Take a close look at your listing from the eye of a home buyer. Are the bushes overgrown around the front windows? Has the mulch all washed away? Is the paint on the shutters fading?
These are the questions Jon Coile, chairman of the multiple listing service MRIS in Rockville, Md., asks in a recent column at The Washington Post that aims to help sellers examine the exterior of their homes. Here are some simple ways to solve common curb appeal issues:
Stick to similar plant groupings. Aim for a continuous flow with a landscape. “It can often make small spaces feel much larger,” Coile says. To do this, select only few different types of plants for the landscaping, instead of selecting a wide variety. The majority of the landscaping should consist of similar plants so the landscape doesn’t look look broken up into too many different sections, Coile notes. Then, feel free to use a small number of accent pieces to add color and visual interest.
Use visual markers. Visual markers help draw buyers’ eyes from one end of the yard to another. “The easiest way to do this is to lay a path that subtly transitions in the same places the yard does, at slight changes in elevation or where shaded areas transition to open sun,” Colie notes. “If that isn’t possible, then a few strategically placed taller plants, subtle decorations, or lighting fixtures can create the same impression.”
Show off the entertainment value. Show grassy areas where kids can play safely as well as places where adults can socialize, Coile writes. Consider these features for an added touch to show the possibilities of a space: Fire pits and outdoor gas flames, outdoor speakers, or a wet bar near a grill.