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Ask McEnearney: When preparing my home to sell, how important is landscaping?

This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Hope Peele of The Peele Group and McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact The Peele Group at 703.244.6115 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: When preparing my home to sell, how important is landscaping?

Answer: This is a great question, and one that many of our sellers ask. After all the time, energy and money spent on getting the inside of the home ready, many sellers do wonder if they really need to spend more on the yard. Well, the answer is yes! Curb appeal is a huge part of selling your home!

How a buyer feels about your home starts the minute they drive up and park. It can even impact whether they decide to come in at all. We have had buyers tell us they don’t need to go inside, that the yard says it all, so “let’s head to the next house”.

Beautiful colorful tulips in front of a lovely home.

The yard and the front of your home can often evoke emotions for the buyers, and those thoughts and feelings will set the tone for the rest of the visit. Those first impressions can be the start of an attachment to a home, or the opposite. So, it’s important to do all possible to keep it positive. Positive buyer emotions can often override rational decision-making, even causing buyers to increase how much they thought they were willing to pay for a home, which is even more reason to make sure the first impression is fantastic.

According to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors, 92% of Realtors surveyed suggest that their sellers improve curb appeal prior to listing a home for sale. Landscaping is a major part of a home’s curb appeal, and investing in your property’s outdoor spaces is a smart move if you’re looking to sell. Your Realtor can help you decide what needs to be done, and suggest contractors to assist with landscaping, power washing, tree maintenance, and more.

Here are our top tips for getting the exterior of your home ready for sale.

  1. Mow the Lawn: Mow the lawn just before your Realtor takes the professional photos, and then mow it regularly right up until the sale is complete. If you have a next-door neighbor with an unkempt yard, you may even want to offer them a mowing or two.
  2. Add Some Color: Flowers and plants are a great way to add pops of color to your yard. Choose plants that are native to your area and are suitable for the amount of sunlight and moisture in your yard. Plant them in well-defined beds or pots to create a focal point and add visual interest.
  3. Define Walkways and Flower Beds: Clearly defined walkways and borders can create a sense of order and structure in your yard. Use pavers, stones, or bricks to edge the walkways, and stones or timbers, to edge your flower beds.
  4. Invest in Your Front Entrance: This is the focal point of your home’s exterior, so make it inviting and appealing. Make sure the paint is fresh and you may want to consider a bold color for extra pop! The door knocker and mailbox should look newish, and we always suggest some potted plants to create a welcoming entrance.
  5. Get Rid of Clutter: Put the garden tools, toys, and other items in the shed or garage, and avoid leaving trash or debris lying around. All outdoor furniture should be clean and well-maintained to create an inviting seating area. If you have an umbrella, put it up for photos and showings.
  6. Prune and Trim: Make sure to remove dead branches, shape all shrubs, and trim trees away from your home and other structures.

By investing in your outdoor spaces, you can make it more attractive to buyers and set it apart from the competition. So, if you’re getting ready to sell your home, be sure to take a close look at your landscaping and consider making some improvements — it could be the key to a successful sale.

If you’re looking for some awesome ideas to spruce up your home’s landscaping and gardening, join us this weekend, April 14 and 15, at the American Horticultural Society Spring Garden Market at River Farm, sponsored by The Peele Group. It’s going to be a fun-filled event with loads of plants, flowers, and gardening goodies to check out. Get inspired by chatting with fellow plant lovers and picking the brains of expert horticulturists. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to jazz up your outdoor space — see you there! For information and tickets visit:

Hope Peele is a licensed real estate agent with McEnearney Associates, Inc. in Alexandria, Virginia. She grew up in Old Town and currently lives in Del Ray. As a partner with The Peele Group, Hope is dedicated to guiding her clients successfully through the many-faceted process of buying or selling a home. Contact Hope at 703-244-6115.

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703.5499292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

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