Seller’s Tip: Take Care of Your Lawn

Listing a Home for Sale in Foster City or elsewhere?

A property that has a well manicured lawn has one of the best chances at showing pride in ownership than any other outdoor technique.  For one thing, there is a large upswing in the priority that homeowners place in their outdoor living spaces.

Therefore, the landscaping of your front yard (especially) as well as that of your back yard should look its very best when it’s selling time. Your landscaping will make a huge contribution to the resale value of your home, so make sure that it’s doing its best to help you out.

In fact, studies have shown that when the landscaping of a home is in excellent condition, it can sell for about 4 to 5 percent higher, while homes with landscaping in very poor condition can sell for 8 to 10 percent less. That’s a huge difference in the overall selling price of your home.

You might be wondering exactly how much time you should dedicate to sprucing up the landscape of your property. How much time and money is worth it for your sale? Even if you put a minimal amount of money, effort, and time in to your landscaping, it will help you in selling your home, and perhaps even getting a boost in the selling price. Every effort you make will help.

However, don’t overdo it. Remember that it’s not a selling feature; it’s only something to help the overall appeal of your property, so that the other selling features will be better appreciated. You should keep your lawn mowed so that it is even, and neatly short. Keep it well weeded, as these will only appear as blemishes to your landscaping. Make sure to use a weed eater to do the edges, as this gives your work a superior finish touch.

If there are any “bald” patches in your lawn, buy a small bag of seed and care for the spot, filling it in. This is especially important if you have a dog who digs or who leaves “pet damage” where s/he does his or her business.  After you fill in the dead spots that your dog has left, make sure to water the areas after your dog “waters,” to prevent new dead patches from forming. Watering the areas will dilute the urine to stop it from burning the grass.

This effort makes an immeasurable difference in the overall neatness of the house, and the impression that it will leave potential buyers.

See additional landscaping tips.


Plant Some Flowers

Flowers, especially bright flowers, can liven up the exterior of your home very inexpensively and easily. They needn’t be expensive or exotic. Even the cheapest, easy-care, low maintenance flowers will do just fine, such as:
sweet alyssum,
and bachelor’s buttons.

Your local garden center will be able to help you make the best choice for your location and purpose. Remember that annuals are cheaper than perennials, so they’ll suit your purpose perfectly. Keep in mind also that mixing bright colors like pink and yellow give a much happier appearance to the home than darker purples.

Flowers are an especially nice touch under windows, on porches, and in flower beds. They create a special level of warmth and depth, making your property appears cared for as well as enjoyed.

Tidy Up Outside

Take the time to walk around your property wearing good thick gloves, and carrying a garbage bag.  Pick up every bit of refuse, yard waste, and other unsightly things, and throw them away. When the garbage is gone, then do another lap and remove all of the clutter outside. This can include things such as:

  •   Kids’ toys
  •  Yard care tools (wheelbarrows, lawn mowers, weeding tools, garden hoses, etc.)
  •  Tools
  •  Bicycles

Depending on how you usually keep your property, this one effort can make a staggering  difference to the outer appearance of your home.


Trim Shrubbery  

Shrubbery and other greenery that has an unkempt appearance can often be misconstrued as a sign of neglect, and gives a bad impression of your house overall. Prospective homebuyers who see shrubbery that has not been well maintained may not even be aware of their observation, but it will have an impact on the way they view your property as a whole.

If they do observe the unkempt shrubbery directly, they may make the assumption that the rest of the home has not been properly maintained. Keep bushes and shrubs neat, and well-shaped, to give the overall impression that the entire property has been well cared for.

For that added touch, try to keep the shrubbery in line with the other greenery and outdoor decorations that you have on your property. This will be even more eye-pleasing from the street level, creating more interest.  Should the size of your shrubbery be such that it makes walking up to your home a challenge, you should consider taking them out. Shrubbery that is too large not only makes the home appear much smaller, but it also creates a hazard where safety is concerned. This may also make prospective buyers think of it as a hindrance because they’ll think of it as something that will need to be taken care of; this even before they’ve even entered your home. It’s a very inexpensive task that you can do yourself, and it shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours of your time to get done.

If you don’t have the time, the ability, or the inclination to trim the shrubbery, don’t just let it go. This can only risk losing a lot of time and money in the long run.  Instead, consider hiring a professional. This will cost approximately $35 to $45 per hour, but it will be well worth the small investment in the end.

With a bit of luck, you’ll only need to do it once before your home is sold – a one time effort that will go a very long way.