By Kris Kiser, President & CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)
As the spring selling season kicks into high gear, real estate and staging professionals can help their clients enhance their listings by creating an outdoor space that is attractive to buyers. The family yard not only can expand living space, it also reconnects families and pets with nature and provides a natural setting to reduce stress, improve memory, boost mood, among many other benefits.
Here are five points to consider:
1. Understand potential buyers’ lifestyle needs.
Determine how a potential buyer might use the yard, then plant accordingly. Does the yard need more shade for hot summer days? Is it lacking a grassy area for kids and pets to play?
2. Know the climate zone.
Help your clients select climate-appropriate plants that will thrive with minimal input. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map indicates which grasses, shrubs, and trees are most likely to succeed in a specific location.
3. Plant for pets.
More families are including pets in their lives so consider animal’s needs when planting. Hardy grass withstands pet traffic. Soft, yet sturdy, foliage is a good choice for heavily-trafficked areas. See which plants are dangerous to pets by downloading the ASPCA’s list of poisonous plants.
4. Attract pollinators & wildlife.
The home habitat is also vital for pollinators (bees, butterflies, and birds) and other wildlife that rely on backyard plants for food and shelter. Planting climate-appropriate, pollen-rich flowers will help nourish pollinators, while creating a vibrant outdoor scene buyers will appreciate.
5. Stage the outdoors.
Showcase how the space will be used, including setting outdoor tables, having a barbecue grill set up, and other touches that show people can “live” in the space.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kris Kiser is the president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and the OPEI Education and Research Foundation. OPEI is an international trade association representing 100 small engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturers, and suppliers. OPEI is managing partner of GIE+EXPO, the industry’s annual international trade show and exposition. Prior to joining OPEI, Kiser, also an attorney, served for 14 years in senior management at two major, Washington, D.C. trade associations representing the automobile manufacturing and forest products industries. He was vice president of state and international affairs for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and vice president of governmental affairs for the American Forest & Paper Association. Learn more about OPEI: OPEI.org