Landscaping Mistakes

That Make Home Buyers  Walk the Other Way

Sure, man-made ponds and water features can help create a relaxing outdoor space, but they can also attract insects, such as mosquitoes. Plus, it takes work to keep them well-maintained—work potential buyers might not be up for.

Some invasive plants may look pretty, but they are definitely a turnoff for home buyers, as they can quickly take over a yard or garden. Plus, they often destroy native, more beneficial plants. Invasives can be costly to control.

While the right tree may offer shade in your landscaping, big trees too close to the house can be a red flag. Overly large trees may cause buyers to worry about damage during storms. Plus, tree removal can be pricey, with extreme projects costing as much as $2,000.

A healthy lawn can be a plus when selling your home, but there can be too much of a good thing. For some potential homeowners, a huge lawn may be overwhelming. Since not all home buyers enjoy doing yard work, big, open lawns may mean an investment in time and energy they just don’t have to offer.

A fire pit can be a draw for buyers who love backyard entertaining, but a poorly made fire pit can be a definite put-off, not to mention a fire hazard.

Too many annual flowers may cause buyers to walk the other way. Since you must buy them each year, annuals can be expensive and a lot of work to maintain—especially for a novice gardener. If you have large flower beds, consider swapping your annuals for a few native perennial plants or shrubs.

A lawn full of brown spots from your dog could make some buyers think twice, as it may say you don’t bother with upkeep.

With more homeowners turning to organic ways to keep their landscaping lush and healthy, chemicals, such as herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers, are a no-no for some buyers.

Cracks in your home’s concrete patio or walkways aren’t just unsightly, they can be dangerous. They can also be costly to fix, with HomeAdvisor estimating the cost of filling smaller holes or cracks at $100, if you do it yourself.

Some feel using unconventional containers adds humor or a unique touch to the yard. Think of an old clawfoot tub upcycled into a small flower bed. This style just doesn't appeal to everyone and can be off-putting.

For those thinking of selling their home, a messy or unkempt yard may give potential buyers a bad first impression. For sellers, be sure to mow regularly, weed flower beds, and keep the yard clutter-free.