5 Things Experts Never Ever Want to See in Your Yard

published Nov 11, 2019
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If your eyes are the window into your soul, then your yard is a pretty solid window into what’s happening inside your house. That means that some people are going to take notice if you’ve had a dirty pool float in your yard since summer ended, your dog has left a few unwanted ‘treats’ in the grass, or haven’t cut your hedges for way too many months. For the most part, an unkept yard is only going to affect your neighbors’ opinions of you (and, honestly, who cares what they think!). But if you’re planning on putting your house on the market anytime soon, the situation could be a little more high stakes. According to real estate agents, anything that causes a home to have less than a stellar first impression can unfortunately mean fewer interested buyers and more money left on the closing table.

The easy solution? Experts recommend keeping these five things out of your yard to keep it looking oh-so appealing:

Project equipment

It can be tempting to leave that shovel or other supplies leaning against the house when you’re mid-summer gardening project, but this is a big no-no:

“Buyers are going to drive by your home outside of open house and showing times, so it’s important to keep things in shape, especially during the time your house is on the market,” says Samira Tapia, a real estate agent with Compass in Beverly Hills, California. “[This] tells buyers that you don’t have enough storage space and that is not the message you want to convey.”

Lots of everyday clutter

On that note, you can probably guess that toys and bikes strewn on the yard can also turn off a certain type of buyer (or charm another!)—but you should consider pulling some of those purposefully-placed lawn decorations like yard ornaments, decorative flags, or excessive hangings into the garage as well.

The front of your home doesn’t have to be completely barren, however.

“If you want to offer a little charm, consider keeping one neutral item, such as a small wind chime or flag,” says Dianna Worthington, vice president of operations at The Grounds Guys, a landscaping and lawn care-branch of Neighborly.

Trash cans

While you may not like your trash to stink up your garage, leaving them in a visible space in your yard could spoil that chance at a potential buyer’s love at first sight. RJ Lamb, owner of Lambs Lawn Service & Landscaping in Louisville, Kentucky, also says they could kill the grass beneath them. If you still don’t want to wheel them into any enclosed spaces (let alone near your cars), Lamb recommends at least tucking them behind the house rather than on the side.

Dead plants

Have a dearly departed tree or shrub that you’ve been meaning to get removed? According to Rob Kasper, a certified nursery and landscape professional at Rutgers Landscape & Nursery in Ringoes, New Jersey, it’s time to get a hustle on that.

“Dead plants, and more specifically dead trees, are not only off-putting, but they’re a liability to the safety of your property,” says Rob Kasper, a certified nursery and landscape professional at Rutgers Landscape & Nursery in Ringoes, New Jersey. While it may be costly to have them removed, it could pay dividends come closing time.


While you and your family may have more cars than room in a garage or on the driveway, refrain from using your lawn as additional parking space, says Don DiClerico, a home expert with HomeAdvisor. While it will not only highlight how small your garage is, it also can signal to potential buyers that your home is full of other “creative” solutions.

Have a super tidy yard? Looking for other small projects to take on to up your home’s value? Here, eight landscaping ideas that will do just that.

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