Getting Your House Ready to Sell Series: Plants & Shrubs by Front Door

If you live in house that is more than 7 years old, chances are pretty good that the bushes and shrubs planted by the builder have filled in pretty well in the front of the house.

Guess what? If you are selling your house, you should consider tearing them out!

It should come as no surprise that the plant specimens selected by most builders are chosen because they 1) grow quickly, 2) fill in quickly 3) are inexpensive.
If you look around any neighborhood that has hit that magic age of 7 (and those that are well beyond), you will see that most houses have dense bushes around the front of the house.  Attractive? Sometimes, but not usually. Some homeowners will try to make them work by severely trimming and shaping these bushes. This will, indeed, buy some time.  I would suggest, however, that you drive around and look at the difference between a house that has taken out, rearranged and supplemented  or replaced the original plants and those that have not.  I think you will see that it gives the front of the house a cleaner feel and a fresher look. 


Personally, I like having a section, or two, near the front door where I can plant annuals.  Other than that, I like a design that is  maintenance free.  For our own home, we used a local landscape service to help us come up with a plan, decide where to use different bushes and shrubs (sometimes moving them from the front of the house to the back), what to add to provide color and texture contrasts and implement the plan.  Each season, I select the annuals that I want to plant, weed and re-mulch.

This does not have to be an expensive project.  You can pull out the old bushes yourself (although you may need to enlist some help from friends) and do all of the replanting.  Many local nurseries provide complementary consulting and can help you select appropriate, and price effective, shrubs and bushes for your climate and garden style.

Additionally, there are websites that you can use to help you put together a plan.  A couple are:,13232,,00.html

Remember, while this might sound like a lot of work, your intention is to present your home in the best possible way.  A great front entrance makes a wonderful impression and gets the potential buyer in the door. I would contend that it is well worth the time and expense!


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Comment balloon 2 commentsHolly Weatherwax • May 29 2008 12:15PM


Holly, I have to agree if the plants have gotten too big and are blocking the view of the windows.  But I usually tell my sellers to embellish the front yard with color.  Just as a home painted in all neutral colors can be boring and unimpressive to the potential home buyer, so can a front  yard that is all green.  I think adding colorful plants to the front is the best thing that can be done.  It will excite the buyer to see a nice manicured lawn, with mature bushes and splashes of color.  And of course, you can't forget to add some potted plants near the entryway. 

Posted by Michelle Hall (Century 21 Hecht) over 10 years ago

Holly, Totally Agree- I say rip out the old and start new-Ive done it a few times at my house already- Enjoy your summer!

Posted by Keller Williams Great Falls, Mclean (Keller Williams, Serving Mclean, Arlington & Reston areas) over 10 years ago

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