Trees are brown and drab and shrubs are lonely stick figures this time of year. Sadly, what’s beautiful and lush in July can be—let’s face it—pretty ugly in winter. Despite the chilly weather, Minnesota real estate is heating up. How can you beautify your landscape and ramp up your home’s curb appeal if you’re selling a home in the winter?
- Clean Up. The first thing to do is neaten your yard. Make sure that fallen branches and twigs, kids’ toys, lawn tools and shovels are all picked up and put away. If there’s no snow cover, go ahead and rake up any leaves or trash that’s blown in and get your yard looking tidy.
- Safety. Shovel the driveway and sidewalk immediately after each snowfall and sprinkle salt on icy patches as needed. You don’t want a prospective buyer to slip on your walk or have a hard time getting to your front door. In addition, look up at your roof for any hanging icicles that may be a hazard and safely remove them if possible.
- Tasteful Décor. Consider adding a few outdoor decorations to give your home a pop of color and personality. You can add a simple, non-holiday wreath on the front door; put out weather-resistant urns or planters that display winter greenery or berries; or add outdoor baubles and decorations to empty birdbaths or fountains. Make sure to keep things tasteful and avoid overdoing it! As they say, sometimes less is more.
- Lighting. Because we have less daylight in the winter, there’s a good chance your house’s first impression will be after dark. Replace any burned out light bulbs promptly—you want people approaching your home to see it clearly, and better lighting makes your home look warm and cozy. You may want to add extra lighting along pathways or install outdoor light fixtures that draw attention to architectural features as well.
- Off-season Photos. Display summertime photos of your home and yard in a visible spot. Prospective buyers will want to see what the yard looks like in warm months so they can visualize themselves enjoying the yard, deck, garden, and other outdoor spaces.
- Second Opinion. Have a trusted friend drive by your home during the day and at night to be a second pair of eyes for you. Have them tell you their first impression so you can make adjustments. A pair of fresh eyes can give you valuable input.
If you’re wondering how to sell a home despite the chill and bleakness of winter, there are a number of small, simple steps you can take to increase your home’s curb appeal. Whether it’s adding lighting or pops of color, you can make your home more attractive and give it an edge in the market.