Green grass, perfectly manicured garden, gorgeous patio set on your new deck, warm summer breeze coming in through the windows… all things that play with the emotions of a potential buyer when you are looking to sell your home. Why not throw some fresh baked cookies into the oven just before they arrive so the smell wafts down the driveway as they pull in? Selling your home is as much an emotional decision as it is a business transaction. You want that potential buyer to feel as though they could live in that house and really picture their life there. In 3 of the 4 seasons, this type of home staging is a little easier.
Than BAAM! Winter smacks us in the face. Windows are shut, grass can’t be seen for the mounds of snow, patio sets put away and sometimes it’s even hard to realize a deck is under that huge blanket of white stuff. We live in Canada, and chances are the person buying your home does too and understands how fickle our winters can be. But that doesn’t mean you can speak to each buyer on an emotional level just like the rest of the year. Winter curb appeal is just as important as in the other 3 seasons… if not more important! As a seller, your job is to make your home look inviting, cozy and as safe as possible for people to come visit. Here are a few ideas on how to boost your winter curb appeal and make sure you are giving your home its best chance to shine:
- Think about adding a bold door colour: The front door is your home’s first impression. It is what the potential buyer will look at every single time they come and go from the house. Why not make it as inviting as possible with a bold (yet tasteful) door colour.
- Greenery: A fresh snow fall is stunning and can actually add to your homes appeal…but what happens 3 days later, after a warm front rolls in, and that beautiful white fluff turns into dreary brown sludge? Make sure your home has some colour pop even with a simple green wreath or urn display. Keep it clean from snow and sludge and even add a bit of color to match the front door.
- Keep the driveway and walkway clean: No one wants to go see a home and end up with a huge soaker from having to trudge through 3 feet of snow on an un-shovelled pathway. Make sure the driveway and all walkways/entrance ways to the home and cleared of snow and salted to remove ice.“Hey I want to buy that home that I fell and broke my wrist at.” – Said no one ever.
- Add a bird feeder: Seems crazy, but even in our worst Canadian winter storms, we host some of the most gorgeous winter birds. Add a bird feeder or two around the house to attract some wild life. Please read this again… I said ONE or TWO… let’s not go crazy and become some kind of bird sanctuary. That’s just creepy.
- Window viewing: It becomes so dark so early these days that a lot of people will do a drive by of your home after dinner to check out the neighbourhood before calling their Realtor. Why not make the home look warm and cozy on the inside while they are freezing on the outside? Don’t be afraid to leave some lights on in the living room and the shades open. Let them see your fireplace crackling or make them curious to see more.
- Holiday decorations: Say goodbye to the blow up Santa and reindeer display or the Griswald light show! White, bright lights are the most appealing to the eye. Minimalism is they key here. You want to highlight the archways and windows in your home, not have the hydro company called for a power outage in the neighbourhood.
A lot of my clients ask if it’s better to wait until the spring to sell. I always say NO! Winter can be a beautiful time to showcase your home and maximize its value. It may take a little more work to maintain, but in the end the right buyer will be there!