Setting up your home landscape for an open house sets up the first impression of your home, which, like any first impression, is very important for also setting the stage for the whole open house experience for a potential buyer in general.
We’re told not to judge books by their cover, but when it comes to real estate, your home landscape is something that every buyer is looking at very closely. It’s no accident that most of the time the first pictures featured on the MLS are photos of the front of a house.
How to Set Up Your Home Landscape for an Open House
Here are ways to set your home landscape up for an open house and make sure you’re setting the stage for a positive experience for potential buyers and creating a greater probability of selling your home quickly.
Clean it Up
Leaves on the lawn? Sticks and chards beneath the trees? Edging looking drab? All of these little details add up to the big picture for potential buyers driving up to your home or checking out a photo of the front of your house.
Make sure your grass is manicured, green, and as clean and clear as possible. Additionally, pay attention to any debris from trees, and how shabby your walkway is looking, or the paint job on your porch or doorway.
Cleaning things up has a lot to do with zooming in on the little details so that potential home buyers coming by for an open house have a positive experience from first look to every step towards the front door.
This can be somewhat difficult as a homeowner because you have been looking at your home as it is for such a long time you may not see what is seen by fresh eyes.
Enlist a friend or acquaintance who hasn’t lived in your home with you to come by and assess what they see – it won’t necessarily be the same thing as an entirely fresh pair of eyes like a potential buyer, but it’ll be much more objective than you or your family member assessing the details.
Address the Driveway
Your driveway is part of the landscape of the front of your home, although it often gets overlooked. If it needs a little love, consider making sure your driveway is looking in tip-top shape before you set up an open house. Although a lot of open house attendees will park on the street, some may be able to fit in the driveway.
Keeping the driveway clear, not lined with trash or debris or any storage-type materials, and making sure any trees or shrubs lining the driveway are manicured and not obstructing the driveway awkwardly (or dangerously) in any way sets up an entrance that is positive and a landscape that is functional and beautiful. These are things that open house attendees will be paying attention to, so pay attention to them first.
Get Rid of Weeds
This is sort of a no-brainer but something that needs to be addressed properly either way. Getting rid of weeds and creating as clean a line as possible in your landscape (both in the front yard and backyard) will help create a positive aesthetic experience for your open house attendees.
A well manicured, weed-less landscape automatically creates a sense of value, which, a sense of value in your property is probably one of the most if not the most important thing you are looking to instill in anyone coming to your home for an open house.
Flowers are a great addition to a landscape, both in the front of the house and in the back. Just keep it tasteful. Overdoing it in your landscape is just as much of an open house faux pas as staging your home with too much of your own style and flair. You want to keep things simple! Flowers that are inviting and classic and are generally the same height can create an atmosphere that is stylish but not overwhelming or too stylized.
Creating Pockets of Experiences
This applies more to the landscape in your backyard (unless you have a front porch). Use your landscape to create little pockets of experiences wherever you can. This includes your landscape creating a little inlet with a hammock or a landscaped pocket of your backyard that features a little firepit or grill.
If you have a pool, make sure your landscape highlights and accentuates the experience of swimming in your pool. A pool itself offers a great experience – a pool lined with beautiful landscaping is that much lusher and that much better of an experience in every way. This is incredibly important to keep in mind and take advantage of. Be smart about the experiences you do have in your backyard already and use landscaping to accentuate them even more.
You know better than anyone else about how the light hits the front and back of your house. When you are adding to your landscape, keep lighting in mind so you can keep the experiences of viewing a sunrise or sunset.
Even things like a deck can suddenly become a little experience pocket with some good landscaping. A wooden deck off the back of a house with a couple pots on it is a drastically different experience than a wooden deck with some beautiful furniture and a bit of plush landscaping surrounding it on at least one side.
You want to leave room still for the potential home buyer to add something to the landscape if they wish. The idea is to the mark on the experience scale by adding as little as possible. Too much going on in the backyard can clog things up and negatively affect the experience instead of enhancing it. Keep this in mind when you’re beefing up your backyard landscape!
Your landscape layout can create little pockets of experiences that add tons of value to your property, and, additionally, will make your open house attendees eager to engage with what you’ve created for them.
These experience options obviously vary by location. For instance, if your home is one of the homes for sale in Chicago, you may be focused on something a bit different than if your home was for sale in a different climate and area.
Setting your home landscape up for your open house requires the correct mindset before digging in. Keeping these tips in mind when you are setting up your landscape for the front and back of your home prior to an open house will make sure your open house is a success, meaning, it will attract qualified buyers and get you one step closer to closing.