Landscaping your property with the intent of selling it is much different than landscaping for your own personal use and preferences. In fact, the way the outside of your home is presented to possible buyers can mean the difference between a quick sale or your home lingering on the market for what feels like forever. Don't overlook this very important (and valuable) asset of your home as you put it up for sale.

1. Start Early

Unless you decide to sell your home suddenly, you should have plenty of time to consult with landscape designers on ways to maximize the value of your property, as well as to take advantage of growing seasons. Be sure to have the landscaper advise you about any trees, shrub,s or gardens that could be problematic to the future owner, such as branches extending toward the home or issues that could lead to basement flooding. An improper slope of your lawn, for example, could create a flow of water leading right to your foundation.

Consulting with a landscape professional solves the problem of designing beautiful scenery and addresses other potential problems as well.

2. Draw Eyes To Your Front Door

The front door should be the centerpiece of your property, inviting onlookers to come inside. People shopping for homes should be immediately impressed with the care you've given your property, and they should be especially pleased by the feeling they get when they approach the front door. Make it bright and colorful, with minimal man-made ornaments; focus on nature instead. Ornaments of their own can easily be added by the next owner, and you don't want to add too much of your own personality to the place.

3. Use Hedges Strategically

Landscaping isn't always for the purpose of beautifying; it can also be used strategically to make your property more private. Most especially if you have neighbors you'd rather not introduce to someone who might be interested in buying your home, plant shrubs that will reach a good height around the circumference of your yard.

You can also cultivate thorny trees and shrubs that will deter unwanted yard visitors, like the honey locust tree, which is a hardy and adaptable. Such growth might be a nice substitute for a fence.

4. Create An Outdoor Gathering Place

One very coveted feature is a gathering place, such as a patio or backyard picnic area. Plan yours under a shady element, such as a large tree that doesn't drip sap, preferably in a spot with a nice view of the property, and be sure and show this area off to people looking at your home once you list it for sale.

5. Add Color For Great Photographs

As you upgrade your property, keep in mind that selling real estate involves showing a lot of pictures. Your home will be photographed from the outside at many angles; thus, your placement of colorful and flattering growth should accentuate and compliment the home in order to truly show off both the house and the landscaping. Although the most vivid and dramatic colors should show your home off in photos best, be careful not to clash with the exterior color or decor.

6. Focus On Scent, Too

Some flowers simply smell better than others, and some take your senses to the extreme. Cultivate not just for the eyes, but for the nose as well, to make your landscaping as inviting and memorable as your home's interior. Sweet alyssum, for example, is very easy to grow, and its fragrance can spread throughout your entire yard. It's white and looks dainty, making it the perfect flower to surround a country-style home. An array of brightly colored freesias won't just leave your property looking and smelling beautiful; it will also give you a wonderful source of bouquets for when you start showing your home, too.

7. Track Your Spending

While you do want to turn your landscape into something magnificent and very attractive to potential buyers, you don't want to spend more than what you'll recoup with the sale price of the home. Discuss your costs with a landscape company long before you break ground on any project. Also, avoid having such an elaborate landscape that someone looking to buy your house might reach the conclusion that there's far too much work involved in maintaining the yard.

Landscaping your property professionally should help you sell it faster and for a better price, but the experience will also prepare you for your next home. With all you learn and the experience you gain, the home you move to should eventually have the most amazing yard in the neighborhood.