green lawn and garden easy-to-do landscaping tips to help sell your house

Easy-To-Do Landscaping Tips to Help Sell Your House

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What is the best way to go about beautifying your yard? There are so many variables with do-it-yourself landscaping, such as budget, climate, level of skill and knowledge, and personal tastes. Maybe you’re landscaping for your own use and enjoyment, or to help sell your house. Either way, here are some easy landscaping tips to help you get started.

Before You Plant, Sketch

It is incredible the difference a well-laid-out plan makes when landscaping. Research ideas and note what you like or do not like. Sketch a design to help you plan each phase in a series of steps. You do not need to be an artist; a basic sketch of what goes where is enough. This way, you can tackle one section of your yard at a time, keeping you from feeling overwhelmed.

Year-Round Appeal

Your goal is to plant a yard with year-round interest: this means flowering plants in the spring and summer, fall foliage in autumn, and good makeup in winter. Consider these options:

  • Bulbs and flowering trees in spring;
  • Colorful annuals and a lush lawn in summer;
  • Perennials and deciduous trees in the fall; and
  • Evergreens in winter.

Evergreens are popular because they retain their leaves and needles and green appeal all year round.

Layer Flowerbeds

To create vibrant pops of color and a sense of unity across your yard, layer your flowerbeds. Layering means you plant the tallest plants in the back, and each forward row is shorter. It also provides shape and texture to your flowerbeds, making them a pleasant visual focal point.

Connect Points of Interest with a Path

Lay walking paths between high-traffic areas, like the back door and garage, or the curb and front door. Also, protect your lawn from trampling feet by putting down attractive walkways of wood or stone. These, then, connect elements of your landscape for easy viewing and enjoyment.

Incorporate Hardscaping

Hardscaping refers to any decorative or practical structure, like a driveway, fence, or patio. These features help balance and tie together the softer features of your yard. For example, fences help frame your yard and contain all the elements to one visual space.

There is a heightened interest among house buyers to interact with the outdoors. A patio or deck helps tie the inside with the outside of the house and elevates your backyard. You can recoup 75% of a deck’s cost upon sale of the house, while for a patio, the return ranges anywhere from 30% to 60%.

Clean and Maintain

Both your front yard and backyard need attention, not just every season, but at least every other week. This includes regular weeding, mowing, pruning, and raking of leaves. Consider hiring professionals to do the maintenance if you lead a busy life.

The good news is regular lawn care recovers an estimated 267% of the upkeep costs when you sell your house.

Save Money, Sell to an Investor

If you are getting ready to sell, you can forgo landscaping and other house projects by selling to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on the house AS-IS, without repairs, renovations, or landscaping. You can enjoy a quick closing and spend your money instead on beautifying the outside of your next home.

patio ways to elevate your backyard (and outdoor spaces)

Ways to Elevate Your Backyard (and Outdoor Spaces)

Home » spring


Your backyard is just as important as the interior of your home. If you are thinking of selling in the future, 67% of buyers say a private outdoor space is essential in their home search. They want a safe space for pets and children to play and to entertain and promote healthy living. Here are 7 ideas to elevate your backyard and outdoor spaces.

1. Build a Patio or Deck

The average ROI for a professional deck is around 75%, and between 30% to 60% for a patio. What’s the difference? A patio is paved, while a deck is a platform made from lumber or composite. Both increase the square footage of your house and create a space in the fresh air to visit with guests. You can also add furniture or a creative cover, like an awning, pergola, or canopy, to your deck or patio to enhance the space.

2. Outdoor Kitchen

If you love entertaining and cooking, you will love an outdoor kitchen. Rather than go in and out of the house, you can serve and entertain guests seamlessly in one place. Alfresco kitchens are fully functional and can include cabinetry, a grill, bar, wine fridge, or wood-fired pizza oven.

3. Swimming Pool

A water escape is great if you live in a hot climate. Special features, like pool seats, waterfalls, and lighting, also enhance your pool’s appearance. Just know: a pool does not increase your home value any more than 7%, so only put one in if you plan to enjoy it for a couple years.

4. Fire Pit

Spark up warmth and memories around an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. These require little maintenance, are tasteful, and great for every occasion and season. You can spend hours of quality time around one, making conversation and delicious s’mores, and get a sense of the great outdoors in your own backyard.

5. Cultivate a Garden

Gardening cultivates good physical and mental health. Gardens elevate your outdoor spaces with greenery and colorful flowers. You can also plant a produce garden. It will give you fresh, organic food, and you’ll feel good about the fruits of your labor.

6. Build a Better Fence

Good fences make great neighbors. You care about your privacy, right? You want to feel safe and know your activities are your own, and not privy to snoopy neighbors. Build a tall, sturdy fence to contain your backyard oasis and keep children and pets safe.

7. Add Ambient Lighting

The right lights and lighting features can make your outside feel like an extension of your home. They help highlight other features, and promote a sense of awareness and safety at night.

Elevate Your Sale, Sell to an Investor

Elevating your outdoor spaces is great if you plan on living in the house for the next three to five years. Otherwise, don’t waste money on what you won’t enjoy. Instead, elevate your sale by selling to an investor.

