Curb appeal is critical for homes on the sales market, according to the Appraisal Institute, which stresses that landscaping should not be forgotten. In addition to lawns, trees, bushes, and flowers, sellers should give special attention to decks, patios, fire pits, swimming pools, and outdoor lighting. Properly maintained, these amenities can boost property value. “If a landscaping change is positive, it can often enhance price and reduce a home’s time on the market,” notes Appraisal Institute President Richard L. Borges II. “But if the change is negative, it can lower the price and lengthen the time a home remains for sale.” Factors to consider, he says, include whether the landscaping is appealing enough to make a house-hunter want to see the inside of the home as well; whether the landscaping is energy-efficient and offers cost savings; and whether trees are healthy, well-maintained, and planted a safe distance from the residence in order to prevent fire hazards. | Read More