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Poor Landscaping Can Decrease Property Value by as Much as 30%

Trees.ComPoor Landscaping Can Decrease Property Value by as Much as 30%

by Staff – last update on 

Key Findings

  • 78% of real estate agents say poor landscaping and hardscaping negatively affects property values
  • 59% of real estate agents say trees are the landscaping element that adds the most value to a home
  • Adding one healthy tree can increase property values by 30% or more, according to 1 in 5 real estate agents

Home prices in the U.S. surged within the last year, the result of pandemic-related relocations, low mortgage rates, and a lack of new and existing housing inventory.

According to Zillow, the median home value in the U.S. is $303,288 as of August 2021, a 17.7% increase from 2020.

However, according to a new survey of 1,250 licensed U.S. real estate agents, there’s one way to decrease a home’s value—neglect your home’s landscaping and hardscaping.

3/4 of Real Estate Agents Say Poor Landscaping, Hardscaping Negatively Affects a Home’s Value

There’s no question that landscaping elements like trees, grass, and flowers add a lot of visual appeal to a home, but just how much does their absence affect what a home is worth?

According to 43% of real estate agents, poor landscaping has a “very” negative impact on a home’s value. Another 35% say it will “somewhat” impact how much a home is worth.

Real estate agents have differing opinions on exactly how much a home’s value decreases with poor landscaping. Twenty-four percent say a home’s value decreases by 10%, while 22% estimate the value decreases by 20%. Eighteen percent predict that a home’s value drops by 30% or more if the property lacks an appealing landscape.

Much of it has to do with perception, according to real estate broker Kimo Quance, owner of the Kimo Quance Group in Santee, CA.

“Landscaping provides potential buyers with a first impression of your home,” Quance says. “When they observe a neglected lawn, or a home without any additional curb appeal, potential buyers immediately get the idea that the home was not well-maintained. They set a value of the home in their mind based on that, and it’s usually not a good price. On the other hand, a neat, clean lawn puts the buyer’s mind at ease.”

In today’s hot real estate market, even a 10% price decrease means a seller could be leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table if they don’t bring their lawns up to snuff before putting their home on the market.

Hardscaping, which refers to all of the non-living aspects of an outdoor design, such as structural or decorative elements, is also important. Forty percent of real estate agents say poor hardscaping has a very negative impact on a home’s value, while 38% say it has a somewhat negative impact.

According to Chicago-based real estate investor and developer Bill Samuel, a well-designed outdoor space is even more important now due to how much time families are spending at home.

“Today’s homebuyer expects the home they purchase to be move-in ready and prefers not to have to do any work,” Samuel says. “Exterior hardscape upgrades that allow for outdoor entertaining are becoming even more desirable as most homeowners prefer to entertain at home and outdoors during the pandemic.”

Trees, Grass and Flower Top List of Landscaping Elements That Add Value to a Home

The landscaping elements that add the most value to a home include grass (64%), trees (59%), and flowers (52%).

Meanwhile, as far as hardscaping goes, real estate agents recommend adding or improving decks (58%), driveways (54%), and an outdoor kitchen (47%) to add the most value.

Adding One Healthy Tree Will Raise Property Value

Ninety-one percent of real estate agents say adding even one healthy tree to your landscape will increase property values.

According to 20% of real estate agents, the presence of one healthy tree in the front yard of a property increases the home’s value by 30% or more. Nineteen percent of real estate agents estimate a single healthy tree increases a property’s value by 20%; the same number of agents say it raises the value by 10%.

One reason trees can increase property values is the aesthetic charm they add to a home.

“A tree is one of the most natural and interesting ways to add color, texture and contrast to any home’s yard,” says David North, a real estate broker in Redmond, WA. “The natural beauty of a tree can be especially powerful when it distinguishes one property from others, whether by different shape, color, or size.”

Location is key, North says, encouraging homeowners to plant trees where they will provide needed shade, privacy, and noise protection.

There are also the practical benefits of having trees on a property.

“Big, healthy trees help improve the home environment and make it more sustainable,” Quance says. “Trees contribute to a functioning home ecosystem by helping with stormwater management, pollution filtering, and soil fertilization. During warmer months, trees are a natural cooling system, providing shade. Then, in colder months, trees that lose their leaves let sunlight filter through to warm the home.”

Those who are selling their homes shouldn’t forget about having greenery inside, either. Fifty-four percent of real estate agents say it’s very important to have indoor plants when showing a home for sale, while 28% say it is somewhat important.

Effects of Landscaping Vary by Region

Home prices vary widely by location, and the impact of poor landscaping does as well.

Real estate agents in the Midwest are most likely to say that poor landscaping will have a very negative impact on home value (51%). By comparison, 44% of real estate agents in the Northeast say poor landscaping has a very negative impact on what a home is worth.

