Now that Fall has begun in the Champaign area, and the selling season is off to a terrific start, it's important to be mindful of the first impression a potential buyer has of your home.  Many interested buyers will drive by a home and neighborhood to get a feel for what living there would be like.  So you need to make sure that you've put your best foot forward and that means making sure the front of your home and it's landscaping are up to par and says "Welcome to our Home".

Although this is usually the last place you look to "tidy up", prospective buyers can be very particular about the landscaping of the home and may not even get  to the inside if they don't like what they see outside.  Therefore, it is important to make sure your landscape say's "this homeowner pay's attention to details and has kept up all the maintenance of this home".

First place to start...your lawn! Buyers love to see pretty green grass, regardless of season, so make sure you have kept the grass cut to a low manicured level- usually 3 inches, and have used seasonal seeding in areas that are sparse. Watering may be necessary with seeding or to perk it up, so water a few times if needed.  A few brown spots are bound to happen, and aren't the end of the world, you'll just make sure that the focal point is elsewhere.

Second, make sure you've edged your sidewalks and driveways, and taken care of any weeds that are lurking in and behind bushes and shrubs.  Using a Round Up type weed killer will save your knees , and will make sure you've gotten even the most stubborn weeds out of the way. It is also the season for those lovely Fall leaves to cover the ground, so be sure to rake on a consistent basis and bag the leaves as you go.

Third, make sure your shrubs and bushes are nicely trimmed, and pruned, if necessary. Nothing is worse that driving up to a home with bushes and shrubs that are overgrown. If you have wood chips or stones around these areas, you may want to add a few bags just to freshen them up. A little effort goes a long way with landscaping basics, and you'll be surprised how beautiful it will look.

Lastly, add a "pop" of color! Although we have beautiful colors in the trees, once leaves are on the ground they look pretty dingy, so look for some Fall flowers that will give you a nice spot of color and emphasize the entrance to the home. Chrysanthemums, Mums, Sunflowers , and Astors are all hearty Fall flowers and take minimum effort to keep them looking great.