I can't say enough about first impressions when it comes to preparing a home for the market. Green grass, shrubs that are trimmed, and a crisp edging along walks and the driveway can be the beginning of a love story for your buyer! If your sidewalk is at all crowded by overgrown, or even slightly ambitious, greenery, get out the clippers or call the landscaper!
Nothing says discount quite as quickly as an overgrown yard, or unruly shrubs. A good real estate agent should have resources for you, from lawn maintenance to landscaping, to hardscaping. Always get 3 bids if you are spending more than a couple of hundred dollars, and follow up with a couple of references as well. Time is money, so get a firm commitment on when any work will be done.
There should be a rule that nothing with bark on it can be planted within 10 feet of a foundation. Sooner or later, the limbs of a tree will overhang the roof or damaged windows or siding. So, even if you manage to get an offer, chances are the buyer's inspector will recommend that be addressed. Do yourself a favor and address it before you enter the market!
If the season allows, add a little color with blooming annuals. They are inexpensive, and a pop of color is really welcoming! Even if you do not have a green thumb, nurture those blooms - they are like money in the bank! If you are going to green up your yard, please do so with care. A little over-fertilizing and you'll be staring at a brown yard that you can do nothing, and I do mean nothing, about!
If you haven't heard of NextDoor.com, see if if it's active in your area. Neighbors reach out to each other in search of contractors and offer recommendations of contractors and vendors they have used. If you are not at all interested in growing your green thumb, you can find folks that will do that for you there!
There is a lot of data showing that good landscaping directly impacts value, so don't hesitate to invest a little time in the yard. It can be a little therapeutic too, so give it a try!