Brian Vogt: Welcome back, everyone, to Ready, Set, Sold. This is your host Brian Vogt. Thank you so much for joining us this Saturday.
I want toactually kind of recap what we talked about in the last segment and in the first segment, and that was the importance of making sure you have your yard mowed on a weekly basis and if it’s springtime, well, that’s passed now, we have kind of strange weather. Sometimes you get in a situation of mowing it twice a week. That’s okay. Making sure that those shrubs and those tree limbs are done. One of the things I probably didn’t get a chance to talk as much about low lying tree limbs. People do not like to duck underneath tree limbs to get to your house. So, you want to make sure you have those taken care of, too.
So, you want to make sure that that yard matches what their expectations are when they walk into your house. One of the things that people sometimes fall into, and I want to kind of let you know you might want to avoid, they tend to want to add more landscaping. Most sellers have more, better success by either maintaining what they have or taking some away.
I mentioned in the last segment about the bushes that had grown up past a bay window, and the people couldn’t see. We’ve had situations like that, and the sellers have literally just pulled the bushes out. Either they’ve had somebody, in one case they had someone do it, in another case they’ve done it themselves, but they just pulled the bushes out and didn’t replace it with anything.
Mulch, is the word that escaped me in the first segment, but either by mulching it or putting rock down in front, it didn’t have the dramatic effect that people thought it would. Many times, and yes this comes from the east coast and the west coast, shows that they have on TV and they’re always talking about landscaping and spending tens of thousands of dollars.
We’re here at the Midwest, okay, and this is a different market. Different price points. Different everything. Another reasons why I wrote the book was because of that, because there’s just so much information out there that doesn’t pertain to us, not if you’re in the heartland.
So, by just pulling them out, simply pulling them out, putting some mulch down, in this situation it was mulch, had no problems with it. It gave the bay window the look that it needed, and that was a great thing.
Again, taking things out. Remember, buyers are looking at two things when they’re looking at your landscaping. They’re looking at number one is, is how much time is it going to take to maintain this? And number two, if they’re going to have somebody do it, how much is it going to cost me if I have all this landscaping to maintain? So again, landscaping is one of those things that it’s good to have, as I said earlier, if you have to pull some out, it’s okay. You can replace it, we’ve seen people also replace it smaller shrubs or whatever, and that’s fine too.
But one of the issues that the front yard can have is it can be too crowded. What happens sometimes, especially when a house was built, a new construction and different areas of of the country, whatever, and the new homeowners who build it need to do landscaping, and it’s not uncommon that since the bushes and that are so small that they kind of crowd things together, and all of sudden when they finally grow to maturity, they have five bushes combined into one. Again, thinning it out is never a bad idea. Adding to it is usually not the direction to go. Again, you’re adding that work and you’re adding that time that you don’t want to do.
The same thing goes into the backyard. The backyard is just as important. It’s nice if you have what you have and that’s okay, but we’ve seen people that, around decks in particular, all of a sudden get the idea that they want to start putting in bushes. And they’ve always wanted to do that, and maybe even along the fence lines and in different parts of the area.
Remember, those bushes, those whatever, shrubs, are going to be things that the buyers are going to thinking about that they’re going to have to maintain. And yes, they may be small now, but they’re going to be living here for the next five, seven, 10 years. They’re going to have to maintain it down the road. So, your backyard is just as important as your front yard.
Think of less, rather than more. Don’t be afraid. And talk with your agent, of course, but don’t be afraid of taking something out and not putting something back. In most cases, there’s already plenty of landscaping to start with, and thinning it out is usually a winning combination to do.
With that said, I kind of briefly mentioned about edging. But edging is just a wow factor. We’ve known sellers that had never edged their house before, or on the driveway and the sidewalk and maybe around the landscaping, but decided to do it, and it just gives buyers that little bit of a wow factor. Sellers were very happy they did it, because it just makes your house stand out a little bit more, the maintenance and the outside is going to match the conditions of the inside, and so it’s a winning combination with that.
Also think about trees. When I say less is more, on occasion, it didn’t happen too often, but you have occasions where the trees have grown to such that you can’t literally see the house, and that can be a problem. Not only for trying to get someone into it, because the agent’s going to have to take a picture of the front of the house at one time or another, and buyers want to be able to see what they’re going to buy.
So, that’s always kind of an important thing that you want to make sure. So, if you have a tree or two, especially the low lying ones, and I understanding that they may have flowering ones and they might be very nice trees, but keep in mind if they can’t see your house, they’re less likely to want to even go look at it. So, that’s why cutting down a tree or two, we’ve had sellers do that, and it’s opened up the entire area and has had a dramatic effect on being able to take the pictures and really showcasing the beauty of people’s houses. That’s really important with that.
The last thing on that is if you have dead trees, get them cut down, okay? Just get them cut down. If you have tree limbs, get them cut down, that are dead. Make sure you maintain that. I think most people know that, but I can’t tell you how many times that it’s going to come up that the buyer, number one, is going to say, “The tree’s dead. Why is it still there?” That doesn’t make much sense to the buyer.
But number two, if they do decide to move forward with it, that they’re either going to take that price off of that, what that tree would cost to remove and we talked out this before. Don’t think of one to one or even two to one cost. Most buyers are going to do three to five, and so we had a situation where again, maybe $1,000 is a smaller tree to get it taken down, the buyer offered $5,000 less off the top, just because of that tree. So again, not only is a good idea to get it taken care of because it’s going to be a problem down the road, even in inspections and what buyers think about it, but it can cost you serious money.
With that, we’re going to be going into the next segment, and that is the segment of picking up Fido, and picking up after Fido, and we’re also going to talk about those doggone litter boxes, too. We want to make sure we have those cleaned out, too, and that’s going to be the next segment.
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With that said, you’re listening to Ready, Set, Sold, and I’ll be back in a few.
Ready Set Sold with Bryan Vogt #19-02: Think of less rather than more when it comes to your landscaping
September 30, 2017