First impressions matter—and when you're selling your house, there's nothing quite like the vision of a manicured yard to really wow potential buyers. Like staging the inside of your home, staging your yard takes time, effort, and a little bit of money. But your hard work is sure to impress, and the payoff can be a fast offer.
Here are some of the best projects you can do to stage your yard and get ready for an open house.
Clean up the lawn and landscaping
Imagine rolling up to an open house and seeing an overgrown lawn that's littered with weeds—not exactly appealing, huh? If you have a lawn, it's one of the first things potential buyers are going to look at, so it's critical to cut it and keep it neat every time you're about to show your home.
In addition to your lawn, Katie McCann, an organizing expert with Maeve's Method, recommends weeding and watering your flower gardens, pruning the shrubs, trimming the hedges, and sweeping away dead leaves.
You should also clean up the front stoop by removing cracked planters and pots with dead blooms.
If your porch, driveway, or the pathway leading to your house is coated with dirt and stains, you can get rid of it with a few hours of power washing. Most power washers can be rented from your local hardware store for about $60 per day.
Clear the clutter
Make sure the outside of your home looks as tidy as possible. Clear old newspapers from the front stoop, and pick up any litter you see around the yard.
"Don't forget to stash away any kids' toys you find on the lawn, and always park your cars in the garage," McCann says. You want to highlight your home—not your random belongings.
Add some color
Head to your local gardening center, and pick up some pretty annuals to plant in window boxes, in your garden, or along the edge of the driveway. If you don't have much space for planting, install a few hooks on the eave and hang some plants.
To hide the dirt around the fresh new blooms you planted, lay down some mulch.
"Dark brown bark chips give your yard an inexpensive boost, so spread it in flower beds and wherever else dirt and weeds are exposed," says Lisa Gulliver, owner of Showhomes Home Staging in San Diego, CA.
While you don't want an explosion of toys and other kiddie clutter in the yard, you can still stage your lawn to look attractive to buyers with children.
"Kids can be very persuasive when it comes to a sale, so make the yard enticing—it can get a potential buyer with children excited about living in your home," says Gulliver.
If you already have a swingset, clean it up. Fill an empty space in your backyard with a pingpong table or cornhole boards. Organize a neat row of parked tricycles and bikes.
Arrange an area for backyard entertaining
Show off your deck or patio by setting up an inviting outdoor furniture area. Create a focal point near the grill or under a tree with a picnic table, chairs, and an all-weather umbrella. You could even set the table with a cloth runner and attractive lanterns.
And don't forget accessories, says Gulliver.
"Decorative pillows on outdoor furniture add a pop of color and create a festive atmosphere," she says.