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How to Sell Your Home in a Slow Real Estate Market

Posted Thursday, September 27, 2007

With the real estate market so slow at this time, you need to know all the tricks of the trade for selling your house. Landscaping is one of the most effective and affordable ways to help your home stand out from other houses for sale in your area. Increasing the “curb appeal” of your home with an improved landscape is one of the easiest “tricks” in real estate and one of the quickest ways to add resale value to your home.

Since you only get one chance to make a good first impression, you can add colorful trees, shrubs and evergreens, freshen the mulch and increase the WOW factor of flowers. Even changing or adding walkways, a patio, deck or water garden gives your potential buyer great ways to remember your home. Having nice, attractive landscaping welcomes them as they walk to the front door.

If a homebuyer is looking at a number of homes, you want your home to be one they are still thinking about later. Because plants that you add to your landscape continue to grow and mature with time, they continue to add value since so many people appreciate having good sized trees on their lot.

Beautiful trees and shrubs really make a house feel like a home. A tree that may only have a value of $100 to $200 when planted has a replacement value of $1000 in just a few years.

If you have already done the work for them, the potential homebuyer will see this as a huge advantage too. A home improvement project such as a bathroom update can return as little as 20% of the cost it took to do it. For example, if you were to spend $500 changing cabinets, faucets, etc., you might only realize a gain of about $100 in the overall value of your house.

This is also true for basement remodeling and similar types of upgrades. Even kitchens, which probably have the most ROI of any interior project, often return only 75% of the cost to do the work. With landscaping though, $500 spent can immediately increase the house value $500 to $1000 or more and continue to increase as the plants gain size and beauty with growth.

Obviously if kitchens and bathrooms need updating in order to really make the house saleable, they may need to be done just to get the house sold, but don’t expect to get nearly all the money spent back out of the changes that you can for exterior landscape upgrades.

A nice thing about a gardening venture is that you can either do it yourself or have a professional landscaper design and install plants, ornamental features and hard goods. You can decide when you want the project completed based on your budget, time factors of when you want the project completed and your other particular needs. Selling your house in a tough real estate market requires a great first impression to get the buyers in the door.
Remember that improving the outdoor living area of your home will not only create that great first impression, but might even raise your home’s sale price.