Best Winter Curb Appeal Ideas from 18 Professionals
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Unlike fall, winter curb appeal has a different focus. During the months of fall, a home can be decorated with a range of colors and easily look inviting to a casual passerby. However, in order to make a home look appealing in the winter, there are different tactics necessary to attract potential buyers.
While it may seem that spring and summer are the only times to sell a home, keep one thing in mind: There are ALWAYS a few people looking to buy a home, regardless of the time of year.
With job promotions, children moving out, new marriages, divorces, and countless other reasons, circumstances change during the year for lots of people. Many of these changes result in someone or some family looking for a new place to hang their hat.
If you are trying to sell a home then the following list can help you increase your home’s winter curb appeal and entice a buyer to sign a contract with you.
Keep the Property Safe
Before discussing the exterior improvements that add aesthetic appeal, we need to discuss functional safety. It really won’t help to spend time and money improving the looks of your home if people are afraid to walk along the sidewalk or step on the porch.
- You can never have too much light – in the winter months the days are short and it gets dark before most people can get home. Since real estate agents are typically meeting prospective clients after their workday ends, it is important to have good lighting. This includes lights along the outside walkway, on the porch, and even at the rear of the home. Make sure the garage lights are working and if you have any motion-sensor lights then it is time to replace the bulbs.
- Make steps and handrails user-friendly – If you have steps leading to the front door of your home, make sure they are in good condition. Wood can rot over time and will break at the worst possible time. Also, test out the strength of the handrails and make sure they are safe to use.
- Remove snow – If you live in a place that frequently gets a lot of snowfall, make sure the snow is shoveled from the driveway and walkway before buyers arrive. Ensure any exterior steps are free of snow. Also, as an added touch, get rid of as many icicles hanging on gutters or the roof.
- Keep all debris removed – Keep out an eye for fallen limbs and piles of leaves. This may seem like a bit of extra work but it will improve the home’s look and keep visitors safe as they walk along the driveway and sidewalk to view your property.
Winter Landscaping Ideas
Adding some color in key spots will help your home stand out from other sellers and hopefully help the home sell faster.
- Bright Door – One simple way to add some color is to repaint the front door and/or the trim around the door. A bright red, yellow, or blue can really add a bit of splash to the home. You can also get a nice wreath and doormat that has some colors to add a bit more spice.
- Plants and pots – Since the winter is missing the color of spring a simple fix is to get some nice, bright pots and add some plants designed specifically for winter. Species like juniper, blue holly, barberry, boxwood, and red-twig dogwood are able to stay green throughout the year. Placing some of these plants near the door and along the walkway will add to the instant appeal of the home.
- A post box to remember – If your community or neighborhood will allow it, consider adding some color to the post box in front of the home. You could paint it to match the new color on the front door and coordinate it with a complementary color.
- Invite birds to the home – At first glance, this may sound strange, but it can have a positive impact on the home’s look. By adding bird feeders or a bird garden, you can attract these beautiful creatures to your home at various times of the day. A bright red cardinal or sharp blue jay can create a stunning image against a snow-covered bush or porch and leave visitors with something to remember.
- Colors on the chairs – If your home has a front porch big enough for a rocking chair, consider putting out a couple of chairs that have some bright colors. Although the winter weather may not be conducive to sitting out on the porch, potential buyers can see themselves in those exact chairs when the snow melts and the flowers start to bud.
Small Details that Matter
Besides the color and safety issues, there are small things that most people can do to a home to make it seem inviting.
- Do a deep cleaning – Either do some pressure washing of the exterior walls and walkway or hire someone to do it. This deep cleaning will reveal the true color of the home’s walls and make the driveway/walkway look fresher.
- Trim trees and bushes for the house – It is smart to look at the trees and bushes around the home and trim them in a pattern that will accent the home. Bushes should be cut at the same height and stop just below windows to add more focus to the actual window. Tree branches need to be cut in a way that forms almost a frame that draws the visitor’s eye to the home.
- Repair the fence and especially the gate – If your home has any type of gate, whether it is in front of the home or in the rear, take time to ensure the gate swings freely. Repair or replace the latch or hinges. Make sure the gate is easy to open and close for an average adult. Remove any vines or other clutter from the fence.
- Replace your existing house number with new digits – Make a trip to the local hardware store and get some large numbers that are made in a nice, easy-to-read font. The large numbers will stand out to people trying to find the property and their new shine will be pleasing to the eyes.
