It’s common knowledge that certain home improvements can make a marked difference in that property’s resale value, but while bathrooms and kitchens tend to get all the attention, there’s another factor that’s frequently ignored: landscaping. Depending on the expert, upgrading a home’s landscape can earn owners anywhere from 1.5 to 10 times their investment. Can someone really spend $500 on trees and sod and get $5,000 when they sell? It’s possible. As a real estate agent, coaching your clients on high-impact landscaping upgrades could help them sell for top dollar and get you well on your way to a larger commission advance.

Here are the landscaping trends for 2018 buyers may be looking for:

Meditation Gardens

Yoga is more popular than ever, and there are apps designed to help the average Joe get on his namaste whenever and wherever he’d like. Our world is a busy place, and we’re all longing for little peace, quiet and time for reflection, which may be why meditation gardens are suddenly trending. Don’t worry about niching down the landscaping to the exclusion of broader audience; even buyers who don’t ohm will be attracted to the calming designs and comfy seating.

Landscaping can kick up curb appeal. Isn’t that worth spending a few dollars on flower beds and water features?

Functional Landscaping

Plants are often chosen because they look pretty, but using vines to add coverage to a trellis or surrounding a septic tank with non-encroaching flower varieties has a practical purpose too. Why not create a more aesthetically pleasing space using natural elements that make the best of your lawn and garden as well?

Dining Under the Stars

Outdoor kitchens have been around for ages, but now al fresco eating spaces are venturing further away from the main home and into the garden. A raised platform with soft overhead lighting and a gorgeous pergola is the perfect place for a summer picnic, a fall feast or mugs of cocoa enjoyed on a brisk night while gathered around a concrete or stone fire bowl.

Artfully Unkempt Gardens

Where once precision reigned, gardens are now turning into more free-flowing places, thanks to horticulturists who are planning low-maintenance greenery that only looks better as it grows unchecked. Moss on the rocks, untrimmed hedges, ornamental grasses and even planters with a bit of patina — there’s something soothing and tranquil about a garden that’s left to do as it pleases, but that only works when you bring in an expert who knows which plants can be trusted to look informal rather than insane.

Pretty in Pastel

Sticking with the pretty theme, we’re seeing a lot of landscape designers opt for soft, muted shades like lavender, blush, pale yellow and powder blue. Those colors, in flower form, are extra stunning when set against a meandering path or stone walkway adjacent to a coastal retreat.

Tips for Landscaping Your Way to More Closings 

  • Refer Clients to an Expert. There are a lot of people who can blow leaves or mow a lawn on the cheap, but landscape design requires an expert hand and a deft touch.
  • Don’t Let Them Go Crazy. Unless your client has a multimillion-dollar property, letting them spend tens of thousands of dollars on a fancy water feature is insane. Keep things within reason, and help clients achieve the right balance between their dream and reality.
  • Avoid Making Work for the New Owners. A vegetable garden seems like a nice idea, but it could be a turn-off for a potential buyer who wants nothing to do with picking green beans and fertilizing tomatoes.

Curb appeal is a powerful thing. Use your next listing’s landscaping as an opportunity to impress buyers and make your real estate business grow like a weed.