Landscaping can be a major contributor to a home’s value and could potentially influence an owner’s ability to sell the property. According to a National Association of Landscape Professionals survey, 84 percent of Americans agree that the quality of a home’s landscaping would affect their decision to buy the home.
Here are four landscaping suggestions for real estate agents to share with clients:
1. Be welcoming
From the moment potential buyers open the front door, the home’s interior should be welcoming. The same goes for landscaping. It’s the first impression individuals get of the house and perhaps the whole neighborhood.
The landscaping should be attractive enough to make prospective buyers want to walk through the front door.
2. Keep property well-maintained
A home’s exterior needs to be as well-maintained and up-to-date as its interior. Bushes, shrubs and trees should regularly be trimmed and replaced approximately every five to 10 years, so they don’t overwhelm the house.
Landscaping also includes the appearance of flower beds, lawn ornamentation and front porch furniture. All should be clean, painted and neat.
3. Stay within community norms
Elaborate or out-of-the-ordinary landscaping might bring enjoyment to the current homeowner, but it won’t necessarily add to a home’s value.
Real estate agents can tell a “back-to-nature” seller that a lawn of native grasses and wildflowers could be perceived as ill-kept when compared to the well-manicured yards on the block.
4. Be energy-efficient
House hunters want homes that are energy-efficient both inside and out. Real estate agents should suggest that homeowners consider landscaping techniques designed to create a visually attractive landscape by using low-water and drought-resistant grass, plants, shrubs and trees. They likely will appeal to potential buyers wanting to save money and time on landscaping.
Landscaping can help make a home’s exterior as attractive and enjoyable as the interior. Similar to an interior remodeling, homeowners should contact an appraiser before making any major upgrades to learn more about how those renovations might impact property values.
Appraisal Institute Designated Members can be found using Appraisal Institute’s Find an Appraiser search tool.
Scott Robinson, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, is the 2016 president of the Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, with nearly 20,000 professionals in almost 60 countries throughout the world.