- Scrub all the windows – In the chance that a prospective buyer visits your home in the evening, it is a sure bet that grimy windows will be a big turn-off. The dirt will be easy to see at night with the lights of the home shining out to the yard. Take some time and invest some elbow grease and a good cleaning solution to get rid of dirt, fingerprints, and anything else that is keeping your windows from sparkling.
- Stop mud from getting in the home – In the winter months filled with snow and rain, there is one constant: MUD. Instead of trying to rely on a doormat that will likely be overwhelmed in a matter of days, install a scraper for boots. These items are usually made of iron in order to withstand the elements and can be easily cleaned.
- Take a conservative approach to holiday decorations – Everyone has a different idea of how a home should be decorated for Christmas. Some people go all out with lights around the exterior of the home along with yard decorations and other items. Other people prefer a simple wreath on the door and a classic tree in the living room. Since you have no idea what your buyer will prefer, err on the side of caution and keep things simple during the holidays.
Ideas to Help a Home Look Unique
If you are in the mood to spend some extra money to really make your home unique, here are a few ideas that will really change the winter curb appeal of your home.
- Embellishments for the garden – if your home has any shrubs or flowers planted around the perimeter of the home it is a good chance that some of these items will lose their color in the winter. Consider adding some bright-colored items among the plants to add a bit of splash. Orbs that are silver or gold can really add a nice touch to the area. You may also consider adding a short flagpole in the garden that can hold a seasonal banner.
- A lantern out front – If your home has a fence around the front of the home, a nice wrought iron lantern hanging on a wooden post can add a homey feel to the property. The lantern can be electric, gas-powered, or even work off a battery.
- Lights at the driveway entrance – If you live in an area without much street lighting it may be tough for people to find your home in the evening hours. A light atop a post on either side of the driveway can be a beacon to visitors and add warmth to the home’s general look.
Winter Curb Appeal Tips from the Professionals
In order to give you the best information available about getting a home ready to sell we contacted some experts on the topic. Listed below are tips provided to us by some of the best minds in the areas of decoration and home staging.
We have some advice from Diana Hadchity Chedrawy, an internationally renowned decorator and designer. As the owner of the magazine Leovan Design, she provides advice and inspiration for presenting homes in their best light for enjoyment as well as for sale.
Another contributor is Red Barrinuevo, owner of Redesign4more. Using his extensive background in sales and management, Red has combined this knowledge with his passion for home design to become a recognized expert in the field of home staging.
There are more tips from Lorrie White, owner of White’s Cleaning & Decorating. Lorrie has built her business up to the point that she operates almost completely from referrals. Her talents are aimed at helping homeowners improve the appearance of their property and get it in top shape in anticipation of a sale.
These professionals have agreed to reveal some of the best tactics that they use in order to help you sell your home.
Diana Hadchity Chedrawy is an international designer and decorator, consultant, writer, and the owner and publisher of www.leovandesign.com.
As a professional design consultant, Diana started Leovan Design, hoping to inspire others by writing informative articles that share her design tips and ideas. Diana is regularly interviewed to provide her insights on design trends and has been featured in lifestyle magazines, e-books, and design manufacturers’ websites.
Winter Curb Appeal Tips:
- Repaint the exterior of your home in the fall if needed with an environmentally friendly low or non-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paint.
- Paint your front door red to draw attention to the entrance of your home and to make it more inviting. A home with a red front door is considered to be good in Feng Shui and will bring good chi energy to your home.
- Select the same color scheme and the same materials for the mailbox, house number, outdoor lighting, and front door hardware for a harmonized and coordinated look.
- Plant shrubs that bloom in cold weather to add color to your front yard such as camellia and winter jasmine.
- Add holly bushes to your front yard landscape design. They provide great contrast in a snowy landscape.
- Plant deciduous trees and shrubs. They don’t lose their leaves over the winter and they add life to your home winter curb appeal.
- Add evergreen shrubs such as arborvitae, cedars, boxwoods, and junipers. They keep your front yard looking colorful and beautiful throughout the winter months.
- Add large colorful pots of boxwood evergreen shrubs on your porch, sidewalk, or front deck if you don’t have bushes planted in your front yard.
- Decorate your front doorstep with a colorful inviting and welcoming mat.
- Add outdoor furniture to your front porch to make it inviting and attractive.
- Add colorful accessories such as outdoor cushions and blankets to your outdoor porch furniture.
- Create a focal point for your front yard such as a garden water fountain, pond, or sculpture. They make good focal points in a landscape design all year round and they add style to your winter curb appeal.
View more curb appeal tips on Diana’s site!
