Selling a home can be an exciting yet stressful experience. A key to success is preparation. You might be used to the broken door knob or window that doesn’t stay shut unless it’s locked. That doesn’t mean a new buyer wants to deal with it. Even if someone is buying an already lived-in home, he or she expects it to be in the best condition possible. The more prep work you do to make your home “sell-worthy,” the better chance you’ll have of getting offers. Staging a home for showings is a critical component of the home-selling process. Your house needs to be show-ready inside and out. There are several landscape issues that can chase a buyer away.
One of the best ways to determine if your home exterior is show-ready is to walk around your property with objective eyes. Imagine that you are a prospective buyer who is seeing the house for the first time. Go stand in the street and look up at the roof. Walk around the perimeter, noting what catches your eye and whether it’s for a good reason or bad. Pay close attention to landscape issues, trying your best to see your property through the eyes of a buyer.
Landscape issues that could make your home drag on the market
Part of the purpose of staging a home is to make it easy for visitors to imagine themselves living there. You may have spent years tending to your home and making memories there. If your goal is to move it through the market as swiftly as possible, however, the look and feel of your home needs to be less “you” and more “whoever moves in next.” The following list includes landscape issues that can be major deterrents to buyers:
- Homemade bridges or other large water structures
- Too much lawn and not enough patio
- Overly large trees, especially if they are near the house
- Overgrown or untended flower beds
- Invasive plants
Your property might have home-crafted structures that you made with your kids or purchased because you thought they were whimsical and fun. Chances of finding a buyer who feels the same way about it are little to none. It’s better to remove such structures, unless your property is expansive and a bridge or pond, etc. are professional quality. Having too much grass can be a setback, as well, because a buyer might immediately fret over having to mow it or pay someone to maintain it. It’s helpful to balance the amount of lawn you have with hard-surfaced, outdoor living space.
This, of course, doesn’t pertain to rural, expansive properties, such as farms. If you have a house in the country with lots of open fields and land, the people who schedule showings are no doubt looking for that type of property. The landscape issues we’re talking about in this post are mostly relevant to neighborhood homes.
A new homeowner doesn’t want negative landscape issues
A messy flower bed gives a poor first impression. Even if you’re selling your home in winter in a region where plants are dormant, it’s important to keep the beds looking tidy for showings. Finally, if you have an invasive plant that is taking over the yard, it’s best to have it removed. Most buyers aren’t going to want to deal with it. In fact, if you’re luck enough to get an offer, it might be less than the asking price with a contingency for you to remove the plant, anyway. So, why not do it ahead of time to increase the chances of getting a favorable deal?
Nice big trees can enhance the outdoor aesthetic value of a home. If it’s too close to the house, however, a buyer might worry about damage that could occur in a storm. If the tree bears fruit, it might not be as much of a selling point as you think, especially if it’s a crab apple tree. Most buyers won’t want to clean up a bunch of fermented, rotting apples on the ground every autumn.
Most home searches begin online, so take quality photographs
Before stepping foot on your property, interested buyers will probably look at your house online. If stressful landscape issues catch their eye, they’re unlikely to schedule a showing. Make sure your home exterior is appealing, and take quality photos. When someone looks at the outside of your home, you want them to love it so much that they can’t wait to go inside to see more! This post from a while back delves more deeply into this topic. You’ll sell your home a lot faster if your landscaping is in good order.