A 2013 survey by the National Association of Realtors reveals that 71 percent of buyers consider curb appeal important, so sellers would be wise to invest in landscaping. Margaret Woda of Crofton, Md.-based Long & Foster Real Estate says kitchen renovations generally recoup 68 percent of costs, but landscaping could return as much as 215 percent. Sellers who undertake landscaping projects should consider yard maintenance, which involves removing dead branches and weeds; cleaning downspouts; ensuring drain pipes are buried properly; and fixing sidewalks and deck railings and steps. They should use pots of blooming flowers to draw attention to the front door, utilize bamboo or trees to hide trash cans or unsightly items in the neighbor’s yard, and consider evergreens as foundational plants because they do not lose their leaves in winter. Homeowners can create a backyard paradise by adding a fire pit, outdoor kitchen, or water feature. But the return on investment is low. They also should power wash lawn furniture and add new cushions. Sellers should not waste money on personal or unique landscaping features, mature plants, or stockade and chain-link fences. And, finally, they should keep it simple when it comes to planting. | Read More