This post is a guest post by Brooke Niemeyer. Brooke is the Partnerships Manager at PolicyGenius.com. She has a Master’s degree in Journalism from New York University and her work is featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, TIME, The Huffington Post, MSN, FOX Business, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance and other publications.
You’ve probably heard the old adage — boost your home’s curb appeal and you’ll boost your odds of selling it. And there’s good reason for that.
“If the front looks like it needs work, it implies the interior hasn’t been maintained either,” Melanie Cameron, a Realtor at Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage in Wilmington, North Carolina, said.
So if you’re in the market to sell your home, working on the exterior is a good idea. Not sure where to start? The answer may come from kicking back on the couch, grabbing the remote and enjoying a few episodes of “Yard Crashers.”
Watching TV can help sell your home?
Well, sort of. Whether you want to just check out a few episodes or settle in for a good binge, tuning in to this HGTV series can give you inspiration on how to improve your property before it goes on the market.
Some extreme yard transformations have happened during the series’ 17 seasons. We’re talking yards turned enviable retreats, with putting greens, cabana bars and full outdoor kitchens. (There was even an episode where Matt Blashaw and crew turned a Las Vegas yard of dirt into a paradise with a waterfall, fire pit and custom barbecue.)
Not all of us can get ambushed by the “Yard Crashers” crew while shopping at our local hardware stores, so we have to do these projects ourselves. And, more than likely, you won’t want to do anything as elaborate as what’s on the show when you intend to sell. But you can still get inspiration for some easy modifications that can make your front and back yards more appealing to potential new owners.
Here are 7 of them:
1. Eliminate the Problems
“Pull up any unsightly weeds that you can and keep the grass mowed,” Jonathan Apart, a Realtor based in Dallas, said. “Anything that sticks out of the sea of green grass has got to go — large ant hills, tree stumps, even old yard gnomes could use a spit-shine or two.”
2. Get Out the Shears
Make sure the shrubs and trees are trimmed back when you’re ready to take pictures for your listing — and again when you start showing the house. After all, you want your home to be visible when potential buyers pull up.
“It only takes 15 seconds to form an opinion,” Cameron said. “That 15 seconds could be the amount of time it takes a buyer to park their car, get out and walk to the front door. They haven’t even seen the inside and they’re already deciding if they can see themselves living in the home.”
3. Decide What Can Go
Many people are xeriscaping their yard to cut back on maintenance and the expense of watering a big lawn. You actually see this all the time on “Yard Crashers” with the crew turning patches of lawn into rock gardens, filling parkways with gravel or ground cover, and even using stones to create a patio where lawn once was. Depending on the current state of your front and/or back lawn, a revamp is something worth considering. (Hey, you could even save on your water bill while waiting to sell.)
4. Add Something Special
Plant some flowers, put together an herb garden or replace old ground covers to add some character to the yard. Don’t have any space to seed? Consider adding a planter box or two instead. Or you could even use some of the wall planter ideas you see on the show, like the one where they hang old gutters on a plywood trellis and fill them with different herb plants.
5. Brighten the Space
Whether you’re adding new fixtures or updating the old ones, the lighting of an outdoor setting really makes a difference. And you can get creative here — think twinkly lights or paper lanterns.
“You may also experiment with different colored lights and different placement,” Alpart said. “Perhaps hang some [so they] shine down onto shrubbery instead of having all your lights be on the ground shining up. This will make your yard look like it has more depth, complexity and richness.”
6. Update the Chair Cushions
If you have lawn furniture out when potential buyers stop by, make sure any cushions on the chairs aren’t sun-faded or torn. Even if you’re taking these items with you, a little clean-up can look good.
7. Replace Cracked Pavers
If you’ve got a walkway, patio or other space in the yard with pavers, replace any stones that aren’t in good condition. That small job can easily improve the first impression.
Bonus Episode: One More Thing to Keep in Mind…
Remember, any updates you make to your home could mean you’ll need to adjust your homeowners insurance — even if you plan to sell. It’s a good idea to chat with your insurance agent or broker to see what they recommend so you don’t go underinsured. Better safe than sorry!