water regularly.
Make sure you keep the lawn mowed and somewhat weed free. An unkempt lawn will give the appearance of a poorly maintained home. The easiest method to remove weeds is to use a hose attachment pre-mixed lawn spray. Most big box stores carry this and it is fairly simple to use. Expect the weeds to start to disappear after a week.
If your yard is mostly weeds, be ready to grow grass. Start by killing the weeds first. You will want to wait at least a week to let the residual weed killer to wear off.
If you are near a rental store, a slice seeder is the best method to reseed your yard. The slice seeder will put grooves into the yard and drop the seed. This will keep you from needing to use straw. Apply a turf starting fertilizer to push the new growth.
Pro-tip: Most landscape companies use a mixture of bluegrass and rye grass. Bluegrass takes 2 weeks to germinate so the rye grass is mixed in to establish a lawn faster until the bluegrass takes over.
Adding exterior lighting to the landscape will give a sense of a security to your for potential buyers. You can also use the lights to highlight the front door and draw buyers to the door at night. Be sure to use low voltage lighting or led rather than bright fixtures. The ultimate goal is to highlight the landscape not showcase it like a billboard.
Use landscape lights to highlight areas of interest such as ornamental trees, line pathways for visibility at night and add security by lighting dark areas around windows and back yard access.
Joseph R. Turpin is a student of Landscape Architecture with 10 years of design experience, 15 years of landscape experience and is a current designer for Fralich’s Landscape of Greenfield, Indiana.
Aaron Fralich is the owner of Fralich’s Landscape with 10 years experience in the landscape industry with a background in Agriculture
Picture Credits: all pictures are free to use from the Pixabay website or stock photos from Fralich’s Landscape.