There are simple and affordable ideas to add charm, beauty and uniqueness to your home without breaking the bank. Your home needs to stand out from the hundreds of other homes on the market in order to increase foot traffic of potential buyers. If you are not able to complete the work yourself, you may want to hire a reputable company to help.
The condition of the front door is the first issue to be addressed. Make sure it is clearly visible from the road by cutting down any tree limbs hindering the view. Make sure it has a fresh coat of paint, no cracks in the glass or tears in the screen. If you are showing your home during a holiday like Christmas, add special touches that reflect the season. Create a fresh wreath of evergreen boughs and add a few silk poinsettias for a splash of color. Examine the house numbers and mailbox area, making sure they are in good working condition, painted, and clearly visible.
If you have a concrete drive and walk with a few cracks and you have a few months before the house goes on the market, plant sedum. Incorporate composted topsoil into the crevices and plant a few sedum plants to add softness and charm. After the plant is established, it will be drought tolerate. Sedum grows in the full sun; varieties have different foliage color and most plants offer spring blooms.
If there are areas of your lawn that are brown and patchy, don’t fight it. Turn those areas into plant beds. You want the first impression to reflect to the buyer that the front landscape/garden needs no additional work. Even if you have no extra funds to fill the new plant bed with shrubs, it is better than looking at unhealthy turf. An affordable way to add interest is placing a bench in the middle, create a 3′ wide path of light, cedar mulch to the seating area and mulch the rest of the bed with pine needles or mini nuggets. Two different mulches will add contrast and interest to the space at a very low cost.
A fresh application of mulch is an affordable way to spruce up the front garden. Pine needles are the least expensive with one bale covering a 5’x5′ area. The needles should be a nice amber color and be tucked in where they meet the grassy areas. A beveled edge can be created by a spade shovel to define plants beds and turf areas adding a crisp, manicured look.
Existing shrubs and trees should be in good condition. Prune out any unhealthy limbs and make sure the top of the shrubs do not exceed the bottom of the front windows. There should also be at least 1 foot between the shrub and the house. This is a safety and maintenance issue for the potential buyer.
If you’ve added semi-permanent structures such as a fence bordering the front walk, a birdhouse on a 4×4 post, or a flag-pole in the middle of the lawn you may want to remove these personal touches in order to keep it clean and simple. These additions could be viewed as non-functioning eye sores to the new home buyer. It is better to keep the front landscape free of clutter with minimal touches of personality. Ultimately, you are looking for another family to move in, so try not to dominate the landscape with your favorite things. It is acceptable to add a few personal touches that you can take with you.
Pots flanking the front entryway are a good addition for a splash of color and hint of charm that can easily be removed. It is always best to go bigger with the pot size than going smaller. You can either do one pot on either side of the front door or group 3 of various sizes on both sides. By grouping 3 different sized pots you are creating a more relaxed, informal style. If you have a more formal and manicured front garden, you will want to place 2 symmetrical pots on either side of the door and insert an evergreen shrubs. Keeping the shrubs in the pots you purchased them in will make packing up easier when you sell your home.
Potential buyers are going to drive by in the evening hours to witness what happens in your neighborhood after the sun sets. A low cost lighting system can be purchased from your local hardware store and taken with you when you leave. Add the up lights to accent a tree, statuary or exterior home details to liven the landscape in the evening hours. It is not recommended to line up lights in a plane runway style or the use of holiday lights.
It is encouraging to hear potential buyers saying, “I can put my hammock between those 2 trees” or “I am going to create a wildflower bed in that natural area”. Put the needs of the buyer before the needs of yourself when selling your home. Let your home be the vision of someone else’s dream and sell, sell, sell.