Red Barrinuevo is a Canadian Certified Staging Professional. He is the recipient of numerous home staging awards and was picked as one of the Top 10 Professional Stagers of Canada three years in a row. He has worked with hundreds of Real Estate Brokers, Investors, Real Estate Agents, and has helped homeowners showcase their homes when it is time to sell.
As President and Principal Stager of REDESIGN4MORE, Red provides home staging and interior decorating services for both small and large-scale residential projects throughout Toronto and the GTA. To learn more about him, visit his website at http://redesign4more.com/about-us.
Some home sellers do not have the luxury of time to wait until Spring to sell their homes. Though it may be more challenging to list a property during the winter, there are several ways to make your home look inviting, warm, and move-in ready for your potential buyers starting with your curb appeal.
- Start with your front yard. This is what buyers see from the street, make a great impact right away! Remove garbage containers, recycling bins, and other unnecessary items from your front yard. Make sure your driveway and walkways are cleared of snow and ice and salted to prevent any accidents. If you don’t have time to do this, or if you’re away during this time of the year, hire a reputable snow removal company. Your home will look well maintained, creating a great first impression for your buyers.
- Your front door should say “welcome” to your potential buyers. Repainting and picking the right color for your front door can be more visually appealing than boring non-descript doors. The right door color can make your house stand out from the competition and can increase interest and motivate potential buyers to step in and see the rest of the house. Click here for some color suggestions.
- Don’t forget your windows. Most showings occur during the day when sunlight reveals how dirty your windows have become. The harsh winter can cause your window to collect grime which can spoil a great impact, not to mention that it also prevents natural light from shining through inside the house. Plan to periodically have your windows washed and cleaned both inside and out.
- Use container planters. This a simple addition that can make a big statement and can greatly improve winter curb appeal. A pair of container-sized planters on the front porch, or walkway, can immediately add color and can brighten up a grey winter day. There are a number of plant options that can survive the winter weather, check your local plant store.
- Your Holiday decor. Lastly, if you are listing during the Holidays, don’t go overboard. A simple wreath on your front door should be enough. Keep your Holiday decor simple. Remove any large inflatable decorations from your lawn. Let your buyers focus on your home and not your holiday decor.
See how to maximize your home’s selling power during the fall and winter for more tips!
Lorrie White (a.k.a. “The Secret Weapon”) is a highly referred Central New York home staging professional who set out on her journey back in 1992. Now with a blazing trail of SOLD listings behind her, Lorrie continues on with her mission to compassionately guide home sellers through the overwhelming process of effectively preparing their house for the Real Estate market.
Curb appeal is the top subject discussed during each of my staging consultations with home sellers. Many potential buyers begin their home shopping process on the internet these days, so your online presentation is everything! The exterior of the home is usually the first picture seen by potential buyers, becoming the very first impression!! Also, buyers will often drive by a property before they decide whether or not they would like to visit the home for a showing. Your exterior presentation is the ‘wrapping on the package’, so every detail is absolutely crucial.
The winter season can be a bit more challenging as the surrounding landscape lacks the warmth and color that other seasons can provide, making the details that much more important. Your overall listing presentation sends a vital message to the buyers.
For instance, if pictures of the home display only snow buried walkways, driveway, and roof, it could give the message that the property is not receiving proper maintenance or that it is much too difficult to keep up with the amount of necessary snow removal during the winter. Either impression could potentially scare away your buyer before they even step inside the home.
Excessive snow built up also hides the beauty of the home’s exterior which is crucial in providing the warmth and color needed for the visual presentation during the winter months. Impress your buyers by keeping your driveway, walkways, decks/porches, and roof cleared of snow on a regular basis. Be sure to salt the driveway and all walkways before each showing and open house.
Another tip involves adding more light. Turn on interior/exterior lights during the early evening hours to ‘light up the stage’ for those drive-by viewings. A well-lit home is very inviting in the evening and can create the same luring effect from the road as a lit window display on a storefront. It is emotionally capturing, as you give your drive-by house shoppers a little sneak peek of the beauty inside that awaits them!
Keeping these details in mind during the winter months will help to provide your buyers with a welcoming, show-ready home that is just waiting for them to move right in!! Set the stage and happy selling~
What Top Real Estate Pros Are Saying About Winter Curb Appeal
Selling a home during the winter requires the same paperwork as selling a home in the Spring. However, there are some unique tactics that can help your home stand out from the pack during the winter months in order to draw the attention of the right buyer.
The following advice comes from several successful real estate agents. These agents work in a wide range of climates and have contributed some of their successful tips to our blog post. Please review the following information and see how the right advice from an expert can make a big difference.
