5 DIY Landscaping Ideas for FSBO Sellers

Summary: It’s not uncommon for sellers to spend money to make more money. There are a handful of remodeling projects and upgrades that can increase the value of your home. Outside of addressing common issues in your inspection report, consider investing in a few popular home upgrades before you put your home up for sale.

In a Zillow housing trends report from 2016, the most common repairs and upgrades included exterior and interior painting, renovating at least one full bathroom, improving curb appeal, and landscaping. Compared to all other home reno projects, landscaping has one of the best ROIs for home sellers that doesn’t require paying for professional help.

5 DIY Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Curb appeal is everything. When a prospective buyer drives up to your house, it will take them a tenth of a second to form an opinion. If that opinion is negative, it won’t matter what the inside of your home will look like. If you’re selling your home without a listing agent, you’re already planning to save 3-6% commission, so why not save more with a few DIY curb appeal projects! Here are a few DIY landscaping ideas for FSBO sellers like yourself:

Landscaping Ideas for For Sale By The Owner (FSBO) sellers

No lawn? No problem! Going lawnless is not a listing “death sentence” despite their prolific presence across the country. Lawless landscapes are more cost-effective, require less maintenance, and less water. If you have a dying lawn or thinking about installing one, think again. There are endless possibilities influenced by high desert communities across the country that you can do yourself.

FSBO Tip 1: Exterior paint also has a profound effect on your home’s value. Read our latest blog to learn what colors have the highest impact on asking price.

Xeriscape landscapes encapsulate the most popular lawnless landscaping trends perfect for sellers living in water-restricted counties in states like California. Xeriscaping heavily borrows from desert biomes by using both native and adapted species that thrive in extreme low-water environments. Even if you aren’t a fan of small house succulents, fear not. There are hundreds of arid plant species to choose from and mix-and-match.

Southwest-style landscaping is one of several different xeriscape landscape styles. This style of landscaping borrows heavily from Native American and Spanish decor and design. Terracotta tiles, red clay pavers, and crushed gravel are a few popular Southwest landscape materials. If you have drainage issues in your front yard, you can incorporate French drains with a dry creek bed motif.

FSBO Tip2: Always remember to remove dead or dying foliage or grass and trim any overgrowth the day before your open house.

Modern Coastal-style landscaping also incorporates drought-resistant perennials and is ideal if you have a shrubbery affinity. This style of landscaping combines Minimalism themes with a mixture of coastal grasses and succulents. If your yard is sloped, Modern Coastal landscaping plays well with cantilevered concrete steps, which appear to “float,” square concrete pavers, and retaining walls.

Staying native is recommended if you want to attract more conservative buyers who want to blend in with the surrounding environment. This style will naturally depend on your location, so if you need ideas, speak to a local horticulturist or even a local real estate broker. Although personal tastes vary, more buyers will appreciate climate-specific landscaping because it tends to use appropriate levels of water. Lower water bills are a great selling point whereas atypical maintenance may be a turn-off.

The cheaper and easier to perform generally yield the greatest return on investment. Even though you won’t be paying for labor, you will be paying for supply costs. Before you begin, research the costs of supplies and materials as well as research what’s in style in your particular market. Keep in mind that larger landscaping projects like ponds or expansive pergolas may only be appealing to a narrow target audience. In addition, check your HOA bylaws, if applicable, to make sure your projects are approved.

DIY vs Professional Landscaping Costs & Savings

Results from a 2016 Turf Magazine survey showed landscaping investments increased home values by as much as 11 percent in markets like South Carolina, to name a few! But to understand the total value of your DIY project, let’s take a look at what you could spend hiring a few professionals

According to HomeAdvisor, the typical range for simply hiring a landscape designer varied from $2,000 to $6,000. The national reported average for a designer was $4400, which doesn’t begin to cover the costs of labor and materials. Typical projects like adding a pathway (without grading and leveling) costs a national reported average of $3200 whereas smaller projects like resealing a deck can cost as little as $300.

Keep in mind that the return on investment for common upgrades and remodeling projects depends heavily on your geographic market as well as what’s in style. More than likely, your target buyer is also simply looking to minimize initial move-in costs. In addition, larger landscaping projects like ponds or expansive pergolas may only be appealing to a narrow target audience. Remember: your potential buyers have their own ideas in mind, especially with smaller, more confined yards. Before you begin, it’s important to research supplies as well as popular styles.

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