Why Real Estate Agents Swear by Planting These 3 Things in Your Front Yard

published May 10, 2022
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There’s a reason there are TV shows, books, and Instagram accounts dedicated solely to curb appeal. It’s the first impression. It has a huge impact on your selling price. It’s the Zillow photo you see first. It’s everything (sort of). 

But painting your front door and adding planters only goes so far. There are some updates that need to be achieved by exercising your green thumb. “Planting a tree in your front yard is one of the best ways to raise the value of your home, and the National Association of Realtors says landscaping can return 100 to 200 percent at sale time,” says Jose Luis Gonzalez, a South Florida-based Realtor with Partnership Realty. 

Landscaping goes a long way, too. Still, it’s not enough to throw a bunch of flowers in the ground and call it a day. You want to choose plants that show off your home at its best. And, according to real estate agents, there are three all stars that will do just that. These are plants that both subconsciously appeal to buyers and work overtime in making your home look good all year long. Plus, they don’t require over-the-top maintenance or attention. So, next time you’re headed to the greenhouse, bypass the showy florals and instead head straight for these three workhorses.

Credit: Karen Culp/Shutterstock.com

Native Trees

Adding trees to a yard is like adding a story. You can imagine seeking shade under its canopy, kids swinging from its branches, raking up leaves… and more leaves… (okay, maybe that only started idyllic). 

Regardless, a tree is almost always a home run when it comes to front yard curb appeal. It adds a sense of establishment and makes a house feel like part of the neighborhood. 

Don’t just plant any old tree in the ground, though. A native tree is going to be the lowest-maintenance choice since it’s already adapted to your climate, won’t require excessive care, and is often more resistant to pests. Native blooms are some of the most effective pollinators, to boot. A native tree, which can be unique to your region, also gives your home a sense of place. 

“If you live in Ohio, consider planting a maple tree. If you live in Chicago, consider an elm tree. If you live in Florida, consider a beautiful palm tree,” Gonzalez says.

In the Southeast, a magnolia tree is an evergreen addition that’s both welcoming and elegant. Joshua Blackburn, director of design and construction at Evolving Home, explains, “A magnolia’s white blossoms are a classic look that can never go wrong with any facade. They have a sweet fragrance and they bloom all throughout the year.”

Evergreen Shrubs

A flowering garden or towering deciduous tree is stunning, but what happens in January? Unless you live in a subtropical or tropical climate, there are going to be months where your front yard is looking less than vibrant.

Nick Good, a real estate broker with the Good Home Team, recommends boxwoods for a versatile, easy-to-grow evergreen shrub. “These are great foundation plants and you can enjoy the green warm color of these plants year-round,” he says. Boxwoods are a shrub that simply feels fancy — the inexpensive Buxus comes in a variety of sizes and shapes, so you can use them as border plants, privacy shrubs, and more. 

Ground cover

Mulch and grass are fine, but a lush ground cover adds dimension, color, and texture to your curb appeal. Beatrice de Jong, consumer trends expert at Opendoor, has a recommendation that will have every millennial plant parent running to the closest greenhouse. De Jong suggests succulents for those in a warmer climate. “They’re low maintenance but attention grabbing,” she explains.

Vicky Noufal, owner and associate broker with Platinum Group Real Estate in Leesburg, Virginia, looks to Creeping Jenny as an inexpensive way to add curb appeal and a pop of bright green or golden yellow to your front yard. 

“Creeping Jenny is a very common garden plant yet effective enough to increase your home’s instant curb appeal,” she says. Keep in mind, however, that it grows rapidly and spreads (creeps, really) — which is good or bad depending on your needs.