Thursday, March 22, 2007

Landscaping and Curb Appeal

The first thing buyers see when looking at your home is your front yard.  First impressions are quick and can be devastating if you have forgotten to focus on this area when getting your house ready for sale.  Some buyers will knock your house out of the running and will do a "drive-by" if they are not attracted to the initial view of your house.  Here are some ideas when preparing your house for sale, to create a great first impression!

1.  Don't hack down the mature trees!  They are so hard to find here in Phoenix and most buyers love mature trees.  Plus, depending on where they are placed, you can sell the fact that they provide shade on your house and reduce cooling costs in the summer.

2.  If you're in the market to re-vamp your front yard, think Low-Maintenance.  Most buyers don't want to get into a house that looks like they'll need gardening skills or continual upkeep to retain the look you've created.  Install irrigation systems and plant non-spreading vegetation.  Also, if you're looking to plant a tree or trees, choose a smaller or dwarf size, so that buyer's wont' be envisioning climbing the heights to prune the tree each year.

3.  Water features - everyone loves water features!  You can do this simply and economically by adding a ready-to-go fountain such as those at Lowe's or Home Depot.  Plus, Fung Shui principles say that your front door is one of the best places to add running water in order to bring good energy and opportunities into your house.  Reel those buyers in with water!

4.  Color.  Please, please, please don't go with desert landscaping that is all one color.  Yes, desert landscaping is low-maintenance, but oh-so-boring if your house is brown, your rocks are brown and your desert plants are brown or other pale shades.  The human eye loves depth and distinction and we are naturally attracted to sights that are interesting and not "flat".  There are plenty of grasses (not lawn grass) that are low-maintenance but that come in colors such as vibrant green, or my personal favorite - the purples!  You can always choose flowering desert plants that have bright yellow and orange blooms as well.

5.  Add shots of bright color and fragrance with in-season blooming flowers.  These are so easy to add, as the home improvement stores have them all ready-made for you.  You just have to place them in your yard.  Red is the best color flower to put by your front door for entrance appeal, but blooming flowers anywhere in your yard will add a feel of spring and life.  I'm sure this triggers some deep biological pleasure in us, that will entice your buyers to come inside and see what else you have in store for them!