Ryan Fitzgerald is the Owner/Realtor® at Raleigh Realty. Ryan serves the Wake County area of North Carolina and enjoys writing articles for the Real Estate community to help buyers, sellers, and investors make wise decisions.
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling your home in the Summer, Fall, Spring, or Winter, you only have one chance to make a first impression. Your winter curb appeal is going to say a lot about who you are as a homeowner. Some buyers we have worked with will pull up to a house and instantly change their minds. This tends to be a direct result of your winter curb appeal.
Selling a home during the winter poses its own set of challenges, and curb appeal is certainly one of them. Leaves have fallen off trees, and flowers aren’t exactly blooming.
With that being said, the Winter is still a great time to sell your home.
Tips to Keep Your Winter Curb Appeal Sexy
- Improve Landscaping – Organize bushes, flowers, and other greenery around the property. Absolutely rake the leaves and dispose of them.
- Paint – Add Colors in any way possible. Whether that means changing the color of your front door or painting the exterior of your home, everything needs to be fresh and clean.
- Customize to fit the season, Winter. You can add many colorful decorations that add to your home’s winter curb appeal from shiny ornaments, to nicely designed winter decor.
- Everything about your home needs to be welcoming and inviting to potential buyers. The winter is typically a colder month so warm up your curb appeal by adding flowers to the front door, or the front porch.
These are a few winter curb appeal tips you can use to help sell your home in the Wintertime!
In an effort to get some of the best home selling tips during the wintertime we reached out to Bill Gassett, one of the top Real Estate agents in Ashland Mass to get his insight. Bill provided some wonderful insight to our readers with his tips below.
Luke thanks for having me aboard to provide some of my best winter home selling advice. Winter is certainly a more challenging time of year for those of us who are in a cold-weather climate. Not only do you have the elements to deal with but typically a buyer pool that is smaller than our prime selling seasons of the spring and summer.
The beauty however of selling in the winter is usually less competition and buyers who are truly motivated to purchase a home. Some of my best winter home selling tips are referenced in the article above but here is a quick summary:
- Keep your walkways cleared for a buyer. The best presentation for most homes is to come through the front door. Don’t assume that sending the buyer in through a side door is acceptable.
- Stay on the lookout for ice dams. There is nothing that will turn a buyer off quicker than water penetration into a home. Buyers often will eliminate a home if they think the possibility exists for mold.
- Turn up the temperature in the home to a comfortable setting. Homes are bought and sold on emotion. Make the experience a pleasant one for the buyer.
- Ask the buyer to remove their shoes when entering the home especially when your home is in great condition. This shows your pride in ownership and the fact you care about the property.
- Make your marketing material count. Selling in the winter is harder than in other seasons because you often times cannot see things like the yard and landscaping. Make sure your marketing material has some shots of the springtime. Give them a good idea of what your flowers and landscape look like. If you have a pool make sure you showcase this as well.
- Above all else make sure you price it right. This, of course, goes without saying but there are fewer buyers in the market so making your price competitive is super important!
By following these winter home selling tips you should be well on your way to a successful home sale.
Chris and Karen Highland have been selling real estate (in all four seasons) in Frederick Maryland for 24 years. Karen blogs about all kinds of real estate topics and Chris even gets to include his opinion now and then. Chris is a Regional Leader for eXp Realty, and Karen shares her time as the Director of Communications at Frederick County Association of REALTORS. You can find them at Frederick Real Estate.
Whatever the season, staging your home is an important part of your home selling plan. You want your home to appear in its best state, both inside and outside. If your home is on the market during the winter, there are particular challenges. In many areas of the country, homeowners have to take measures to maintain a good look on the outside of their home. Homeowners have to attend to falling leaves, snow-covered driveways, sidewalks and decks, and dead and fading plantings around the yard.
The main thing that a homeowner has to keep in mind, is to present a home that isn’t perceived to be high maintenance on the outside. When a buyer tours your home and sees a mass of leaves clogging up the gutters, or piled up in the outside stairwell from the basement, that translates to a lot of work for them. When they see dead and faded plantings that haven’t been trimmed for the winter, it reminds them of work, not enjoyment. If they have to trudge through a mound of snow to get to the door, they see the work that’s ahead of them, not to mention the safety issue of slipping on snow and ice.
The best way to present the outside of your home during the winter is to use a little bit of psychology. You want to present your house as a home that is not only a delight to live in, but a home that is a delight to care for. Taking extra care to keep the outside clean and well-cared for will go a long way to make the buyer see your home in its true light.
