When preparing a property for sale, it’s the curb appeal that first catches a prospective buyer’s eyes, right? After all, first impressions count and if you want to put your property in its best light, put on a good outdoor show. You can paint, clean andlandscaping on a budget power wash the sidewalks and the porch, but one of the most effective ways to make your property shine is with attractive landscaping.

First, landscaping isn’t simply keeping the grass mowed and edged it’s part of an overall plan. And whether your real estate contains acres of grass or you’re the lucky owner of a small little plot, landscaping helps frame your portrait; your property.

Landscaping can cost a lot or a little but you can prepare your outdoor area even when you’re on a budget. But before you plant anything, make sure you determine the slope and topography of your turf. Small indentations in the soil may not be noticeable at first glance but after a good rain you might find that the new row of shrubs was just washed away by an unforeseen torrent.

When choosing plants, pick out the ones that are suited for your climate and not your favorite pink peonies that won’t make it past the first summer heat wave. Speak with your local gardener and get the most colorful yet hardy plants that will be stay with the property forever. If there are brown patches of grass, instead of trying to patch the grass with new turf, seed when possible and keep the area fertilized and watered until healthy grass returns.

And finally, don’t overdo it. You want your prospective buyers to see a beautiful home and not look at all the plants and think “Wow, that looks like a lot of work!” A healthy lawn, a few colorful plants and a manicured lawn tells buyers that you care about your property both inside as well as out, to help get the highest offer possible.