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Ready Set Sold with Bryan Vogt #14-03: Why spending tons on landscaping gives no return on investment

August 26, 2017

Bryan Vogt: Hey, welcome back to Ready Set Sold, I’m your host, Bryan Vogt. Hey,when you get a chance? Like us on Facebook, we appreciate that. We’ve been getting quite a few likes and we’d like to get a few more.
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So where I left you in the last segment was just talking about the outside of your home. And that goes back the appraisal process and a lot of that goes into, again, 5, maybe 6%. And what that covers is, it covers the exterior of your home. Your roof, it can have an effect on your garage. Any sheds, if you have an outside shed, that’s going to be a factor in that. Decks. Fences. Landscaping. All that has a rolled up into a very small percentage.
So it’s important for sellers to understand that, and that’s when we talk about the outside, it doesn’t mean that you don’t want to maintain it, it’s just that you don’t want to put more money into it, because the chances of getting that money back are slim and none. Rarely does that ever happen.
Had a situation not too long ago where somebody put in a $6000 fence about two months before they were going to sell their house. Return investment? Zero. Nothing. Nothing came back. Great fence, for the new buyers, it was really neat. But they didn’t get the return investment that they thought; they thought they would get at least something. If it is, it’s so marginal it’s not worth for most sellers to even add it onto to a value package to it.
Same situation with decks. Suddenly, they have these 50 year decks. We heard a story about a seller that had a deck. It was a wooden deck. Needed to do some upkeep. Maybe $1000 or so dollars to get it done. Decided, “You know what? I’m just going to go for it,” and they got a 50 year deck that was, I don’t know, $10, $15, $20 thousand dollars. I’m not sure what the price was.
And it was going to last forever. Well, that’s fine, but again they were moving in three to four months, and so again that value situation. The appraiser just isn’t going to give you that value. They’re going to give you very, very little value on that. So again, improving the deck as far as staining and getting it in great working order is a great thing. But replacing it outright, unless you just have to, especially with upgrading into something better, it’s not going to get you a return on value. It’s just not going to get you the money.
The same thing with landscaping. And again, I’ve seen some of them, yes, I watch them on occasion too, and they’re on the east coast and maybe they’re in Florida and that and they’ll be talking about how your landscaping is just terrible and you got to just pull everything out. Well, maybe there. But here, here in the Metro East, Columbia, Waterloo, O’Fallon, Shiloh, Swansea, Belleville, Carbon, Air Force Base, especially in the Metro East. It doesn’t. It just doesn’t.
Again, landscaping … a seller didn’t talk to an agent; didn’t do anything. Didn’t really particularly like the landscaping for whatever reasons, and tore it all out. Tore everything out and had it done, re-done and put all new landscaping in. Cost between $5000 to $6000; might have been higher than that.
I say that because if you’ve ever done any landscaping, I never knock landscaping, because I have done some landscaping. Dug some things out. It’s not a lot of fun, especially during the summertime, so I sometimes understand why those costs are the way they are, so I give a lot of credit to the people who do that work.
But having said that, they again, spent $5000 to $6000, they thought they were going to be able to get that monies back. Again, they didn’t get any of back. It’s not uncommon. With landscaping, what you need to be focusing on is if you have mulch. Get some mulch. Get some bags of mulch.
No big deal. If you have rock, you get some additional rock in there, you want to get those black spaces out, and of course you want to keep it trimmed up. And that’s important. So having it trimmed up is a really cool thing. If there’s something missing, if there’s something dead, of course you know you need to get that pulled out, maybe replace that. And that can be on a tree, or even tree limbs, you want to get those cut down too, because that becomes a concern for buyers.
Again, dropping tree limbs onto the house is never a good thing, so that creates that. So some of this is kind of common sense. So again, when you start looking at the outside of the home, you want to make sure that it’s trimmed up, that it’s making, that the mulch or the rock is in good working order.
The backyard, same thing. You want to make sure it’s mowed. You want to make sure those things, those basic things are done. Edging is always nice. But you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on landscaping or decks or fences or deciding you need to have a new patio put in. All these things that yes, we’ve seen sellers do. Not often, but on occasion, and then expecting a return on investment, because it just isn’t there, not only just because buyers are more in-clued to what is going on the inside of the home, that’s where the big value is, but also because of the appraisal in that situation there.
Hey, in our next segment, we’re talking about what if you don’t have that “extra” bedroom, that “extra” bathroom. What if you think you’re lacking something? What should you do? Well, first off, let’s decide if that’s really the issue and go from there and if you do think it’s the issue what you can do to make those improvements versus putting in an extra bathroom or bedroom.

You’re listening to Ready Set Sold with your host Bryan Vogt, we’ll see you in a bit.

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