When you think of curb appeal, you may think of spring flowers, summer décor, or fall colors. But . . . people sell their homes in winter, too. So, if this is you, what do you do?
1. The number one most important thing to remember any time of year is to provide potential buyers with safe entry into your home. In areas where snow falls (this is us in the Mt. Washington Valley right now), this means keeping your doorstep and walkways free of ice. If a buyer is afraid of slipping on an icy sidewalk, they made decide to skip looking at your house. Remove as much snow from the area as you can, make sure there is ample traction for visitors wearing any kind of shoes (not just boots), and remove icicles hanging over areas where people may walk.
2. Light! The days are short and if they’re overcast, too, a buyer isn’t getting the image of the bright, sunny place they’ll be coming home to if they buy your home. Plus, many buyers view homes in the evenings, after work. A few lights lining a walkway, even a motion sensor light that comes on when they approach, will help cast your home in a better (and safer) light.
3. Make sure any handrails or railings are user friendly and in good condition. This means sturdy enough to handle some weight and free of injury causing protuberances like splinters and peeling metal flakes.
4. Add some color. If you live in a region where a plant won’t fare well on the doorstep, consider painting the door – or even the mailbox if it’s on your house! If your front landing is big enough for furniture, try adding some colorful pillows. Hang a friendly sign. And if you’re so inclined, keep a bird feeder nearby. It may seem strange, but a brightly colored bird against a snowy backdrop are the images postcards are made of.
5. Keep your yard as neat and tidy as you can. This is impossible to some extent in winter, but remember to trim bushes and tree before the snow falls, and pick up and remove branches that break and fall from the weight of the snow. Keep holiday decorations tasteful and to a minimum. Remove any dirt, spider webs, cocoons, etc. from your front entry area, make sure any fences or gates that are visible are in good repair, clean the windows, and keep both a boot scraper and a door mat near the front door to minimize the amount of mud that gets tracked inside.
6. Other ideas that you may want to try include garden embellishments on top of the snow, a lantern or two to add charm (these can be battery, solar or gas powered), and perhaps some lights on either side of your driveway to make it easier for visitors to find your home and to add a touch of warmth and welcome.
With just a little effort, your home can exude warmth and curb appeal in any season’s conditions!