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Five Messages a Yard Sends to Potential Home Buyers

More than three-quarters of Americans who have a yard say it’s one of the most important parts of their home, according to a poll commissioned by the TurfMutt Foundation and conducted online by The Harris Poll. The poll also shows that nearly three-quarters of Americans overall (72%) say a spacious yard would be at the top of their wish list if they were looking for a new home. Another report from Zillow indicates that the backyard is a must- have feature for buyers.

With the continued importance of outdoor space, you should think about what your yard says to potential home buyers if you are trying to sell. Your yard has an impact on curb appeal, of course, but there are other messages your yard is sending that could also make or break a deal.

The yard is so important that the TurfMutt Foundation, which advocates for the care and use of the green space around us, including our own backyards and neighborhood parks, introduced the term “backyarding,” which is the trend-turned-way-of-life of moving indoor activities into the outdoor space around us.

The TurfMutt Foundation says homeowners and their real estate advisors should recognize these five messages a yard sends buyers:

1. This home is worth viewing. You only have one chance to make a good first impression, and your yard is a huge part of your home’s curb appeal. Set a welcoming vibe with cared-for landscaping and color that invites buyers to imagine themselves living here.

2. This home is well cared for. The condition of your yard gives buyers a glimpse at what they can expect inside. A manicured lawn, clean flower beds, fresh mulch and flowering plants send the message that you care for your entire home — not just the yard.

3. My kids and pets will be safe here. Many families shopping for a new home want space where their kids and/or pets can play safely. Buyers in this category will be drawn to properties that offer large grassy areas, fenced yards and shade trees for cooling off under during hot days.

4. This yard will support our lifestyle. Outdoor living is a way of life now, so more than anything buyers will want to be able to envision themselves outdoors. Just like you stage interior spaces, you can also set up your outdoor space to illustrate your yard’s potential for any type of buyer. Set up some lawn games on your grass. Set a patio or picnic table for a feast to set the scene for outdoor dining. Use plants to create privacy, camouflage unsightly HVAC or pool equipment and fashion boundaries between various activity areas.

5. This yard will assist pollinators and other wildlife. Nature starts in your backyard, providing habitat and food for birds, butterflies, bees and more. Potential buyers will see flowering plants, trees and shrubs as a way to connect to the natural world around them on a micro-level while doing some good for the planet.

Remember, putting the right plant in the right place is the key to successful backyarding, whether you’re trying to sell your home or not.

More than just sun vs. shade exposure, this “Golden Rule” of backyarding means selecting plants that will thrive in your climate zone, choosing a variety of plants that will bloom year-round to support local pollinators and serve the connected ecosystem and strategically placing plants in your yard to support your family’s lifestyle.

For more information, sign up for “Mutt Mail,” a monthly e-newsletter with backyarding tips and all the news from the TurfMutt Foundation. To learn more about creating the yard of your dreams, visit Look for Mulligan the TurfMutt on the CBS “Lucky Dog” television show.

Kris Kiser
Outdoor Power Equipment Institute
TurfMutt Foundation
Equip Expo

1605 King St.
Alexandria, VA 22314