4 tips for working with the pros on curb appeal CHICAGO – May 2, 2011 – Landscaping can be pricey, but it can make a big difference in creating curb appeal that attracts buyers to the door.
“The condition of your lawn has a big effect on the look and value of your home, whether you have a complicated landscaping plan with water features and/or an expanse of grass and flowers,” Angie Hicks, founder of service-ratings site Angie’s List, told the Chicago Tribune.
If working with a landscaping pro to boost your seller’s curb appeal, here are some tips to getting more for your money.
▪ Schedule consultations. Contact several landscaping pros to arrange appointments for them to visit the property, recommend what needs to be done and give you options. (For people to contact, check sites such as Yelp.com or Kudzu.com.) Use these pros as consultants explaining what the property needs. For smaller tasks, such as mowing, raking or weeding, you could try to find a local teenager willing to offer a good deal, suggests Robert Krughoff, president of Consumers’ Checkbook.
▪ Get several price bids. Request estimates on what you want done from at least three companies – you may find big price differences. Krughoff cites an example of a tree-removal job that could cost from $1,935 to $6,300 depending on the company. As for lawn care, Consumers’ Checkbook found companies quoting ranges from $229 to $805.
And just because a company is pricier don’t assume you’ll get better results. Krughoff says the Consumers’ Checkbook found no correlation between price and quality in lawn care and tree services.
▪ Watch for add-ons. Krughoff says don’t be quick to say “yes” whenever a landscaper or lawn service recommends various fertilizers, sprayings and treatment. Make sure there’s a compelling case on why it’s necessary.
▪ Don’t pay until the job is done. If possible, pay nothing until the job is completed so that you have more leverage ensuring the job is done to your satisfaction. However, some companies may require a deposit. If so, pay with a credit card, experts suggest. By using a credit card, you’ll be able to dispute the charge with the credit card company if the service was incomplete or not done adequately.
Source: “Trimming Landscaping Costs,” Chicago Tribune (April 24, 2011)
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