Having indoor plants during a home showing is most important in the South (67%) and the West (65%). Only 57% of real estate agents in both the Midwest and the Northeast think it is very important to have indoor plants for home showings.

While the majority of real estate agents in the Northeast say having a healthy tree in the front yard will increase property values, 10% say that it won’t. Comparatively, only 6% of real estate agents in the West and Midwest, and 5% of real estate agents in the South think having a healthy tree won’t increase a home’s value at all.

All data found within this report derives from a survey commissioned by and conducted online by survey platform Pollfish. In total, 1,250 currently licensed U.S. real estate agents were surveyed. Appropriate respondents were found via a screening question. This survey was conducted on September 17, 2021. All respondents were asked to answer all questions truthfully and to the best of their abilities. For full survey data, please email Julia Morrissey at

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Buyer Beware: Who Really Works For YOU?

Buying a Home

Congratulations!  You have made the decision to purchase a home! You have already spoken with a mortgage loan officer and they have qualified you for “X” amount to purchase a home. Most people that have made the decision to purchase a home start looking for homes online with Zillow or Trulia, for example.  These are great sites to get started with because they will give you an idea of what homes are available on the real estate market.

Open Houses

Some people like to go to Open Houses.  At an open house, you have an opportunity to view homes and this is a great way to give you ideas for finding what type of home you may want to buy. You decide to take a drive and check out some of the open houses in the neighborhood. Before you know it you’re walking through the door of a charming home, speaking to a real estate agent who’s telling you all the virtues of this wonderful home. The real estate agent will probably ask if you have spoken with a mortgage loan officer, which you reply yes. They may start asking a few questions. Is this home in your price range? How much did your loan officer “qualify” you for? What do you like about this home?  Pretty harmless questions right? But what you do not realize, this real estate agent that is asking you these questions is not working for you! He or she is representing the seller, the individual whose home is for sale.  Why would this matter you may ask?  Let me explain.

Why you need a Buyer’s Agent

Not all real estate agents when you first met or speak with, are representing you!  You will want to find a real estate agent to represent you on your purchase of a home. Your Buyer’s Agent will:

  1. Help you find the right property for you.
  2. They will help you determine the right price for purchasing your new home.
  3. Present your offer to the Seller and negotiate all terms of the agreement.
  4. Recommend other professional people to assist you with your purchase.
  5. Guide you through the negotiation process for your new home.

Once you agree to work with a real estate agent for help you buy your home, you will need to sign a contract called an Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement which will outline the agent’s services and how they will be paid. This contract states that this agent will be your sole representative and that you won’t work with any other buyer’s agents. I will go into more more on Buyer Agency Agreements in another blog article.

As your Buyer’s Agent, I will use my 18 years of experience to help you make these important decisions and will work with you from the beginning to the end of your real estate purchase. I will help you through all the negotiation process from helping you find that just right home to when you sit down in the attorney’s office for final signatures!  Put my real estate expertise to help you negotiate through the home-buying process!



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Home Selling Tips

5  Smart Things to Do Before Putting Your Home on the Market


  1. Have a pre-sale home inspection.  A home inspector will be able to give you a good indication of trouble areas that may stand out to a potential buyer.  Having a pre-home inspection before you put your home on the real estate market  can help you anticipate problems in advanced. When your home is for sale and a buyer makes an offer to purchase your home, the buyers usually will have a home inspection as a contingency to purchase your home.   By making repairs and putting your home in the best shape will help you eliminate any surprise repairs that could make or break a buyer’s decision to buy your home.


  1. Organize and clean.  You want buyers to be able to picture themselves living in your home. So, pare down on what a buyer may consider clutter.  Pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other lesser used kitchen tools. Store out-of-season clothes, toys, and exercise equipment by storing these items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or basement. Clean your windows inside and out, have carpets cleaned.  Another area often overlooked are cleaning fingerprints on walls, light fixtures, and don’t forget baseboards to really make your house shine!


  1. Get replacement estimates. Do you have any big-ticket items that are worn out or will need to be replaced soon, such as your roof or carpeting? Get some estimates on how much it would cost to replace them, even if you don’t plan to do it yourself. These figures will come in handy when a buyer makes an offer on your home and these are items that can be negotiated when you put your home up for sale!


  1. Find your warranties. Gather up appliance warranties, guarantees, and or user manuals for your furnace, washer and dryer, dishwasher, stove and refrigerator or any other items that will remain with the house.


  1. Spruce up your curb appeal! Pretend you’re a buyer and stand outside and take a good look  your home. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of your property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly manicured?  Are pretty flowers or plants framing your entrance? Is the walkway free from weeds or any obstructions? Is your address clearly visible?  Remember your front yard is the first thing a potential buyer sees, make a great first impression!