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Credit: National Assoc. of Landscapers

NAR: 9 Out of 10 Realtors Tout ‘Curb Appeal’

NAR’s latest study focuses on curb appeal and ways to boost a home’s sales price: 74% suggest basic maintenance to seller, 53% lawn care and 44% tree trimming.

WASHINGTON – Why do homeowners do outdoor remodeling projects? What value does the project hold for them? Does it increase their home values?

According to the National Association of Realtors®’ (NAR) 2023 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features, most Realtors (92%) suggest that sellers improve the curb appeal of their home before listing it for sale. The largest share recommended landscaping-related features.

The report covers:

  1. Project cost: The typical cost of 11 outdoor residential projects as estimated by members of the National Association of Landscape Professionals.
  2. Realtors’ estimated cost recovery and recommendation: Realtors’ estimated cost recovery – defined as the amount of money homeowners can recover on a project upon selling a home – and the share of Realtors that recommend these outdoor upgrades before listing a home.
  3. Consumer experience: The experience consumers had upon completing the 11 projects, including a Joy Score.

“The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way Americans use their homes for daily living, relaxation and entertainment,” says Dr. Jessica Lautz, NAR deputy chief economist and vice president of research. “Homeowners have embraced their outdoor spaces – transforming them into oases with pools, patios, plants and greenery. These outdoor features are embraced by the homeowner and can also attract buyers if the owner wants to sell.”

The 11 outdoor features in the report include:

  • Fire feature: $9,000
  • In-ground pool addition: $90,000
  • Irrigation system installation: $6,000
  • Landscape lighting: $6,800
  • Landscape maintenance: $4,800
  • New patio: $10,500
  • New wood deck: $16,900
  • Outdoor kitchen: $15,000
  • Overall landscape upgrade: $9,000
  • Tree care: $2,875
  • Standard lawn care service: $415

Joy Scores

Ranked on a scale of 1-10, the report found that consumers rated all 11 outdoor projects highly, with Joy Scores at 9 or above. Among the features, the highest Joy Scores were for an in-ground pool addition (10), landscape lighting (10) and a new patio (9.9).

Slightly lower Joy Scores were provided for an outdoor kitchen (9), tree care (9.3), standard lawn care service (9.4) and an irrigation system installation (9.4).

However, a high Joy Score from homeowners didn’t always correspond with Realtors’ estimate for high cost recovery. In most cases, the least expensive project – standard lawn care service – had the highest cost recovery (217%), followed by landscape maintenance (104%), an overall landscape upgrade (100%) and an outdoor kitchen (100%).

In comparison, the lowest cost recovery was for an in-ground pool (56%) – which had the highest Joy Score – followed by a fire feature (56%) and landscape lighting (59%).

Realtor recommendations

In line with their majority recommendation to improve curb appeal, the largest shares of Realtors that recommended an outdoor project before selling a home were for landscaping-related projects, including:

  • Landscape maintenance: 74%
  • Standard lawn care service: 53%
  • Tree care: 44%

The shares of Realtor recommendations were lowest for:

  • In-ground pool addition: 1%
  • Outdoor kitchen: 1%
  • Irrigation system installation: 2%

Realtors saw the most increased demand for:

  • Overall landscape upgrade: 61%
  • Landscape maintenance: 58%
  • New patio: 55%

Conversely, they saw the least increased demand for:

  • New wood deck: 15%
  • In-ground pool addition: 25%
  • Tree care: 29%

“It’s no surprise that nearly all Realtors and most homeowners place a high value on the curb appeal of a well-maintained yard,” says Britt Wood, NALP CEO. “Healthy outdoor living and green spaces help the environment, increase home values, make communities more desirable, and improve people’s mental and physical health.”

COVID-19 Outdoor Remodeling

For the first time, the report looked at outdoor remodeling demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among landscape professionals, most (92%) found increased demand for contracting outdoor features during the pandemic, and 79% cited that outdoor project scopes increased in size from before the pandemic.

Realtors cited the highest increase in pandemic demand for an in-ground pool addition, landscape maintenance and a new patio (all 17%). On the contrary, they saw the smallest amount of increased pandemic demand for an irrigation system installation (2%), a fire feature (8%) and landscape lighting (8%).

© 2023 Florida Realtors®