Want to Boost the Value of Your Property? Add a Tree!

Daniella Cressman

Disclaimer: This article is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

It's a sellers' market right now, but how do you stand out? It's actually a lot more simple than you might think: add a tree.

"Data backs this up, too. Numerous studies show that homes with trees have anywhere from 3.5% to 15% more value than those without. If you’re selling the median-priced home in the U.S. — currently $407,600 — that means anywhere from $14,000 to $61,000 more in profit." —Aly J. Yale

WHY EXACTLY DO HOME BUYERS LIKE TREES SO MUCH?

"Treed homes are clearly in demand. But why? Real estate pros say it depends on the buyer. For some, it’s simply aesthetic. Trees — particularly mature, shady ones and those with flowers and fruit — just look nice. For more eco-conscious homebuyers, trees offer even more benefits. They improve air quality, reduce water runoff and trap carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change. In hotter parts of the U.S., they can also reduce the energy output of a home. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a healthy shade tree offers a housewide cooling effect equal to 10 room-sized air conditioners running 20 hours a day. That comes with huge cost savings: The Center for Urban Forest Research found that just one tree planted on the west side of a home can reduce its energy bills by 3% in five years and 12% by year 15." —Aly J. Yale

As you can see, simply adding a tree or two could make a world of difference, especially in a competitive market. Additionally, many real estate agents have experienced faster home sales after adding trees to their properties: this is not based on data, but on their personal experiences.

"It's harder to assign a dollar value to the trees on your property compared to, say, a kitchen remodel, it's clear they make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Anecdotally, real estate agents say homes with trees sell faster (as much as three times faster, by some accounts.)" —Aly J. Yale

That being said, it's important to be very selective about your tree choice: you want something that is healthy and complements the property—Large shaded trees are attractive, but so are smaller ones. You certainly don't want a tree that interferes with underground water and pipelines, such as the weeping willow...

Also, keep in mind that trees are seen as a major selling point unless they obstruct coveted views. If that's the case, they become a nuisance as they grow.

Choosing trees that are native to the area is ideal.

"Choosing native trees can extend their lifespan and make them easier to care for. They also require fewer resources. That’s partially why Taylor Morrison — one of the nation’s biggest home builders — uses 100% native plants in its community parks and green spaces." —Aly J. Yale

This strategy also celebrates the area and community your real estate is in, enticing buyers!

"To start, find out what trees are native to your area. If you’re in the Midwest, you might opt for a bur oak. In the Northeast, a gray birch could be a good choice. You can check with a local arborist or landscaping company to get an idea of what trees are native to your region. Tools like the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Wizard can also help." —Aly J. Yale

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM
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