Bad Landscaping Can Cost You
Big Time on Your Home Sale

In real estate today, the homes that sell
faster and for top current market value are
those that are properly prepared -- both
inside and outside.

What do I mean by properly prepared?

These days everyone has heard of "staging" and may understand some of the elements of the
stager's art. They include neutralizing colors, removing extraneous furnishings, depersonalizing
your space by limiting collections and family photos and a variety of other very important tasks. All
of that should happen PRIOR to putting your home on the market.

What your Realtor also should tell you is the brutal truth about your exterior. In particular,
landscaping that has overgrown will be a distraction for potential buyers. Bushes may be so large
that they keep buyers from evaluating your home's aesthetics or even its construction.

Walk around the outside of your home with your Realtor and discuss projects that should be
completed before your home is listed for sale. A neutral party's opinion very often will help you
see your lawn and landscape from a different perspective.

If weed barriers have broken down and you now have more weeds than rocks showing in your
outside decor, it may be time for some drastic action. The Bobcat pictured in this post is removing
25-year-old landscaping that had overtaken a home in Glen Carbon, IL. The owners decided to
remove everything from all four sides of the residence and start from scratch to give the home a
contemporary and fresh exterior.

Your issues may not require the intervention of a professional landscaping team and a Bobcat,
but they are just as important in the sale of your home. What should you look for?  This is not an
exhaustive list, but will provide you with a good start:

1.) Landscaping that hides your home's features must be severely trimmed or removed and
replaced. Think about including more currently popular plants in your design such as native
grasses, knockout roses and wildflowers and removing old-school bushes such as yews and
junipers.

2.) Deferred tuckpointing on chimneys should be repaired.

3.) Peeling or chipped paint is a problem. This is especially important if your home might sell to
someone using FHA or VA financing which requires certain fixes such as repairs to all peeling
paint.

4.) Weeds peeking up from driveway cracks should be removed, or asphalt driveways that need
to be re-sealed should be fixed.

5.) Scrutinize the area around your front door. Does the door need to be repainted? A potential
buyer will spent a lot of time in front of your door while their agent is opening the home. What will
they see?

6.) Exterior AC unit. -- does it need to be cleaned?

7.) How does your mailbox look? Maybe a quick paint job will help. If your mail box is in the shape
of a giant fish or a football helmet, perhaps you need to rethink that when your home is for sale.

8.) Do you have a fence that needs to be repaired or replaced?

9.) Everyone needs a friend with a power washer. You'll be amazed and how your porches, decks
patios and driveway will look after a good spritz from a power washer.

Above all, just try to look at your home through the eyes of a potential buyer. After all, you're in
competition with a lot of inventory these days, including new construction homes that have that
"new in a box" feeling. Show buyers how well your home has been maintained by sprucing up the
outside. It will pay off for you in the end result, which we hope will be a quicker sale at favorable
price.
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Goshen Realty Group is led by REALTORS Nancy Milton and Kristina Pratt. We are proud to be affiliated
with RE/MAX Preferred Partners in Edwardsville, IL.

RE/MAX Preferred Partners
One 157 Center
Edwardsville, IL 62025
618-791-8007 Nancy Milton, REALTOR/GRI
618-917-0775 Kristina Pratt, REALTOR/SFR

Copyright © Goshen Realty Group, Kristina Pratt & Nancy Milton, 2007-2009. All Rights Reserved.
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