Treat your yard "staging" as you would your home "staging". Keep it simple and as neat and manicured as possible. Let the new owner imagine what they could do to the property to make it their own.
Licensed Associate Broker
2008 PCAR Realtor of the Year
Prudential Serls Prime Properties
A seller should walk the comps, take a look at the best and worst properties on the block, and take a middle-of-the road approach. If most of the other properties for sale have nicely manicured lawns, with professionally trimmed hedges and bushes, and meticulously placed flowers; then that seller will need to have all of that too if s/he intends to sell his/her property for top dollar.
On the other hand, if the seller simply wants to sell it as-is and ASAP, then s/he better discount that price significantly to show that s/he means business.
I'm not sure whether a property with chemical free landscaping will sell for more than one with pesticide. Keep in mind that one doesn't necessarily have to use pesticide in order to maintain a nice lawn. In fact, some landscaping companies specialize in using techniques--similar to the ones that farmers use for growing organics--for maintaining nice lawns and gardens without the use of pesticides or other harsh chemicals.
If you are questioning what might look best, consult a local nursery to find which plants thrive in your area, take pictures of your front area and ask them for any suggestions! As far as chemicals and pesicides, it can be exteremely difficult to ascertain whether or not ANY pesticides have been used on plants at any stage. But you can also ask the local nurseries which may have the least amount of residual chemicals.
The majority of buyers however want to see a manicured lawn with some foundation plantings and few weeds.
Spending tons of money on ornamental trees and shrubs is usually a waste and the seller never gets their money back.
There are landscaping companies now that offer organic ways to tree lawns keeping the lawn free from harmful pestisides. Check out the link below as one example.
You can still have an appealing landscape without using all the chemicals. In Dutchess County most people depends on individual wells that is a major reason why the chemicals should be avoided.
Having a yard in need of alot of work reflects on what the inside is perceived to look like, bargain hunters will be attracted but the others will have already moved onto the next listing.