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Everyone knows that when you’re putting your home on the market, curb appeal – that indelible first impression your house makes from the road – can make or break a successful sale.

These days, curb appeal is even more important than ever as homebuyers increasingly search online and via drive-bys. Today’s buyers are also more tuned into the value of a home’s yard, looking for safe spaces with lots of play- and relaxation-value while spending time at home. Outdoor areas have truly become an extension of a home’s living space and should, therefore, be showcased to the max.

If you’re getting your home ready to sell, get your yard in showing shape with these suggestions from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI): 

Go deep on cleaning. Use a leaf blower to make quick work of clearing debris from flowerbeds, yards, your patio or deck and mulched areas under your trees. Reseed bare patches in the grass and add a fresh layer of mulch for a super-manicured outdoor space.

Keep up with mowing. Nothing is more inviting than a perfectly coiffed carpet of grass, which creates a crisp backdrop for the rest of your landscape and your home itself. Proper mowing helps create a more beautiful, lower-maintenance, and drought-tolerant lawn. Preferred length varies by grass type, but the general rule of thumb is to cut only the top third of the grass blades off at any given time. Taller grass blades shade the soil and keep it cooler, helping control weeds. Taller grass is also softer to walk on—important for families with little feet and paws to consider.

Give trees and bushes a trim. Use a trimmer, chainsaw or pole pruner to cut back any shrubs, bushes or trees that have become overgrown. For a polished look, use an edger to form a clean boundary between the lawn and walkways.

Prioritize safety. Before you use your mower and any other outdoor power equipment, bone up on operational and safety procedures. Follow all guidelines and get very familiar with the controls so you can react quickly when necessary. Missing manual? Just look it up online using the make and model, and be sure to save a copy on your computer.

Plant strategically. Plant colorful blooms in flower beds, along fence lines and in patio containers, especially near the front door. Selecting plants that are native to your climate zone (refer to the USDA’s Plant Hardiness Zone Map) ensures you select species that are adapted to thrive in your location. Native plants require less water and less upkeep.

Plant with pollinators in mind. Selecting native plants of different varieties that will bloom throughout the year will also attract local pollinators and wildlife to the yard, adding a unique touch to showings. The Audubon Society’s database can help determine which birds will be attracted to which plants in your region so you can make good choices about what to plant.

Taking these steps will help ensure your home’s outdoor space immediately jumps out and captures the attention of homebuyers!