Most investors make a cash offer on a house AS-IS. Your backyard can be a brown plot, dead and unkempt. An investor will still buy the house and fix the outdoor spaces themselves. The interior of your house can also be neglected or mid-renovation, and an investor will still make an offer. You can enjoy a quick closing and use the money to elevate the backyard of your next house.

girl with checklist how to prepare your house for sale in the spring

How to Prepare Your House For Sale in the Spring

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Springtime is often the best time to sell a house. The real estate market sees a rise in inventory and more buyers search for a new home. To stand out from the competition, here are six tips to prepare your house for sale in the spring.

Spruce Up the Front Yard

When buyers pull up to your house, the outside is their first impression of the property. You want that impression to be good, so take the time to landscape. Prune the bushes, weed the garden, rake leaves, lay fresh mulch, and mow the grass. Also, add a pop of color with bright perennials.

Transform the Front Door

The front door is an extension of the landscape. Make it clean, elegant, and inviting. Paint the door, replace faded door numbers, and power wash the front stoop. If it rains, put out an umbrella stand so buyers keep umbrellas outside, and not drip on your floors. Finally, put out the “Welcome” mat.

Perform Seasonal Maintenance

Buyers want to see a well-kept house. If they see overgrowth, stains and dust, the notion to buy will deter them. For this reason, real estate agents rank these five items as must-fixes in the spring:

  • Clean rain gutters
  • Test the HVAC unit and change filters
  • Inspect the roof
  • Clean siding
  • Power wash driveway and walking paths

Additional items to consider include washing the windows and wiping down all shelves and cabinets. You might also polish hardwood floors and add fresh coats of paint to the walls and outside of the house.

Declutter Spaces

Buyers want to envision themselves in your house, but junked-up spaces prevent this. Remove the leaning tower of moving boxes. Throw out unopened mail and scattered papers. Put away toiletries, medicine, and other personal items. Go through every room with a donation box and fill it with excess clothing and knick-knacks. This not only frees up spaces, but also makes moving easy with less stuff to pack.

Note: your house must stay clean for every showing. Make sure new clutter does not accumulate, and every space stays immaculate. If you are busy, you can hire professional cleaning services.

Eliminate Odors

The only thing worse than touring a messy home is smelling it. Funky odors deter everyone. Rather than go overboard with scented sprays, take the time to deep clean. Steam carpets and draperies, furniture too. Scrub counters, clean dishes, and remove laundry piles.

The toughest odors to eliminate include pets and cigarette smoke. As you clean, open windows and turn on fans to increase airflow. Add a few drops of essential oils, like lemon or orange, to a mister and spray each room. Till you sell, concentrate smoking habits outside. Stow litter boxes outside, or ask a friend or family member to keep your pet for a while.

Take Photos

Over 95% of buyers search for their next home online. In case your house does not sell right away, but remains listed through the summer to the end of the year, take photos. Photograph the lovely interior, but more importantly the exterior and landscaping. Your yard looks its best in the spring, and you want online shoppers to see this.

Rather Than Do All This Work, Sell to an Investor

If you want to forgo these efforts and sell your house as-is, consider selling it to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on a house, regardless of how it looks or smells. They do not care about clutter or messes. You can enjoy a quick closing and spend the spring moving into your new home.

pros and cons of selling a house in the spring

The Pros and Cons of Selling a House in the Spring

Home » spring


It is often said that spring is the best time to sell a house. Indeed, March, April, and May are the most profitable and speediest months to sell property, in most markets. Every season has its pros and cons though. Keep these factors in mind if you intend to sell this spring or next.

Positives

1. Bidding Wars

In spring, buyers flood the market and competition is fierce. When several buyers are interested in a property, this sparks a bidding war. You then evaluate and choose the safest, sweetest, and fastest deal. Better still, if buyers continue to outbid each other, you stand a better chance of selling your house at or above its asking price.

2. Quick Sales

Spring sees a lot of action in real estate, and houses do not stay on the market long. Buyers want to close before the end of the season. This gives them the summer to move, when the kids are out of school and the weather is still decent. Their desire to close fast increases the likelihood that your house will sell sooner than later.

3. Curb Appeal

The sunny days and longer evenings trigger buyers to schedule several walkthroughs a day. When they drive up, the first thing they see is the exterior of the home. Assuming you take good care of the yard, spring brings lush grass, fresh foliage, and flowers in bloom. This enhances the look of the house and makes a great first impression on buyers.

Negatives

1. Competition

Competition in the spring market is fierce for sellers too. You compete with all the other houses for sale on the market. Thoughtful staging and constant cleaning helps your house stand out during walkthroughs. However, a house that needs repairs or is behind in maintenance, or maybe outdated, is often passed up by buyers.

2. Everyone is Busy

You are in a rush to sell. The buyer is in a rush to close. Any professional involved in real estate is going to be busy. This means there are tight windows for inspections, appraisals, and mortgage dealings. There is no time to drag your feet. If you get three offers on your house, choose a deal quickly and get the ball rolling.

3. Picky Buyers

Buyers are aware of the competition and how desperate sellers are to sell a house. They can, therefore, afford to be picky and make demands. They can ask you to make repairs or provide other incentives. Incentives include paying a portion of the closing costs, or the first year of a home warranty.

Sell to an Investor

If you want to forgo buyer negotiations, repairs and incentives, consider selling to an investor. Most investors will make a cash offer on a house regardless of its conditions. There are also fewer steps when selling to an investor. You can enjoy a quick closing and move out before the spring season is over.