You want prospective buyers to say, “ooh” and “ahh” when they visit the home you’ve put up for sale. But without the right tweaks to your landscape, you might just have them saying, “ugh.”

From high-maintenance landscaping that’s a chore to maintain to unkempt garden beds that are eye-catching for all the wrong reasons, lots of things can turn a potential purchaser away before they even make it to the front door.

So how can you make sure your landscape doesn’t scare off hopeful homeowners? Breeze through the tips below to get your yard in good shape before a sale.

Putting your home on the market? Get your yard ready

When you’re ready to get going on updates to the inside of your home, plan to spruce up the outside, too.

Ways that your lawn and landscape could be scaring away potential buyers

Before you plop the for sale sign out front, see if your yard has any red flags, like:

  • Garden beds with weeds or debris. No matter how pretty and pleasant the flowers, weeds, twigs, leaves or other debris make any garden an eyesore.
  • Un-mowed grass. It’s equally unsightly and unwelcoming.
  • High-maintenance landscaping. That can include anything from non-native plants that are extra needy, to water-hoarding trees that are unfit for drought-prone areas.
  • Trees that could be trouble down the line. Trees with limbs drooping over the roof or with roots that are in close corridors with the home’s foundation might worry prospective buyers.
  • Overgrown plants. A shrub that needs a trim or a tree waiting on a prune can be a turnoff.
  • Weeds sprouting in the lawn. This, along with bare spots in the lawn, can make a yard look uncared for.
  • Disorganized landscape design. Potential buyers probably aren’t expecting intricate, professional design. But landscaping that looks chaotic or incohesive can chase them off.

How to stage my yard for sale

Help your landscape say “welcome home” with these staging tips:

  • Frame the front: Any landscaping that draws attention to the front door is a plus. A couple of potted plants on the porch, hanging baskets, or small trees that are safe to plant near a home are great options.
  • Mulch. Mulch. Mulch. It’s really hard to go wrong with mulch (so long as you avoid volcano mulching!) Mulch is an inexpensive addition that can turn up the curb appeal in a matter of minutes. Add it to your tree and garden beds for a tidy look.
  • Bring on the color. Nothing beats a flush of colorful flowers lined up around the outside of your home. If you’ve got a green thumb, plant perennials or ground cover plants. But, if gardening isn’t your jam, well-placed potted plants work just as well.
  • Add in accessories. Your #1 goal is to make your home inviting, so think of creative ways to draw buyers in. A windchime hanging from the porch can play a pleasant greeting, or a path of stepping stones can lead the buyer right to the front door.

Read more landscaping advice for home sellers here.

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