Sunday, May 18, 2008

Landscaping for a Quick Sell and Move to Charlotte

Dear Rich,

I like your recent blog about updates to that house in Mint Hill and I wanted to ask your opinion on landscaping. We are not looking at selling our house right away…maybe a year from now. We bought a new house in Fort Mill (SC) and now are looking at moving closer or in the city of Charlotte, (maybe Mint Hill?)—potentially next spring. Since our current house is brand new, (two years in October) there isn’t much in the way of landscaping. I would like to do a little work on the yard over the next year that might increase the value of the home or our ability to sell it when the market is right.

Do you have any advice on what I can or should do that will be more attractive to potential buyers?

Also, thank you for this blog—I am finding it very helpful as I navigate property ownership now for the first time, and plan to move and/or buy an investment property in 2009.

Bill D.– Fort Mill

Dear Bill ,

Never underestimate the power of curb appeal! Almost every time a client dismisses a house before even walking in, I think: “It would have been so easy to add a few flowers and shrubs and this house could work!”

Too many people don’t see the outside of their home as a prospective buyer would. I recommend taking a look at your property with a fresh perspective. Try looking at your yard as you drive up to it—What is it missing? What have your neighbors done that you like?

Then think of a plan. Budget out what you would like to spend. Definitely don’t go to the garden store not having a plan! The worst thing you can do is show up at Home Depot or Lowes without knowing what you want to do. It can get very expensive, and you might buy plants that won’t work in your yard or where you think they would look nice.

Since you have a year, you may want to consider doing a bit of serious research first. You can even get a landscaping company to put together a plan for you (at a cost) and you can either do this yourself, or have them do it. A professional, (or carefully planned and researched) landscaping of your yard will definitely attract potential buyers—especially if you have a year or so to get the plants, shrubs and trees established.

Here are a couple suggestions:

1) Get drought-resistant shrubs when possible. They require less water, and given our recent drought situation, this is a smart investment.

2) Buy perennials. This will keep your upkeep costs down as you won’t need to buy more in a year right before you sell.

3) Mulch. mulch, mulch. Keep your flower beds and under your trees fresh looking and weed-free with mulch. Also mulch helps maintain moisture for the trees—another must when the dry-season starts.

If you do nothing else…keep the lawn in good shape with fertilizer and regular watering (when possible). Nothing turns a buyer off more than weeds and tall grass. It says that you don’t take care of your property, and they may not even walk through the front door when you put that “for sale” sign up.

Best of luck in the next year, and I look forward to hearing from you when you are ready to buy that home in Charlotte.

Rich Ferretti
Buyer's Agent - Charlotte, NC

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