Yes, here we go again with first impressions. There’s only one you can make, so.. We’ve talked about how important staging the inside of your home is. The outside is equally important, as it’s the very first thing anyone will see in a showing. This means your yard and anything viewable on your property will be heavily scrutinized.

Let’s start with the obvious. The last thing anyone wants to see anywhere at any time is trash. If raccoons prowl your yard at night, it’s likely that they have strewn unsightly garbage around. Pick up any refuse in and near your yard. A buyer’s view does not stop at your property alone. Sights around your own place can matter also. So do yourself (and the earth) a favor and collect all trash in your vicinity.

Now, that’s probably the worst of it. Moving on to more savory improvements. The yard should be mowed on a regular basis. At any moment someone could ask to see your home, so don’t put that off – grass grown to the knee screams snakes and ticks, and generally looks like you don’t care. If a potential buyer drives by without an appointment, rest assured, they won’t make one.

If there’s landscaping anywhere on the premises, make sure it’s been recently tended. Weed flower beds. Trim hedges. Water the lawn and fertilize it. If you don’t have anything planted, you might want to consider it; some color and texture from flowers and shrubs can make a huge difference in the appearance of your home. Even a few hanging baskets or a couple of pots right by the door will add just the right splash of color. If it’s not the right season to plant or if plants exceed your budget for staging, make sure what you do have to work with is impeccably well maintained and you’ll be set.

Storms, animals, and other attacks from nature can leave debris in your yard. Remove branches that have fallen and keep leaves raked. Fruit and nut trees can be a nuisance when people stroll through your yard for a quick look. Try to keep walnuts, crab-apples, and any other large tree-offerings picked up so no one breaks an ankle. If you have a dog, pick up after it.

Here are some other tips for a beautiful yard:

  • Keep fences in good repair.
  • Keep yard ornaments to a minimum. Swings, gazing balls, etc should be in good condition. Keep trash cans around the back so they’re not the first thing to be seen.
  • Wash the outside of the actual house and any out building you have on your land.
  • Touch up paint here and there as needed to make everything look as fresh and vibrant as possible.
  • Dress up your porch with a welcome mat and wreath.
Basic upkeep is all we’re talking about here. There’s not necessarily a need to go bonkers sprucing up your yard at the last minute. A neat and tidy view from the driveway to the house will more than suffice for making a good impression.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.