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Landscaping a Major Contributor to Property Values, Appraisal Institute Says

May 3, 2016 08:00 AM

CHICAGO (May 3, 2016) – The Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today reminded homeowners that attractive landscaping can make a major contribution to a home’s value and can influence an owner’s ability to sell the property.

An academic study by Michigan State University researchers, published in the Horticultural Research Institute’s Journal of Environmental Horticulture, found that consumers perceived that good landscaping improved a home’s value up to 11 percent. And according to a National Association of Landscape Professionals survey, 84 percent of Americans agree that the quality of a home’s landscaping would affect their decision to buy the home.

“Just as job seekers shouldn’t show up improperly attired for a job interview, sellers need to ensure their property is as attractive from the outside as possible,” said Appraisal Institute President Scott Robinson, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS. “First impressions matter.”

Homeowners can consider the following when making landscaping improvements:

Look beyond lawns. As part of a property’s overall curb appeal, landscaping also can include the appearance of flower beds, lawn ornamentation and front porch furniture. All should be well kept and in keeping with neighborhood standards. Quick, inexpensive updates include refreshing the mulch around shrubs, adding potted flowers and edging the lawn.

Go native. Indigenous plants have the potential to save homeowners, and future property owners, time and money. In their native environments, these plants require less care, water and fertilizer to flourish.

Plant trees. They add beauty, possibly increase property values, reduce energy consumption and soil runoff, as well as improve air quality. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, carefully placed trees can provide shade from the hot summer sun and block winter winds, saving up to 25 percent of a typical home’s energy use. Homeowners can use the National Tree Benefit Calculator to estimate of how a tree would benefit a home, including its contribution to property values and its environmental impact.

Add landscape lighting. Effective outdoor lighting puts a spotlight on a home’s architecture and landscaping, and provides safety and security. Light fixtures range from inexpensive do-it-yourself kits to elaborate designs created by professionals. LED and solar-powered lights save money, and appeal to potential buyers looking for a greener home.

Contact an appraiser to learn more about how landscaping can impact property values. Find a list of Appraisal Institute professionals by searching the Find an Appraiser database.



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The Appraisal Institute is a global professional association of real estate appraisers, with nearly 20,000 professionals in almost 60 countries throughout the world. Its mission is to advance professionalism and ethics, global standards, methodologies, and practices through the professional development of property economics worldwide. Organized in 1932, the Appraisal Institute advocates equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in the appraisal profession and conducts its activities in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. Individuals of the Appraisal Institute benefit from an array of professional education and advocacy programs, and may hold the prestigious MAI, SRPA, SRA, AI-GRS and AI-RRS designations. Learn more at




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