In this economy, every decision you make affects your chances of selling your home. Potential buyers, wary of getting involved in the housing crisis, have become more knowledgeable and better informed than ever. That means sellers need to pull out all the stops.

One way to do that is add eye-catching, expensive landscaping to your yard. Landscaping is one of the first elements of the home that people will see, so it adds instant appeal and makes your home stand out. However, if it significantly raises the price of your home in order for you to receive revenue, it may turn wary buyers toward simpler and cheaper options. The decision is yours, but here are some thoughts to consider.

If it is just eye-catching, instant appeal that you’re looking to achieve, opt for small changes that you can accomplish yourself. In the front yard: mulch around trees, fertilize and water the grass, plant flowers around the entrance, trim bushes of flyaway branches or add a retaining wall to current gardens. In the back: stain the deck, fill in concrete patio cracks, pick weeds out of current landscaping, paint the fence and keep grass mowed. Little changes can make a big difference in appearance.

Before deciding to add a major element to your yard, consider your buyer. What types of people are most likely to move into this home? If the neighborhood is mostly filled with families, a buyer might appreciate open lawn space or a fence. If the population is mostly of an older generation, the buyer might prefer simple, hassle-free yards or landscaping that rids the yard of lawn maintenance.

Look around and consider the location. If landscaping is abundant in this neighborhood or community, you don’t want your house to stick out as the one with the dull, empty yard. Do you live in an upscale, ritzy community that is likely to attract a buyer willing to spend money? Is your neighborhood in a simple, quiet location with mature trees that already provide appeal? Is the weather so dry or so wet that the foliage will have no chance of survival? Ask yourself these questions before putting in the expense.

If you decide to add landscaping, decide who should do the job. For simple gardens or tree planting, you may be able to accomplish the job yourself. You might also consider hiring a neighborhood kid or a teenager. This is cheaper than going professional and you can feel good about helping out a neighbor! If you decide to hire a professional, make sure you get trustworthy recommendations and multiple price quotes.

Once you landscape, make sure you emphasize this added perk to potential buyers. Mention the bonuses to your Buy Owner® sales representative and reemphasize the value when buyers view your home. Areas to talk about: curb appeal, attractive walkway, added privacy, fragrances, fruit, fall color, view from windows and activities to enjoy with the landscaping. Honestly answer questions about the amount of upkeep needed. After closely evaluating these areas of consideration, you will be sure to make an intelligent decision!