Tuesday, April 5, 2011


By: Jeff Williams
Make a lasting first impression about your home with a healthy lawn and beautiful garden! When your home is on the market, landscaping (or the lack of it) can have a powerful impact on how prospective buyers view the “total package” of your home. Merchandising your lawn and garden enhances your home’s curb appeal — and can increase its value and improve its marketability.

Scraggly shrubs and bushes and bare patches of grass detract from your home no matter how nicely decorated the interior. Simple, inexpensive planting projects are often all it takes to perk up a landscape.

If you feel your lawn is not well-landscaped, hire a professional landscape designer to prepare a customized plan that you can easily implement before putting your home on the market. Or you might think about offering the buyer a gift certificate for professional landscaping.

Flowers for impact - Colorful flowers in your front yard also enhance your home’s curb appeal. If you’re short on garden space, brighten your exterior with pots of blooming plants or flowering annuals near your front entrance or along your drive, walkway or deck. In addition, a window box full of flowers is an inexpensive way to add an accent of color to your home’s exterior.

Mow your lawn - A healthy lawn is an asset — for more lushness be sure to water, mow and fertilize it regularly. Remove dandelions and other weeds that are visible and mow whenever your grass demands it. A good rule of thumb is to never cut off more than one-third of the blade at one time. For example, if the recommended height of cut is 2 inches, mow when your grass is 3 inches high. If the height of cut is 1 inch, mow when your grass is just under 2 inches. Keep crisp edging lines between your lawn, drive and walkways, and be sure to pull grass from between the cracks.

Foliage adds color - Trees, shrubs or hedges add a finishing touch to your landscape with color and detail. Plants come in several shades of green - add impact by combining different types. Keeping the foliage trimmed and pruned will also contribute to the overall well-maintained look of your home.

Take a picture - And, as the saying goes: A picture is worth a thousand words. If your home is surrounded by flowering or fruit-bearing trees, low-maintenance landscapes, and herbal or flower gardens, be sure to take pictures when everything is in full bloom. Photographs are proof of the breathtaking view of your lawn and garden and tell prospective buyers the full year-round story of your home no matter the season.

An investment that pays - Lawn and garden enhancements are worth the money because a well-kept exterior invites inspection of the interior. However, when merchandising your lawn and garden, be careful not to over-invest ... and be sure to follow the trends in your neighborhood.

Merchandising Tip

  • Put flowers or blooming green plants in pots near your front entry

  • Plant flowering annuals in your front yard to Enhance your home’s curb appeal

  • Mow, fertilize, water, rake and weed your lawn regularly

  • Edge between your lawn, drive and walkways

  • Remove dead leaves, limbs and other debris from lawn

  • Trim trees and hedges

  • Prune evergreens and shrubs

  • Put fresh bark or crushed stone around trees, shrubs or hedges

  • Put away lawn equipment and gardening tools

  • If you are an absentee seller, make arrangements for lawn care and snow removal

For more information on properties for sale in the Port Clinton, Catawba, Marblehead, Oak harbor areas, please call Jeff Williams 419-350-2925.

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