· Keep it clean. This is never more important than in the winter, when safety is an issue. You’ll need to keep driveways, sidewalks, and walkways clear of snow and ice. If you don’t have a snow blower, see if you can rent or borrow one to make snow removal easier. Clear snow early and often to prevent thick, icy layers from forming. Make sure your deck and steps are clear of snow so buyers can envision spending time outside in warmer weather. The upside? At least you don’t have to mow your lawn several times a week or weed your flower beds daily!
Repair and replace. As with any season, make sure that everything from your mailbox to your window screens to your paint is in good shape. Winter’s lack of foliage means that your house is even more visible without any greenery to hide the rough edges. If your paint could use a touch-up, think about getting in a fresh coat before the really cold weather sets in. Do a walk around the perimeter of the house and make sure everything is in tip-top shape.
De-clutter. The inside of your house isn’t the only area that needs to be free of clutter. Make sure any non-seasonal tools, furniture, and decorations are hidden away for the winter. You don’t want anything to detract from the front of your house or blemish any seasonal displays you create. From garden hoses to rakes to soccer balls, make sure everything goes.
Landscape. Just because many plants are dormant doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with your landscaping. Clear away dead branches and trim back trees and shrubbery so that your house really stands out. Consider filling hanging containers or pretty flower pots with small, hearty winter plants like holly or small evergreens. Get creative with your containers – use baskets, barrels, or even a bird bath.
Light it up. The days are shorter, which means that some of your home showings may occur when it’s dark out. Nothing gives a home a more magical glow than understated seasonal lighting. Lining walkways with ground lights or even luminaries can make your home warm and inviting. Or consider placing a battery-operated white candle in each window – a truly New England institution that never loses its appeal. Just don’t go overboard! Buyers aren’t likely to be attracted to a garish display, and blinking lights can distract from the lines of your home.
· Decorate. A seasonal wreath or floral spray can be a lovely and simple door decoration any time of the year, and winter particularly lends itself to pretty arrangements. Use subtle colors that reflect the season.
Give your home some warm and cozy appeal from the moment a potential buyer pulls up to your curb. With a little creativity and effort, you can make your house glow.