For some additional tips on how to boost winter curb appeal, I reached out to Kyle Hiscock, a top Rochester real estate agent with Nothnagle Realtors. Kyle has helped hundreds of buyers and sellers move in, out, and around Rochester since 2011! Kyle actively writes helpful content on his popular, Rochester’s Real Estate Blog.
Thanks, Luke for reaching out to me for some helpful tips for improving winter curb appeal. As your title mentions, it is VERY important to have the exterior of a home looking great during the winter months. There are several tips that homeowners can follow to help improve the curb appeal of their home and below are some of the best tips I suggest.
One of the best ways to improve the winter curb appeal is by simply making sure the exterior of your home is clean and well kept. This means keeping sidewalks, steps, and driveways clean. This simple tip can go a long way in impressing potential buyers of a home. Think about it, what would a buyer think if there was a mountain of snow on the front steps of a home? Probably that the owners have neglected to maintain the interior of their home just like the exterior. Something as simple as shoveling snow can go a long way in improving curb appeal during the winter.
Another great tip for improving the winter curb appeal is by adding some festive decorations and lights. I’m not referring to those huge blow-up figurines you see in some homeowners’ front yards, but some nice festive lights can go a long way in “setting the stage.” Adding some festive lights can help a buyer envision themselves spending the holidays and winters in your home.
Last but certainly not least, another great way to improve your winter curb appeal is to properly winterize your home. One of the worst first impressions that you can make as a homeowner is by having lawn furniture, even worse a lawnmower, buried by snow piles. Other easy ways to improve the curb appeal by properly winterizing your home is by cleaning up the leaves, trimming bushes and shrubs, and inspecting your roof. These simple tasks show pride of ownership and can go a long way in improving the curb appeal of a home during the winter!
Anita Clark provides residential real estate services to both buyers and sellers in Warner Robins GA and the surrounding communities.
One of the biggest mistakes made by winter-time home sellers is not ensuring their home’s curb appeal sets them apart from the local competition. Regardless of where you live, and the type of weather you see in the winter, it is smart to keep the exterior of your home as aesthetically pleasing as possible.
We see mild winter temperatures in my area, so I tell my Bonaire GA real estate sellers to put out winter-blooming flowers to give the home a splash of color and provide an appealing view for buyers who will be visiting. Home sellers can also take the necessary steps to freshen up their front door (if needed), ensure the yard/flower beds look winter-appropriate (i.e. no leftover leaves from fall), and make sure decorations have been removed if the holidays are over.
For consumers who live in areas with snow, it makes sense to keep the driveway, sidewalk, walkway, and stairs free of snow, ice, and any other winter debris. If you have broken limbs or damaged fencing, it is smart to get those issues resolved as quickly as possible so buyers do not get turned off by the outside of your home before they even step through the front door.
First impressions are lasting ones, so sellers need to take the necessary steps to put their home in its best light, especially during the winter selling season. If a buyer does not like the home’s winter curb appeal, the chances of them getting out of their warm vehicle, diminish.
As a dedicated Real Estate professional, Lynn Pineda sells homes in Southeast Florida covering the areas of Coral Springs Real Estate to Boca Raton Real Estate. It’s what she loves to do!
What better way to win the heart of a home Buyer than by making sure your home’s appeal begins at first glance. A first glance can be captivating and when Sellers are competing with other homeowners, one’s winter curb appeal can make all the difference in locking in the first glance, securing the “I want to find out more”!
It’s the homes that are uninviting that send a prospective home Buyer to their competition. It’s the homes that couldn’t care to put forth some effort that sends a Buyer on its way. It is the home that is so inviting at first glance, that Buyers want to discover more. Let that be your home when you’re selling a home.
Captivate and invite prospective home Buyers and be all the buzz with the below winter curb appeal suggestions.
Clean your front door – remove the insect remnants and webs. Nothing is worse than approaching a home only to discover insects squished or trapped in webs on a door’s front, hinges, corners, and thresholds.
Change handle and lock on the front door – the constant, beating-down sunshine that has occurred all summer long here in South Florida can really do a number on a door’s lock and handle. The finish can quickly be tarnished when you experience day after day of bright sunshine and high heat that is all too familiar here in Florida. Sorry, you Northerners if you’re reading this now in the dead of winter and could really use some rays!
Prepare your lawn and landscaping – we’re forever green here in South Florida, so year-round maintenance of your home’s grass, bushes, hedges, and garden beds are a must if your plans are to captivate home Buyers.
Garden bed mulch doesn’t last forever and should be refreshed, plumping up your garden beds. You could always try the newer brown color or go with the traditional red-toned color. Remember too that when you layer about 3 inches of mulch or more it can discourage those pesky weeds from growing.
