Selling your home in the winter months can be a challenge, especially when it comes to curb appeal. Mother nature doesn’t always want to cooperate in boosting your home’s exterior attractiveness. While there’s not much you can do about brown lawns and bare trees, there are things within your control that can make a big difference in the “wow” factor for potential buyers driving by, even during the dreary winter months.
It does take a little planning and creativity to pull off, but creating a well manicured lawn is a big key to successfully listing your home in the winter months. Rule number one is, of course, make sure any residual holiday decor is gone. The rule of thumb is by January 6th, but if you’ve been a little distracted, go do it now. Below are more helpful tips from Hulser and Cable, President of American Society of Interior Designers’ Alabama Chapter. You can also read the full article here.
Think clean and fresh
Create an attractive winter exterior by removing dead plants that won’t return in the spring, cutting overgrown back bushes and trees, and consider planting a few winter flowers like pansies. Placing tall evergreen topiaries on the front porch to frame the sides of the front door will also add a touch of inviting color.
A fresh coat of stain or even a new paint color on shutters and doors can “make your house memorable and stand out from the crowd”. Red or black are always distinguished hues for doors, but blues or green can add a nice pop of color. If you do paint your doors or windows, read about what different colors suggest to potential buyers here first.
Moving to the windows, Cable recommends removing screens and thoroughly cleaning the windows to create a “sparkling first impression.”
Clean sidewalks and a yard free from leaves and other remnants of fall eliminate a cluttered, distracting view of the home. Keep the boundaries of the yard nicely edged and add fresh bark chips to flowers beds. “It’s also time to throw out that rusted rake that’s been sitting against your home for the last several months, and clean up the garbage bags on the side of the house,” encourages Hulser, adding that homeowners should properly store all garden and yard tools as well as outdoor toys – as opposed to leaving them strewn about the yard or driveway.
Light the way
Pointing out that hours of daylight are shorter during the winter, Hulser says lighting is important and recommends replacing worn-out outdoor fixtures and burned out bulbs. Hulser suggests “LED solar lights are a great way to light up pathways and even accent architectural features of a home.”
Year-round maintenance (and all those chores we all like to put off like cleaning the gutters) is also an essential part of preparing your home for sale.) Backed up gutters, for instance, can lead to water damage if left too long. That’s the last thing you want a potential buyers to see, so make sure your home is as well maintained as possible.
Winterizing your home is also especially important to avoid costly and unattractive disasters. Replace any worn weather stripping on windows and doors. Worn stripping can let in chilly drafts buyers will notice and also they cause your heating system to run longer and more often. That opens up the possibility of another costly and unattractive disaster when you’re trying to close a deal. Don’t forget about insulation either. As Hulser points out, “Not only does a properly insulated home reduce heating costs, it also keeps water from damaging a home because if piper are not properly insulated they can freeze and burst.”