Landscaping should be a key part of your selling strategy
A lot of homeowners and investors think about the landscaping at the end of a project. Some, don’t consider it at all. I talk to dozens of investors and there is a wide opinion regarding the importance, or lack of it when selling a property. Equally, as a realtor, I have talked with buyers and sellers and they to have a wide opinion regarding landscaping.
One common opinion from everyone
Regardless of who owns the property (investor or seller), there is one common opinion point. Something is better than nothing. And the same opinion exists with buyers. Some form of landscaping promotes interest in the house faster than nothing. And regardless if you are the seller or an investor, it is critical to achieve the lowest Days on Market possible. Simply put, the faster you get buyers to take notice and conduct showings, the better the chance to get it sold (and at listing price).
Three tips to give your house and yard some appeal
First, we are not landscape designers. So this is not about how to shape the yard, what trees to plant, whether or not to only use greenery or add some color, etc. as investors, and as realtors, we focus on what motivates people to purchase a home. And landscaping is critical. Even just getting things cleaned up can make a big difference.
Tip number one: clean it up. You can’t create beautiful landscaping overnight. And it is cost-prohibitive if you are looking to sell the house. Especially if you are a homeowner and not an investor. A yard that is covered in debris, toys, power equipment, outdoor gear, whatever space-space will detour a buyer. The first thought a buyer will have is “when I watch the inside going to look like?“
Tip number two: remove broken items. This may sound like it belongs with the “clean it up“ tip, but if you have a partially broken fence and pieces laying on the ground just pick it up and remove it. If you have planting boxes or other garden pieces and they are not in good shape – just get rid of them. None of these things will contribute to the sale and they will only distract a buyer from paying attention to the house and the general layout of the yard.
Tip number three: if you feel that you need to dress up the house and create that “curb appeal“ but want to avoid spending a lot of money, simple things can be done to create a better presentation. This tip may apply more to the investor than to homeowner, but in both cases putting a few plantings in will add some greenery if the front of the house is otherwise sparse. Buyers don’t want to look at a foundation wall. Or, add a simple bench with plantings to accompany it.
Of course, you can do more
These tips are not meant to replace a full landscaping plan. As I mentioned, landscaping design is an industry in and of itself. And there are experienced and skilled companies that do it. If you look at these three tips and determine if that simply isn’t going to cut it, contact your local landscapers. (Make sure they give you a referral or two so you can drive by and see their work.)
But what about tips for an investor?
As an investor, your entire focus is on achieving your net profit margin target. Accomplishing that target is based upon several factors all coming to alignment. The investment dollar being the most important, but holding time (which accounts for your carrying cost) is equally important. There are of course other factors, but let’s talk about how landscaping affects each of these.
To begin with, every real estate investment purchase for renovation and retail (otherwise known as “flipping“) should have landscaping money in the budget. This could be accounting for yard cleanup, tree removal, plantings, and hardscape being as well.
Any good and experienced investor will tell you that they know their buyer profile at the start of the investment. It’s not just about how much they can sell the house for, but who they anticipate to be the buyer. The buyer profile is as important as the property profile. The house cannot look more or less than the other houses it is being compared to. Whether that is on the same street or in the general neighborhood. So plan your renovation with landscape capital accounted for to keep your property comparable and/or, more appealing to draw in buyers if you are selling the property in a competitive market.
Selling a house is more than a listing
When it boils down to it, selling a home is more than listing it on the MLS. It is a comprehensive strategy for marketing, pricing, and creating buyer appeal. Landscaping should not be an afterthought. Any good realtor will tell you that what draws buyers in are the photos they see online, but what keeps them walking in the door can often time be the presentation of the yard itself. Not all buyers can see past what’s there to worry can become. Help the buyer envision their world, not the seller.
If you have any questions, or would simply like to chat about investment strategies or how to sell a house – give us a call. We’re always happy to help even if it’s just to answer some questions.