Have your hedges and bushes trimmed so they’re uniform and neat. And of course, have your yard freshly cut and edged about every few weeks. During the winter months, you don’t see rampant growth, so you can go longer in between cuts.
Finish it all off with a spoof of color near your front door – nothing is better than greeting a Buyer near the front door with a potted plant or two full of color and texture or in a nearby garden bed.
Captivating home Buyers in South Florida can be a lot easier for us than our northern state residents due to our splendid, tropical climate that enables greenery and color to accentuate a home’s exterior year-round. It would be more difficult to sell a home in the north when the season doesn’t allow you the beauty that we have here. Hats off to my northern Real Estate Agents who are selling homes in the winter!
Paul Sian is a licensed real estate agent in the states of Ohio and Kentucky with over 10 years of experience. You can find more of my blog posts at https://www.cincinkyrealestate.com/blog/
Winter curb appeal is important to pay attention to even if there is snow on the ground. Hopefully, you knew ahead of time you wanted to sell your home and had the exterior repainted and cleaned in anticipation of the sale. Painting usually can only be done while the weather outside is above a certain temperature; otherwise, the quality of the paint job cannot be warranted by the painter. Any painter who suggests to you they can paint outside any time of year may not deliver results that will hold up. Especially while buyers are coming to look at your home the last thing they want to see is a peeling paint job.
Here in Cincinnati, Ohio the winter so far has been moderate with no snowfall on the ground. That is not always the case every year though. Since there is no snow on the grounds and the outdoor temperatures are still not too cold the landscaping still can be tended to. Make sure any dead plants have been removed, fallen leaves are cleaned up and properly disposed of dead trees removed and the grass had its final cut of the season. Most big-box hardware stores in our area should still have on-hand bagged mulch to put down over old mulch to give your landscaping a freshened look.
While you can and the weather permits all exterior windows should be cleaned of dead leaves, cobwebs, and more. Old tore or damaged screens should be replaced. If you see any windows whose seals have broken resulting in the fogged window look it is highly recommended that you have those windows changed for new windows. While the buyer may or may not notice foggy windows the home inspector certainly will and will let the buyers know.
If there happens to be snow on the ground during the time you are reading this then there are still things you can do to ensure the winter curb appeal looks good. Make sure snow is cleared from the driveway and walking paths are a must. You don’t want buyers slipping and falling while coming to visit your home and you don’t want buyers hindered from seeing all there is to see with your home due to snow or ice. Check around the home and remove icicles and other ice build-ups that are hanging off of the house and poses a risk to people walking around and viewing the home.
For additional tips for selling your home in the winter check out my article Tips For Selling Your Home In Winter.
Todd Ferris is an agent with the F.C. Tucker Company and co-founder of the Ferris Property Group along with his wife Megan Ferris. Since 2008, Todd has consistently ranked as one of the top producing agents in the greater Indianapolis area.
Winter Curb appeal matters! This is especially true in winter when things tend to look drab here in the midwest. First things first, make sure that home buyers can arrive at your house safely by keeping your driveway, sidewalks, and entryways free from snow and ice. Adding path lights to walkways adds another level of safety. Landscape lighting creates an inviting glow and helps showcase a home’s exterior, which is perfect for winter when it gets dark so early. Buyers will likely visit your home in the evenings and without landscape lighting, they won’t be able to see the exterior of your home very well. Use your landscape lighting to highlight the architectural features of your home as well as the beautiful trees in your yard. Finally, add color to your entryway with a winter wreath, doormat, and pots of greenery. There are several plants that do well in winter and can be potted—including ornamental cabbage, kale, and winterberry holly.
Wendy Weir | Michigan Relocation Specialist
Wendy Weir has been in Real Estate since 1988. She has made over 7,000 Sales and Referrals. As Director of Relocation for Corporate Accounts – her job was making Referrals to other Agents, of Listings and Buyers she procured, Nationally and Internationally.
Don’t wait too long! Once the last of the leaves have fallen, be ready to Begin Preparing for the Winter Months.
Your home exterior may not show as well as it does in the spring or summer with all the flowers blooming – Right? Wrong! If you follow a few good tips, you can make your home pop with winter curb appeal!
First, remove all the leaves and sticks from the flower beds, and cut back all the roses, lilies, butterfly bushes, grasses, or whatever you have, and the hardest part of your job is done!
Then take advantage of whatever the weather brings.
Lake snowmobiling, winter carnivals, beautiful scenery, and all types of winter recreational activities! Properly presented you can make your home look like a ‘winter wonderland’!
