If you are staging your home to sell it, you might have heard and read tons of advice about making the interior of your home more desirable to buyers. 

But, let's take a moment to consider how the area around your house can be part of your appeal. 

There's a sweet spot between having a manicured landscape full of blooming plants, various shrubs and medium to tall trees, and at the other end of the spectrum, a yard devoid of any interesting features. You want a home's surroundings to be attractive without it looking like a maintenance nightmare. 

Here are some steps to take to help you groom your landscape to impress any buyer.     

Rent a pressure washer

Does your landscape have paved areas, such as a driveway, walkway, or fishpond? These hard areas are usually made of concrete, stone, or brick, and because they are exposed to the elements they collect moss, algae, dirt, grime, or mold. They can be unsightly and even unsafe. Let's clean them up!

Some homeowners own power washers. If you aren't one of these people, no problem. The pressure washers that equipment rental businesses supply are usually much more powerful than homeowner models. With a good power washer, the work will go quickly, whether you are cleaning up a driveway, sidewalk, fence, wooden deck, or the front porch. 

Using a pressure washer takes some getting used to, so practice first on an area that isn't front and center. Soon, you'll get into the technique of moving the wand and find that it's very satisfying to see what a difference it makes. 

Renting a pressure washer is a wise investment.
Almost every home's exterior benefits from
a thorough cleaning. Photo: Consumer Reports

 Add a fence

I am a lover of fences. Fences can help define a property, even if they don't enclose the whole yard. A small fence around a flower or vegetable garden, a play area for children, a dog run, or a front yard adds function and value to a home. Fences can provide privacy, dampen traffic sounds, hide a utility area where you store trash receptacles, and discourage vandals. 

Depending on the style and material of your fencing, it can help define the style of your home. A fence can also settle boundary disputes and let buyers know the perimeter of your property. According to Home Advisor, a fence can increase a home's value by $1,500 to $5,000.  

Consult some pros

If you contact a local Extension Service representative (it's free!) you will know what plants thrive and what plants struggle in your locale. Then you should have a better idea of anything that should be pruned or removed. After that, you might want to consult with an arborist. An arborist is a person who is trained to take care of trees and shrubs to keep them healthy, attractive, and safe.  

He'll know what kind of pruning any larger trees need.  Small shrubs and bushes like hollies, privet hedges, barberries, yews, forsythia, arborvitae, and rhododendrons can be shaped the way you like them to grow. 

Flowering shrubs like hydrangeas and these azaleas
need to be pruned at the correct time of year for
them to bloom the following year. Photo: Encore Azaleas.

If you have invasive or non-native plants like a Bradford  Pear tree, honeysuckle vines, or English ivy, an arborist might suggest removing them, and he'll know how best to do that. 

Consider a lawn care service

Whether your home sits in a woodsy area and has a naturalized setting, or a suburban area where all your neighbors have perfectly groomed yards, every home looks better when the owners take good care of it. If care of your land, whether a large tract of farmland or the yard around a small cottage, is more than you can handle, it might pay dividends to hire the experts. 

A lawn care service can do more than mow your lawn. They can remove fallen branches, edge around walkways, the driveway, and flower beds, blow leaves, and grass clippings away, kill weeds, and top-dress your beds with fresh mulch. These steps make a world of difference!     

Finish with flowers

Flowers bring life and color to your property. That's important. But don't think you have to create new flower gardens, installing expensive drifts of daylilies, daffodils, geraniums, and roses. When it's time to sell your home if you don't already have existing flower beds, potted plants are the answer. 

Buy what is in season at your local nursery or garden center. Do that before you have the real estate photographer come and the listing goes live. Look for brightly colored flowers in a coordinated color palette, and include a variety of textures. Use impressive pots. They don't need to be expensive ceramic ones. Today's plastic pots look fine, the bigger the better.  

If you live where winters are harsh, you can still use potted colorful painted branches or seasonal decorations to add color to your entrance. 

Flowers near your entrance make your profile photo
more interesting and are a wonderful way to greet 
home buyers.Photo and tips on planting: from Start at Home Decor

Get the look, get the book

You can't afford to neglect your home's landscape before putting it on the market. Spending some time and cash are the right steps to sell your home faster and more profitably. 

For more tips on selling your home fast for a price you like, download my Homestaging eBook. It's filled with all the tips, methods, shortcuts, encouragement, and budget-busting ways you can make your house more competitive in today's real estate market.