Your landscape should appeal to the greatest number of buyers and be 'neutral' and free of extreme personal taste. Unless the yard is poorly designed or badly neglected, it's usually best not to replace the landscape. Identify particularly objectionable features and change or remove them.
In any landscape, shrubs provide the 'foundation'. Shrubs should be in scale with the home. This is particularly true of plantings close to the home. Cut back shrubs that cover windows or are taller than eaves. Shrubs that
completely cover walls should be thinned to show what's behind them.
No other element has as great an impact as a cool, green lawn. Remove weeds,
fertilize, water and over-seed if necessary, to make the lawn lush and healthy. Mow
and edge weekly.
If the lawn is beyond repair, replace it. Avoid the temptation to extend the lawn into all
corners with minimal space for plantings - this type of yard looks quick and cheap. If
possible, extend the lawn from side to side to make the space look larger.
Trees have been shown to add significant value to homes. They shouldn't hide the
house or cast dark shadows. 'Light and bright' are operative words here. Remove or
thin out lower limbs of over-grown trees. Higher limbs can be further thinned out to add
light to the landscape below.
If you suspect a large or 'heritage' tree is not healthy or safe, you may wish to have it
evaluated by a certified arborist. Disclosing the condition of potentially problematic
trees could help you avoid costly litigation.
Entry and Front Door
The front door and entry walk should be easily seen from the street. Remove or cut
back plantings that obscure the view. Add seasonal color to make the front door stand