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Proper landscaping is important when selling your home.

August 23, 2012|By Erik J. Martin, Special to the Tribune

A well-landscaped home can mean the difference between a speedy sale and a stagnant property that withers on the realty vine.

“If the exterior of the home is well cared for, buyers assume the interior will be as well and will go into the home with positive expectations,” said Jeffrey Kershner, managing broker and chief executive of Silver Crown Real Estate in Barrington. “Conversely, if the landscaping is not cared for properly, buyers often think that other areas of maintenance are slipping as well.”

A smart landscape design truly can get buyers through the door, said Fred Wacker, president of Lake Bluff-based Mariani Landscape.

“Just as when a person receives an expertly wrapped gift box from a well-known retailer like Tiffany & Co., you know you are looking at a good home when it presents well from the street,” Wacker said. “Many times, a thorough landscape cleanup, cultivation weeding and good maintenance practices will separate the subject home from its competition in the for-sale market.”

Design strategy

Home sellers Rich and Karen Yocius understand the importance of adding and removing landscaping elements to attract potential buyers.

Before listing their 19-year-old, two-story Wadsworth residence in April, they carefully updated the landscape design with potted flowers and fresh plantings, peppering in new begonias, petunias, dahlias, pansies, fuscia, and hibiscuses across their front and back yards.

“We already had a fairly extensive landscaping plan implemented around the perimeter of the house, including bushes, evergreens, small ornamental trees and a few planting areas in the yard. But we wanted to bring in more color, thin out overgrown plants and replace weaker species with heartier ones,” Rich Yocius said.

The couple received helpful tips from real estate pros.

“We’ve talked to agents and gone to open houses, and we notice the homes that pop with the right landscaping,” said Karen Yocius, who has meticulously watered and nurtured her fresh plants and pots during this hot and dry summer. “We know that it’s important to cycle old foliage out, put in new plants and care for them regularly. You don’t want to overdo it. I’ve seen homes where they plant too many bushes and things, which make it look overcrowded. You have to think about how the house looks to a potential buyer when they first walk up.”

Ashley Elizabeth Marrin, landscape architect with Homer Glen-based Bret-Mar Landscape, noted that quick and easy upgrades also can give sellers the most bang for their buck.

“The minimum considerations sellers should keep in mind… read on