Module 3 – Yard Maintenance

Chapter 13: Curb Appeal Services

Pre-sale yard maintenance typically focuses on basic services such as grass cutting, shrub trimming and snow removal.  Post-sale yard maintenance also includes those services but places an added emphasis on the overall appeal of the exterior of the property.  The real estate broker often looks for small improvements to be made to the landscaping of a property to improve the first impression a potential buyer.

When providing service for a post-sale property, contractors should assess the existing landscaping to address dead or dying vegetation, weeds or other items that may raise red flags with potential buyers.  If the existing landscaping is dead and/or dying, bids should be provided to replace the plants.  In many cases, brokers and clients may also be interested in livening up a dreary landscape using colorful flowering plants.  If current landscaping appears overgrown or to be unattended (i.e. missing mulch, overgrown plants), the contractor should provide bids to address these issues.  If bidding to plant vegetation that will require regular maintenance (i.e. trimming, weeding, etc.), bids should also be included to provide this ongoing service.  Watering services are generally handled by the broker, however, if existing sprinkler systems are deemed to be inoperable, bids should be provided to rectify this situation.

Lawns for properties in the foreclosure pipeline are often not up to the standards of the surrounding neighborhood.  If the lawn appears to be dead and causes the property to stand out from its peers, bids should be provided to re-sod or reseed.  Some clients may also be open to the use of products designed to essentially paint the grass green rather than install new grass.  It is a best practice to understand the expectations of both the client and the broker related to the use of these products.

Curb appeal is also not limited to the landscaping of a property.  If the residential structure or outbuildings appear to be dirty and could benefit from pressure washing, provide bids to complete this service.   Gutters should also be maintained and if clogged, bids for cleaning should be provided.