Home Selling Tip: Get Easy Winter Curb Appeal

Home Selling In Winter By Adding Curb AppealDuring the winter, it’s a lot harder to think about gardening – especially if you’re a home seller who is sick of trying to sell a house!

It’s much easier to think about winter feasts or sitting around the fireplace holding a mug of hot chocolate with a couple of half-submerged marshmallows.

But I’ve noticed something happening out on the streets in Portland, Oregon and in many other places — city crews are outside planting new flowers, sprucing up the street’s winter curb appeal.

Home sellers can take a hint from this: If colorful pansies and other plants can thrive all winter-long in street dividers and pots around town, why can’t we do the same thing in our own front and back yards?

Here are a few quick, easy ways to boost your home’s winter curb appeal:

First off, this can actually be a good time to shop for plants. Many nurseries and stores are selling their inventory for up to 75% off, because people aren’t doing much gardening right now and stores don’t want to deal with this inventory either. This makes it a good time to replace any plants that sizzled and died in the summer with hardy perennials that will make it through the winter.

This can also be a good time to go pot shopping and see what kind of discounts you can get.  There’s a good chance those fenced-in pot and sculpture places have a lot of inventory but not too many takers. Find a few colorful pots of varying heights and load them up with bright pansies and green plants which will perk up your surroundings all winter-long. You can place these along your walkway as well as throughout your garden.

Next, think about adding a blanket of winter mulch to add color and consistency to your garden, as well as to protect your plants from harsh conditions. The best way to buy this mulch is to have it delivered by truck instead of buying it by the bag. By doing so, you can get as much as five times as much mulch for your money.

Take a look around your house for broken items that can be given new life in your garden. Cracked or chipped flower pots can be partially buried, or you can fill them with ground cover plants that will artfully flow over the pot’s broken parts. Even broken garden tools with long handles, such as rakes, hoes and shovels can be used as posts for training vines. These unfortunate items can give your garden character and add varied elevations to your landscaping.

Now here’s a few more easy enhancements: Put an attractive wreath on your front door, keep your front entryway clean and swept, and move a few lamps (inside your house) close to the windows. For added ambiance, use warm hued or pinkish lightbulbs to give your home a welcoming glow.

Make sure your home’s sales material includes photos of your home in all seasons. Take pictures of your attractive winter garden and your home’s windows glowing in the dim evening light. Show these photos alongside shots of your home in the height of spring and summer.

Now you’re ready for that rewarding cup of hot chocolate, knowing if a house hunter drives by this winter — they’ll see an unexpected winter garden worth stopping for.

For hundreds of other home selling tips check out my book, Home Seller’s Blues and How To Beat Them. Available in paperback and as an ebook from Amazon.com and at http://www.homesellersblues.com

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Great ideas for sellers! I find many sellers reluctant to sell over the holidays, but what many don’t realize is that there is less competition and the buyers who are out looking are SERIOUS!

Thanks Sheryl, the buyers who are out there right now are ready to move — and often they need to do it soon. I sold my own house during January, to a couple who were out there searching on the coldest day of the year.

Loved your book and recommend it to sellers and my colleagues often. I sell real estate in the Northeast and winter does present its challenges. I agree with you that an inviting home with wonderful kitchen baking smells is a plus and would add that a roaring fire has just as much appeal. Buyers tend to visualize themselves in that cozy room and thus are more apt to “move themselves in”. This is the Spring market snd buyers that are out now are absolutely serious and want to be moved in by the time the crocuses come out. Your comments about showing off garden photos are also dead on. When it is grey and gloomy out, buyers love to think of the prospect of Spring and the gorgeouse garden that awaits them.

Thank you for your comments Olivia. Having a roaring fire is a great focal point for a room and definitely encourages buyers to visualize sitting in front of the fireplace. The more you can help a buyer visualize the pluses of owning the home in all seasons, the better, so the four-season photos are very important.

Also, thank you so much for recommending Home Seller’s Blues and How To Beat Them to your sellers and colleagues. Realtors tell me it’s a good resource for helping the buyer and agent work together as a team.

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