Yard Staging Is Essential

Yard Staging, Curb Appeal & Pride Of Ownership Landscaping_3_-_50_Percent.jpg

You Won't Get A Second Chance To Make A Good First Impression

According to industry studies, a home seller has less than two minutes to capture a buyer's attention and the countdown begins from the moment the buyer drives up to the house. Within the first 15 seconds, a buyer forms impressions about a house that will influence everything else he or she sees once inside. So "setting the stage" begins right at the curb, outside the home.

In addition, many buyers insist on driving by homes BEFORE asking their agent to schedule appointments to visit. If your home doesn't "strike their fancy" when they drive by, an appointment will probably NOT be scheduled.

The decision of which home to buy (or visit) is based on emotion. People are attracted to homes of which they can be proud. How your home looks from the street must reinforce the perception that you are proud to have owned your home.

Consequently, the curbside emotional appeal of your home may determine if your home sells (or if appointments are even scheduled).

Enhance & Revitalize Your Home’s Landscape
An attractive, tidy & healthy landscape is an integral part of your home’s curb appeal. Landscaping is a practical and cost-effective way to enhance your home’s appeal.

Landscaping is one of the few home improvements that can actually add more value to a home than it costs to install. (Landscape-America.com)


For good curb appeal, your landscape should have:

  1. A healthy lawn
  2. Neatly edged & mulched plant beds
  3. Foundation shrubs & plantings that are in proportion with the house.
  4. Healthy trees located a safe distance from the house
  5. The property should be graded in a manner that directs the flow of water away from the foundation.

Your landscape should ABSOLUTELY NOT have:

  1. Large patches of moss where grass should be (Moss is NOT attractive and may be an indication of a problem)
  2. Shrubs or trees that are too close to (or touching) the house
  3. Shrubs or trees that are obstructing your ability to see from your windows
  4. Shrubs or trees that are encroaching on the street, sidewalks & walkways
  5. Large tree limbs hanging over the house
  6. Areas on your property that show evidence of water erosion

If you have a professional landscaper, you may feel that all of this is already being handled. However, standard landscaping services are usually limited to regular mowing, fertilizing, mulching, trimming and/or clipping.

A Healthy Green Lawn Will Put Green ($) In Your Pocket
A healthy lawn is an iconic symbol of American homeownership (aka The American Dream). The lawn is where homeowners are supposed to relax and where children are supposed to play. By having a healthy green lawn, you will be fulfilling an important expectation of most home buyers. Everyone yearns for a grassy area to relax & to play.

Trim & Prune.
Prune any branches that touch the house, obstruct windows or block paths. To reduce mold growth, keep plant material at least a foot away from siding.

If those attractive foundation shrubs and ornamental trees that you planted many years ago are now dominating the yard, touching the house, or overgrowing the paths and walkways, it's time to do some major pruning.

If they can’t be pruned in an attractive manner, it may be time to remove some of the trees and shrubs entirely. At some point, you may need to face the fact that even though your shrubs & trees may be large & green, you may simply have the wrong shrubs or trees planted in the wrong locations. If this is the case, it would be better to remove your oversized shrubs & replace them with more appropriately sized ones, (planted an appropriate distance from the house & walkways).

Not only will it improve the visibility and curb appeal but it is also “healthier” for the house. Large trees & shrubs located too close to the house drop sap, needles and leaves on the roof which accelerate the deterioration of the shingles and clog the gutters & downspouts.

Large trees in close proximity to a house are a major concern for home buyers. Falling tree limbs or falling trees are a considerable risk & liability. In addition, the roots of large trees can damage foundations and lift patios.

A “good landscape” will have the right shrubs in the right locations.

Mulch, Mulch & More Mulch.
Besides making your garden beds appear more attractive, mulching is a good gardening practice. Mulch retains moisture, prevents weeds and adds nutrients to the soils. Natural mulches like shredded bark are probably best. Try to avoid "exotic colored" mulches (red). The more natural looking the better.

Mulch can be purchased in bags (for small gardens) or in bulk to be delivered by truck & dumped in your driveway or yard. Mulching is a simple task that any homeowner can handle. The only tools needed are a wheelbarrow, a shovel & a rake.

Edge The Flower & Landscape Beds.
There's no easier way to make your yard look neat and groomed. Don't bother with the plastic edging; simply tie a string between two sticks and follow the line with a sharp, flat-ended spade pushed about 4 to 6 inches into the soil.

Power Wash Everything.
Cobwebs, mold and dirt accumulate on decks, patios, fences, trellises, eaves, windows and siding over the winter, but can be blasted away in an afternoon with a power washer. Just be sure not to get the water under the siding courses or in soffit vents, where the moisture can cause damage.

Plant Annuals.
Perennials are wonderful if you're building a long-term garden, but they are expensive and tend to have short blooming seasons. For color and impact, place low-care annuals like impatiens, petunias, begonias, and geraniums in beds. Potted flowers and hanging baskets can brighten dull spots in your yard, draw attention to features you want to emphasize or flank an entrance — and you can take them with you when you move.

Plant A Vegetable Garden & Keep It Tidy.
If you have a sunny corner, a small raised bed with decorative veggies such as rainbow-stemmed Swiss chard and bush beans, or fragrant herbs such as sage and rosemary, can suggest your yard is useful as well as pretty. But stay away from plants, such as corn, that suggest a barnyard, or plants that are prickly and prone to spilling out of bounds, such as summer squash and pumpkins. If you must have tomatoes, choose pretty, bush-style cherry tomatoes rather than the regular vining varieties, which need to be caged and are prone to unattractive wilts and fungal attacks.

Create An Inviting Place To Relax.
Place a couple of Adirondack chairs on the porch or in the yard
Besides being very comfortable, the Adirondack chair is an American classic. Adirondack chairs are emotional symbols of the “good old days” and conjure up fond memories of a simpler more relaxed time.

Another option would be to string a hammock.
Nothing suggests that "the living is easy" as much as a hammock. If you don't have two large trees close enough to install a hammock, consider purchasing a hammock stand.

READ THIS ARTICLE - Plan Ahead - Shoot Your Exterior Photos When The Time Is Right - Take Your Outdoor Photos When Things Are In Bloom

© Copyright Bill Boeckelman 2012


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129 Quick Tips
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Contact Info
Bill Boeckelman

Associate Real Estate Broker

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

6 Cedar Street
Dobbs Ferry  New York 10522

Licensed In NY and CT 914-681-5792 Specializing In Successful, Efficient, Problem-Free Home Sales

Contact Info
William Boeckelman

Associate Real Estate Broker

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

6 Cedar Street
Dobbs Ferry  NY 10522

Licensed In NY and CT 914-681-5792 Specializing In Successful, Efficient, Problem-Free Home Sales