When it comes to selling your house in a challenging market as we are currently experiencing, first impressions can make all the difference, so they have to be good. One of the best ways to improve your home’s curb appeal is to spruce up the landscaping.

A quality landscape will frame your house to its best advantage and create a soothing and pleasing atmosphere in that first glance. Beyond the initial impression, an attractive landscape design provides a smooth transition between the yard and the inside of the home, and offers enjoyable views from the inside looking out. With so many properties to choose from and photos readily available on the Internet, that first impression takes on even more importance in attracting potential buyers and selling your home quicker.

High quality landscaping can increase the value of your home from 5 to 15%, by many estimates. A lot with trees can increase a property’s value up to 20% more than a lot without trees. So it may well be true that money does actually grow on trees. Many landscape improvements can fully return or double the return on expense when the house is sold. It is also an investment that will appreciate over time as the plants grow.

To attract potential homebuyers, assure that your landscape is tidy. Mow, edge and fertilize the lawn. Prune overgrown trees and shrubs, and clear planting beds of debris.

Next, consider adding color with flowering annuals or perennials. Plants of varying foliage color and texture will add visual interest and character, while a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees provide shade and year-round color. Many native plants are very colorful and require little maintenance and water. Converting to a drip irrigation system is another water conscious option. If you live on a busy street or your yard is exposed to the neighbors, a natural screen of trees or large shrubs can increase privacy and muffle outside noise.

If you plan to sell in a few years, you can save money by purchasing smaller plants now and waiting for them to mature. You will also be able to enjoy them yourself in the meantime! You may want to consider larger plants if you plan to sell in the near future.

Hardscapes such as decks and pathways can have a huge impact on the appearance of your house and increase the useable square footage of your property. Consider replacing narrow or cracked walkways, driveways and patios with concrete pavers or stone. These materials stand up well in our harsh Central Oregon climate and are easily repaired without needing replacement.

Quality landscaping also plays an important role for businesses and commercial property owners. It is a marketing tool that is working for you round the clock and is the first and last impression a customer or potential tenant will have of your business. An attractive, well maintained landscape will cast a reflective image on all other aspects of your business. It will attract shoppers or tenants and provide a pleasant working environment for employees.

Investing in your landscape is something you will not regret whether you plan to sell your home or simply want to enjoy it yourself. Extending your living area out of doors will undoubtedly improve your quality of life and create an area of calm in an increasingly hectic world. If you plan to sell, investing in your landscape can attract more buyers, hasten the sale potential, and help fetch your asking price.