In a tight real estate market, a home seller needs every advantage possible. First impressions from front yard landscaping set expectations for the interior of your home. Overgrown bushes, weeds pushing up through cracks in the driveway, and dead piles of leaves and twigs tell a buyer you don't care about the house. Buyers look for reasons to come up with the lowest offer or not make an offer at all. Don't let the front yard be the reason for a low offer.
Guide the potential buyer's eye from the street to the entry way. Provide a visual pathway that directs visitors from the street to the front door. An unclear entry way leads to confusion. Confusion is not a positive way for buyers to feel about a property.
Set the visual pathway. Buy two large containers, at least 24 inches in diameter. Plant each with the same assortment of flowers and a standard rose tree.
Plant that same assortment of flowers and a standard rose tree by each end of the front walk at street level, and two more about 10 feet from the entry way on the path to the front door.
Place the two pots on either side of the front door. (And while you're at it give that door a fresh coat of paint.) The blooming flowers and repetition of the rose standards direct the eye from the street to the front door.
Create a focal point for the front yard through landscaping. Plant a circular flower bed with brightly colored annuals. Add a birdbath in the center. Off to one side plant a tree. Underneath the tree add a bench.
Screen unsightly views. Seeing an ugly worn down storage shed in your neighbor's yard or a stack of garbage cans on the side yard gives an unfavorable impression of your property. Even though the items may not be in your yard, a buyer might think they are. Plant a row of bushes to block the view or hide it with lattice work that has been planted with vines.
Emphasize the positive. If the house has beautiful bay windows, draw attention to them with flowers underneath the windows. Show off a front yard patio by encircling it with shrubbery and a tree on either side for shade.
Look at your front yard through new eyes. Drive up to the curb and get out of the car. What is your general overall impression?
Make a list of what needs to be trimmed, freshened or completely discarded. As you finish each task, check it off the list. You won't forget anything and each time you check something off it will give you a feeling of accomplishment.
Obtain the needed supplies. It's a waste of time to get ready to trim shrubs and find out the hedge clipper doesn't work, or the rake is broken and there aren't any garbage bags for clean up.
Remove weeds. Trim back bushes. Prune trees. Mow, edge and fertilize the lawn. Rake debris from gravel. Work from the street back up to the house. That's how a potential buyer will see your front yard.
About this Author
Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on GardenGuides.com, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.