Planning ahead is important if you want to sell your home. "You can't just decide to sell your house tomorrow and expect the landscaping to be ready," says Woda. "If you're thinking of moving next fall, (then) this spring, you should be working on your landscaping."
Start by cleaning up the yard, removing dead branches, dog droppings, weeds and anything broken, says Woda. "The most important thing in landscaping is maintenance," she says.
Eric King, of King Landscaping in Atlanta, recommends investigating the unseen, ensuring the downspouts are clean and functional, and making sure drain pipes are properly buried and draining so water doesn't pool. Then make sure your hard-scapes (things such as patios, walkways and fences) are level and that roots haven't pushed up sidewalks or patio stones. If your deck has wobbly railings or loose steps, fix them, says King. "People don't want a mystery," he says.
Take a serious look at your plants' health, says Lucco. "Dead and dying (plants) or things leading to additional maintenance problems need to be corrected."
If you're in an established neighborhood, remove overgrown shrubs encroaching on the sidewalk or ones that are too big, don't flower or are out of style. "They look terrible to anyone except the owner," says Woda. As an owner, you may have an emotional investment in them, having tended to them for decades, but, "Let go of your shrubs. Dig them up."