You know what they say about first impressions: they’re everything. This is especially true when you’re trying to sell your home. Think about it this way, putting your home on the market is essentially setting your home up for lots of “interviews” with potential buyers. You would dress your best for an important interview, why not make your home look its best for its interview, too?
Even if you don’t really care how your lawn looks, it can make a huge difference to potential buyers, whether they realize it or not. Even if a buyer isn’t on the search for the perfect lawn, a well-cared for lawn can speak volumes to how the interior of the home is taken care of.
Just about every HGTV host will tell you that curb appeal is everything, and they aren’t lying! Though curb appeal has been a topic of discussion in the real estate world for years, the way it applies has changed. With online tools like Zillow, many buyers are looking at pictures of homes online before going to the property. Your home isn’t just competing with nearby properties anymore: it’s competing with everything on the internet.
So while curb appeal obviously isn’t everything, it is more important than ever. And one of the biggest parts of curb appeal is your lawn. It takes up the majority of the space and can either be a major turn off or something that makes your home stand out from the competition. Don’t let your lawn be the downfall of a potential sale. Read on to learn how you can utilize your lawn to create a lasting first impression.
Give Your Lawn Lots Of TLC
First things first, you’ll want to tend to that overgrown, weed-infested lawn and accompanying garden beds. Not only are they probably an eyesore to your neighbors, but your potential buyers won’t be impressed either. This is a quick weekend project that won’t cost you much if you already have some basic tools and gardening gloves. If you have any especially pesky weeds, consider some of these natural solutions for weed maintenance.
While we’re on the subject of cleaning up your lawn, don’t forget about the garden beds! Adding a new layer of mulch will not only help with weed suppression but will make your garden beds look organized and well-kept. Make sure to clean up any fallen leaves from neighboring trees and trim up those shrubs to promote growth and keep them looking their best.
Or, Plant A Lawn If You Haven’t
When my parents moved into their home, the first thing they did was plant a lawn because both the front and back yards were entirely dirt and rocks. Now if you live in a really dry place, you may want to stick with a low maintenance option like rocks. But you don’t want to be the only home on the street with a barren wasteland for a yard. Though it takes a bit of patience and diligence, growing a luscious, green yard is easier than you may think.
One way to start your project off on a good foot is to rototill your lawn. This ensures that the soil you’re growing your lawn on is aerated and ready for seeds. When it comes to the grass seed itself, you can pick up just about any brand at your local home and garden store. However, you’ll want to make sure to choose the right seed for your local climate and soil pH level.
Consider Lawn Edging
Lawn edging is one of the best ways to create a clean line between your lawn and driveway or your lawn and garden beds. It makes your yard look organized, well-kept and inviting to potential buyers. Not to mention, yards that have grass growing into the driveway can look messy and sloppy.
When it comes to choosing your lawn edging, you have a few different options. Brick and stone edging is long-lasting, easy to install, and can match the masonry that you have pre-existing on your home. The downfall is that its one of the most expensive lawn edging options.
Photo by Field Outdoor Spaces on Flickr
Spade-edging your lawn is the cheapest option but requires ongoing maintenance with an edging tool to keep it neat. Strip edging, on the other hand, is one of the most common options, given that it’s fairly cheap and you can choose from a variety of different materials.
Choose Low-Maintenance Perennials To Accompany Your Lawn
The key word here is low-maintenance. The last thing you want to do is scare off potential buyers because they’re overwhelmed by how much maintenance a large front yard garden is going to be. Perennials will stay around all year, adding some visual interest to your entryway. Some low-maintenance perennials to consider are hostas, coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, bellflowers, and lavender.
If you really want to go above and beyond, consider adding plant markers to your garden bed. Providing the sun and water requirements for each plant informs your buyers right away that everything is easy to maintain, which can potentially ease their mind about having to take care of plants.
Switch To A Lawn Alternative
If you aren’t especially thrilled with the idea of maintaining or growing a lawn, there are other low-maintenance lawn alternatives that can be appealing to buyers. Lawn alternatives like ground cover and ornamental grasses are more eco-friendly and low-maintenance because they don’t need consistent watering to maintain the perfect shade of green.
What buyer wouldn’t like to hear that their lawn will save them money on their water bill? Grass alternatives can also be quite beautiful, too! Here are some of our favorites:
Creeping Jenny Ground Cover
Corsican Mint Ground Cover
Photo by Leonora (Ellie) Enking via Flickr
Hardy Ice Plant
Photo courtesy of Leigha Staffenhagen
Turkish Veronica Ground Cover
Whether you’re getting ready to sell your home, or just want to spruce up your front yard for the holidays, giving your lawn some attention will pay you back tenfold.
Author Bio: Leigha Staffenhagen is the managing editor of Insteading.com, a homesteading and sustainability site focusing on everything from gardening and raising chickens to tiny homes and off-grid living.