When I used to take a listing in the fall or winter, I would make a few suggestions to the sellers of how to make their house sparkle and be unforgettable. Remember, it takes only one buyer for your home!
So consider setting a lovely table for two by a big picture window to allow buyers to feel what it would be like if they lived there.
Then, If you want to really make your home pop, start thinking outside of the box! Why not put a stone patio in with built-in bench seating and a bonfire pit in the middle. How many of your friends have one of these? This costs around $6,000 but you really get people thinking wow, we could have so much fun with that.
David Cronnin is one of the top agents in Indiana and is passionate about helping Hoosiers find their dream homes. David was named Top Solo All-Star Agent by Indianapolis Business Journal, Top Solo Agent for RE/MAX Ability Plus, and was a Five-Star Real Estate Award Winner by Indianapolis Monthly Magazine.
In the winter it can be hard for home buyers to imagine what your house will look like in warmer months. One way to demonstrate how beautiful your house is in spring and summer is through photos. If you have photographs of the outside of your home that were taken in the summer, display them in an album for home buyers to flip through. Label the album and place it somewhere in your house that buyers are sure to see, like the kitchen counter. Be sure to include photos of your patio, deck, and yard. Also, leave a fact sheet that describes features of your home that might not be showcased in the winter such as your irrigation system, playset, mini barn, or pool. Don’t forget the features of your community that may be overlooked in winter, such as the community pool, tennis courts, and playground.
Jeff Knox is a Broker in the DFW area with a focus on real estate & homes in Frisco TX
Curb appeal 100% matters no matter the time of year. Do not let your home look “dead” during the winter season. Actually, I think the winter is a better time to set your home apart with great curb appeal. While all the other homes in your area will have dead lawns and landscapes, this is a great opportunity for you!
All areas of the country have certain landscapes for all seasons, including winter. While you certainly may visit a specialty nursery for your landscape needs, I’ve found that for the basic landscape you cannot beat the big box stores like Home Depot, Lowes, or Ace Hardware. These big-box stores offer the best prices for the basic landscape during all months.
Head to a big box store and pick up some seasonal landscape and maybe some season grasses. For instance, here in Texas, we can seed annual rye grass which will make our yards lush and green even in the freezing temperatures.
Do not exclude the interior of the home either, seasonal poinsettia plants will warm your home and give a buyer a great feeling for the holidays!
Winter is a great time to sell your home and an even better time to make your home shine with a fresh, living landscape. Take advantage!
Debbie Drummond, top-producing Realtor® in Las Vegas. Specializing in luxury homes, golf course communities, and high rise properties.
Luke, thank you for asking me to contribute to this article. We’re lucky with the nice year-round weather in Las Vegas. Our lawns, palm trees, and cacti look good in the middle of Winter.
Some of our desert plants and trees do lose their leaves in the Fall. This can leave your home looking bare. You may not want to replace a tree that looks beautiful in the Spring. Consider adding some evergreen plants that will add some green to the landscape.
Bare trees and shrubs can be a bigger problem if the plants and the leaves were concealing an issue. After the leaves are gone, take a close look at the paint. Is it peeling or chipped? Use some touch-up paint if it is.
After the hot Summer, replace any plants that didn’t survive. Keep an eye on the landscaping if temperatures drop below freezing. You may have to replace plants that couldn’t handle the cold. If you decorate for the holidays, by all means, do so. Bright lights can dress up even the trees without leaves.
Our climate lends itself to outdoor entertaining. When staging your home’s exterior, add patio furniture to create an outdoor living space. A fireplace or firepit with a couple of chairs is a great place to relax while dinner is on the grill. The Las Vegas climate means you can grill most of the year. Buyers from cold climates will love it.
If you price your home right and work with a great Realtor®, your home should be sold before Spring. If it hasn’t, consider hiring the photographer to take new photos. Photos from a season before will tip buyers off that it’s an old listing. They’ll wonder why it hasn’t sold and assume there’s a problem with it.
Winter Curb appeal is your first chance to impress a buyer. Taking time to spruce up the landscaping and paint will help your home sell faster and for a better price.
I’m Angela Duong, a Realtor® selling homes in Northern Utah for over 11 years.
Thank you for inviting me to contribute to your article, Luke! Here in Utah, our winters can vary from a winter wonderland of snow to just a cold dry one where if there is snow it melts within days. Either way, it’s winter, and having great curb appeal is a must to getting your home sold during the cold winter months.
