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Selling Houses: Psychological Effects of Landscaping

Buyers think they care more about the inside of the house than the landscaping, but in reality, most buyers won't even get out of their car if the front landscaping lacks the promise of great details inside. Therefore, your landscaping needs to arouse buyers' expectations and entice them into viewing the inside of your home.

When marketing your home, you'll get the highest return for your landscaping dollar when you employ Design Psychology tactics. Design Psychology is based on scientific research into the underlying psychological effects of design on buyers, and these innovative design ideas will help your home sell quickly, and for more money, by influencing buyers' emotions.

Foliage Colors

Begin by coordinating the colors of your flowering foliage. Think about your selling season and plan for flowering plants that perform well during that time. Also give thought to the desired atmosphere and use plants to support that concept. For instance, tropical, desert, forest, and beach environments all differ in plant types.

Use a lot of green and white in your color scheme. Green conjures feelings of coolness, freshness, and vitality, while white flowers also suggest cleanliness, and show up better at night, when many buyers will be looking at houses. Since yellow is the first color our eyes process, yellow flowers by the front door attract the buyer's eye from a distance.

Appealing to Buyers' Sense of Smell

Give thought to the overall scents of flowering trees, bushes, vines, and flowers in your yard, and take advantage of plants that support the desired emotional outcome. Lemon-scented geraniums add refreshing scents that contribute to a desert oasis feel, for instance, while jasmine adds a tropical feeling. Rosemary and French lavender enhance Mediterranean-style settings.

Adding amenities for emotional support

An alluring appeal begins with the access to your home. If you have no dedicated walkway to the front door, add a simple pathway. A wandering pathway to the front door psychologically feels better than a straight-shot walkway. If you have a plain, straight concrete walkway, create undulating flower beds on either side to encourage a relaxed, friendly feeling. Adding a water feature also enhances the ambiance, because moving water relaxes the body and mind and refreshes the spirit. You want to create a feeling of balance and harmony, like that found in nature.

Start on the landscaping before working in the interior of the house, in order to give plants time to grow, and make sure to plant the areas away from the house if you're also planning to paint the exterior. You don't need to go overboard. Just plant enough to give an impression of healthy growth and to lead a buyer's attention away from any barren spaces through the use of focal points in the landscape.

Another reason to start on the exterior is to motivate your neighbors to also begin sprucing up their properties, because having your entire neighborhood look good greatly enhances the value of your own property.

Well-conceived landscaping gives you the advantage when it comes to selling your house. If your home makes buyers feel good while they're on your property, you'll sell it quickly, and for top dollar!

c) Copyright 2004, Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.

Professor Jeanette Fisher, author of Doghouse to Dollhouse for Dollars, Joy to the Home, and other books teaches Real Estate Investing and Design Psychology. For more articles, tips, reports, newsletters, and sales flyer template, see

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