A Rulebook on the Do’s and Don’ts of Landscaping to Sell Your Home

Curb appeal matters in selling a home. 75% of top real estate agents say that homes with well-design landscapes are worth 1% to 10% more than homes without a landscape. In addition, it was found that landscape expenditures significantly increase perceived home value. Hence, it allows a home to be sold for a higher price compared to a home with minimal landscaping.

With regard to how much sellers should spend on landscaping, it depends. Generally speaking, the bigger the home, the grander the landscape should be. But breaking the bank isn’t always necessary either. Regular lawn care — mowing, removing weeds, applying fertilizer — can already recover up to 267% of upkeep costs at the time of sale.

But if you want to maximize the value of your home at resale, investing in professional landscaping services is the key. The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recommends putting 10% of your abode’s value in landscaping. Other studies suggest spending the equivalent percentage on landscape maintenance and upgrades.

It can get confusing if you’d base your landscaping decisions on studies alone, though. So to avoid making mistakes, such as designing an over-the-top or a too-generic landscape, note the do’s and don’ts below, and increase your home’s value in turn:

DO: Plant a Tree or Two

A tree can boost your home’s value because of the privacy, cost, and health benefits it offers. But before planting a tree, plan for maintenance. Research or ask your local gardener if the tree in your mind generates messy seedpods or fruits. Consider its roots and branches too; find out if the roots won’t affect your home’s foundation, and if the branches won’t break your windows or interfere with the power lines.

DON’T: Plant Too Many Trees

While it’s appealing to live among trees, too many of them can hurt your home’s value because of the safety risks it creates. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, the strong winds can topple the trees and cause injuries and massive property damage. Plus, a forest-like landscape closes off useful space. Your big yard could’ve been used for an additional living or dining area.

DO: Match Your Landscape to Your Home’s Architectural Style

If you have a Zen-style home, build a Zen garden as well. That French-style garden design may be stunning, but it would make the aesthetics of your home confusing.

DON’T: Disjoint The Design

One reason it’s essential to hire a pro is to avoid a disjointed design, which means a piecemeal approach, doing one thing at a time. This design approach is prone to a lot of errors since you aren’t picturing the landscape as a whole, but instead focusing on only one feature at a time. It may seem like you’re saving money, but in the end, you’ve just wasted bucks because it declined your home’s value.

home with a deck

DO: Build a Deck or Patio

Outdoor living and entertainment are important these days. And the pandemic has stressed that fact. Invest in high-quality building materials for your patio or deck, and again, match the design to your home’s architecture. Also, note that a deck can increase your home’s value more than a patio does. A deck is just a little more expensive to build, and more high-maintenance.

DON’T: Add a Koi Pond

A koi pond may add elegance and a Zen quality to your landscape, but it increases the maintenance requirements. Other types of ponds do the same. So if you’re really set on adding a water feature, opt for a pondless garden waterfall.

DO: Choose All Year Round Perennials

Your home will attract more buyers if the flowers in the garden are in full bloom. But if the market is slow, it may take a while for your home to sell, despite its incredible curb appeal. Let’s say you put your home on the list in April, in the middle of the spring. Your spring perennials, of course, would be thriving on that period. But if June comes and your home is still on the market, your April perennials would’ve already gone dull, reducing the curb appeal. So limit your seasonal perennials and stock up on the all-year rounders.

DON’T: Use Too Many Ornaments

Garden gnomes, vases, and other sculptures no doubt make a statement, but too much of them in the space can distract the beautiful plants. Less is more also applies in a landscape, so keep the ornaments at a minimum. Place one or two on the focal points only, and make sure that its colors aren’t contrasting with your blooms.

Keep this rule book in mind as you start sprucing up your landscape. As you can see, you don’t need an extravagant design to hike up your home’s value. Basically, the cleaner and more cohesive the landscape looks, the more value it adds to your home.

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