With the unknowns of whether we will be snow-covered or not it’s important to be sure that the grass and flower beds are well kept. Remove all the dead foliage, trim the bushes, and rake up any debris. In the event we are graced with the beautiful white winter it’s a must to keep the driveway, walkways, and even the patio and decks clear of snow for home buyers optimal outdoor viewing and safety.
Daylight hours are shortened during the winter. Check your light bulbs and change any that have burned out. You never know when a potential buyer may be driving by and see that for sale sign in your yard. Stand out by turning the outdoor lights on during evening hours. Don’t have a lot of lighting? Invest in some white spotlights and strategically place them to aim at your home. Make them hassle-free by putting them on a timer.
Even though Christmas is about over when winter begins doesn’t mean you can’t make your home feel merry and bright. Add some color by painting your door. My absolute fave is red, but if you have a red brick home, you are going to want to pick a different color to compliment that. Head to the stores for the after-Christmas sale and buy up some garland and white led lights. Frame your door with the garland and lights. If you enjoy DIY crafts, you can create expensive-looking topiaries for cheap. With tomato cages wrapped with garland and lights, you have some evergreen trees to place around your garage and front door. Be sure you stake them down into some colorful flower pots!
With the right Realtor pricing your home right, great curb appeal, and a de-cluttered home you can get your home sold this winter!
The first piece of the winter curb appeal puzzle is pricing your home right. Most potential buyers will see your home online first. A big part of the first impression your home makes will be its price. Is the house priced well compared to other homes on the market? If home buyers don’t think your home is priced appropriately then they won’t even bother to come to see it in person. That means all the other things you do to improve its winter curb appeal will have been a waste of time.
Speaking of a waste of time, yard work might top the list of seemingly silly things to do in December or January. Especially when most of us here in the Northwest do almost nothing to our yards from November through March. However, a freshly mowed lawn with landscaped areas free of weeds, leaves, and pine needles could be the thing that sets your home apart from others that are also for sale.
One thing that could set your home apart from others in a bad way is not having gutters over walk-ways and entrances. No one wants to feel a cold drip of water down the back of their neck as they walk up to a home they are expected to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for. In Central Oregon, with our 300+ days of sunshine, it is not uncommon for builders to cut corners and not install gutters but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a need for them. Gutters are a relatively inexpensive home improvement. Have them installed before listing your home for sale.
Outdoor living space is something that many builders here in Central Oregon don’t cut corners on. It is part of the Bend lifestyle and it’s on many buyers’ “must-have” lists. If your home has outdoor living space bring the furniture out of storage or uncover it and set up your deck or patio to look like it does during warmer months. Also, be sure to clear those areas of snow so that prospective buyers can envision themselves enjoying the outdoor amenities of your home.
Xavier De Buck, a top-producing Northcliff (Johannesburg) real estate agent, shares his knowledge and expertise by assisting buyers and sellers in achieving their life-long dreams of owning property.
Whether you’re in Nevada, Florida, California, or even Johannesburg, South Africa, consider yourself lucky that you don’t have to deal with the traditional 4 seasons. At most, it might approach freezing temperatures overnight or perhaps not be as warm during the day as it normally is in the summer, but the issues of ice and snow are pretty much non-existent.
Whereas a home seller in such winter conditions might struggle to optimally present his home, living in ‘sunshine’ places comes with its own problems of presentation. When preparing one’s home for a winter sale, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to a winter curb appeal.
You only have one chance at making a first impression. A drab winter lawn is very likely to look closer to brown than green, but that shouldn’t stop you from keeping the overall garden neat and tidy, by minimally removing all leaves. At least give the potential buyers an idea of how the garden would look in spring and summertime. Ideally, one ought to have planted some evergreen trees or flowers which can liven up these dreary winter landscapes.
Furthermore, with the garden, and trees, in particular, appearing to be somewhat bare, the emphasis on having done the basic maintenance and painting will be pertinent, as minor chipped or faded irregularities in the exterior of the home will jump out even more. How winter natural light will now need to be considered as a significant element in the presentation mix!
Even though in wintertime, the number of available homes on the market tends to be reduced, it’s important to make sure one’s home stands out by creating an inviting atmosphere, and this starts with a proper winter curb appeal.
Summing Up Winter Curb Appeal
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the real estate agents and other professionals that took the time to contribute to this post. There is a wealth of good information here for sellers, regardless of their location.
We hope this knowledge will bring good luck to you in your plans to sell your home during the upcoming Winter season.
Related Curb Appeal Resources:
Tips to Make Your Home Holiday Ready via June Seebohm
Tip Tips for Winterizing a Vacant Home via RISMedia’s Housecall Blog
The Importance of Curb Appeal When Selling Your Home via Janis Borgueta