Spring is here, and that means the best time of year to sell a home is almost upon us. As a result, many people are working frenziedly to get their homes ready to list, but a lot of them make the mistake of concentrating on the inside of the home. The outside of your home – the curb appeal – is what creates that critical first impression. Many buyers have already made a subconscious decision not to buy a home when the outside isn’t appealing. So check out our springtime gardening tips for home sellers in Alameda County.
The first of our springtime gardening tips for Alameda County home seller doesn’t really involve gardening at all. But it may be the most important tip nevertheless.
Listen to what the real estate pros have to say: “Many buyers will drive right by a home where the landscaping is neglected and never see all that fresh paint and interior improvements. All that hard work you just did to stage your home to sell will never be seen. The impression you leave a potential buyer when the yard is not maintained instills a fear that the house may have issues. Don’t be a drive-by!”
Buyers rely heavily on their emotional response to a home. And that means homes with beautiful, inviting outdoor living spaces will appeal to them and call them in to see more. You want buyers to be able to visualize spending time in your yard or on your deck enjoying the summer weather. Your yard and gardens should look ready to enjoy.
You probably know that you need to mow. But do you really know how it should be done in the springtime for the best results? No? That’s why we’re including among our springtime gardening tips for home sellers in Alameda County some tips on how to mow correctly.
If you want a beautiful, lush lawn that will appeal to buyers you absolutely must avoid scalping it during this critical growth period. First, the gardening pros say, always avoid mowing when the grass is wet; “otherwise, you risk leaving unsightly ruts or clumps of wet grass that can smother new sprouts. In terms of height, 3 to 3.5 inches is accepted as good for most grasses, and you should never cut more than one-third of the grass blade during one mowing. Since the root system of a grass plant grows proportionately to the above-ground parts of the plant, a longer cutting height results in a stronger, deeper root system.”
You also need to fertilize lawns and plants and shrubs during the springtime active growth period. “Fertilizer works best when applied during active growth periods, but not in the heat of summer.” So now is the time to fertilize.
Most off-the-shelf fertilizers contain a mix of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. The ratios of these three nutrients can vary, but a common one is 10-20-10. You should probably consult the pros at your local lawn and garden supply or local landscapers to get just the right mix for your lawn and plants. They are usually eager to share their Alameda County gardening tips.
Tackle Seeding Projects
Another important one of our springtime gardening tips for home sellers in Alameda County is that you should tackle all those seeding projects now. Again, though, you have to do them right.
The key element, according to the pros, is to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. You can’t just throw the seed out on top of the ground. In addition, you need “to purchase a seed blend or mix that matches your current plant community.” A good place to find out about this is your local Alameda County nursery.
While not strictly one of the gardening tips, this one is still important for a healthy buyer-attracting lawn. And that is to dethatch (or scarify) your lawn in the spring.
This is a procedure that removes the layer or mat of dead grass and other debris that collects on your lawn. A thin layer of this thatch (approximately half an inch thick or less) is good for your lawn because it helps hold moisture in the soil and can smother weeds. Botany thicket than that is bad for your lawn because it can trap and promote the growth of bacteria and fungi.
Remember to Water
You may be surprised to find this as one of our springtime gardening tips for home sellers in Alameda County, but it’s a good one nevertheless. Even though spring is the rainy season, the rain typically isn’t optimal for plants. Spring’s erratic downpours, those hard and heavy rains, often run off more than they penetrate deep into the soil.
Lawns and other plants need to be watered about three times per week and watered deeply to encourage deep root growth. When those roots go deep, the plants can withstand summer’s heat and drought much better. Make sure to give everything a watering of at least a third of an inch. If you keep an eye on your rain gauge, you’ll know how much to water to supplement the rain.
Finally, keep in mind that these are just basic springtime gardening tips for home sellers in Alameda County. You will also need to know exactly what kind of landscaping and gardening appeals to buyers in your area. Your local real estate agent can help you out immensely here.