Winter can pose unique challenges for those trying to sell their homes. Cold weather and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can keep would-be buyers at bay. That’s why it’s especially important to maintain strong curb appeal throughout the winter months.
Curb appeal, of course, is the first impression one gets from simply viewing the outside of the home. Just as many folks judge a book by its cover, homebuyers draw certain conclusions about a home just from what they’ve viewed outside. Here are some easy tricks to entice buyers to stop by your home and actually step inside.
First, start with the home itself. Remember that all the upgrades inside the house are useless if you can’t get buyers inside. Giving the house a fresh coat of paint or repainting/staining the front door can both make a huge impact. Also, check the condition of the roof and gutters and fix or replace them if necessary. And don’t forget to paint or clean the garage doors and windows.
Secondly, think about sprucing up the front porch. Updating lighting or sconces can really frame the entrance to the home nicely. Also, something as simple as replacing a worn-out doormat can add an element of warmth to a home. Consider placing urns or planters on either side of the front door.
In winter, it’s ideal to use evergreens or colorful poinsettias. Of course, if you’re anticipating a hard freeze, you might need to protect those potted plants by covering them with a blanket, sheet or plastic. And if your street number is located on the porch, be sure that it is easy to see from the street.
Next, address your landscaping. Keep in mind that a clean lawn can go a long way. Make sure to clean up any toys or trash you see and only set out your garbage can or recycling bin on pick-up days. Neatly rake leaves and debris and place your compost pile in the back or side yard; you don’t want anything to distract from the beauty of your home.
If you live in an area that experiences harsh winters, it’s understandable that your yard isn’t exactly going to be lush. But including certain plants into your year-round landscape can help alleviate the drabness of winter. Evergreens, pines, hemlock, spruce and vibrant holly bushes can really shine through the coldest of months. And adding bird feeders to your lawn can attract and provide shelter for wild birds.
It’s also essential to make sure that buyers can reach your front door easily and safely. Repair cracks in the sidewalks and driveway and make sure that all walkways are cleaned, edged and properly illuminated.
Lastly, make sure your prospective buyers can picture themselves living in your house. This means not going overboard on holiday decorations. You want your décor to be tasteful, but not to overpower the home itself. Give the buyer a chance to envision your home in its everyday condition.
It doesn’t require a lot of money to improve your homes curb appeal. But what it does take is careful planning, due diligence and a bit of creativity.
Written by Tara Darby