Recently we spent time here explaining why selling your Waterloo region home in the winter is not only possible but may even be the best time to do so. However, if you are planning to sell your Waterloo Region home, creating great curb appeal in the winter months – something that is a must – can often be rather challenging.
The simple fact is that the majority of would-be buyers for your home will pretty much make up their mind about it within just a few minutes, and often even before they get through the front door.
Whether it is your yard, landscaping, or the exterior of your house – great curb appeal is essential. A house that looks outdated and/or in disrepair will create a negative impression instantly.
But while making things look great in the spring and summer months is relatively easy what can you do when all of your green grass (and green trees) have faded to brown and bare and every other day snow is blanketing almost everything? Here are a few tried and tested winter curb appeal tips and tricks that will help:
Clear Your Driveway of Debris
One of the most basic tasks winter outdoor home staging tasks you need to undertake is cleaning and repairing the driveway. This includes raking off any dry leaves and repairing as many noticeable cracks as you can.
Remove stray toys, junk vehicles, and lawn equipment from the driveway and sidewalks. Many Waterloo Region home sellers forget that potential home buyers want to be able to picture themselves walking into “their” home. Don’t give them an excuse to turn around and go view another home!
Create an Inviting Winter Front Lawn
A beautiful front lawn ensures happy buyers, but that can often be difficult for winter lawns. However, even though the grass may not be very green taking care of landscaping basics – trimming what is left of the grass, pruning bushes, clearing the lawn of fallen leaves and removing lingering weeds will all make a positive difference.
You can go a few steps further though. Decorating the landscaping with colored mulch or gravel can spruce up plant beds and help keep weeds at bay while also adding some much-needed colour to a drab winter landscape. And look to adding colorful potted evergreen plants or artificial shrubs that will add flair and visual interest to your front entry.
Create a Welcoming Winter Entry with Colours and Hardware
Your front porch and/ or door will set the scene for the rest of your interior home. Consider sprucing up the front door with a fresh coat of paint. Add new address numbers, outdoor lighting fixtures, and a new doormat, as these seemingly small things can all make a big difference. In addition, a new doorbell, door hardware, and even a stylish wall-mounted mailbox should look appealing and fresh when buyers come to the front door.
Spruce Up the Exterior Façade of Your Home
Architectural features of your outdoor home are another aspect not to overlook with winter curb appeal. Roofing shingles, vinyl or wood siding, and discolored brick can turn off potential buyers immediately. If possible, pressure wash these portions of your home to remove dirt and grime. Downspouts and gutters should be free from signs of wear and consider replacing pieces of gutters or downspouts if necessary.
Ensure windows and doors are in working order and seal cracks with caulking to ensure air doesn’t leak in or out your home. Remember, some areas of curb appeal also involve maintenance, not just what a buyer can see with their eyes.
Celebrate the Season, With Care
While it’s not advisable to go all out with kitschy holiday decor while your Waterloo Region home is on the market for sale some subtle, stylish celebrations of the season can be rather effective. If you have evergreen trees, or front yard fencing, consider adding clear coloured fairy lights to them, and a subtle winter wreath on the front door can help create a warm, winter welcome that buyers should love.
Creating a Wonderful Winter Patio
Great outdoor living space is a big attraction for Waterloo Region home buyers and comes fairly high on their ‘must have’ lists for many. If your home has a patio - or deck - then that can be a real selling point in the summer, but once the winter arrives and the temperature drops it’s a harder sell, as it’s just so hard for a potential buyer to envisage what it might be like to make use of.
It does not have to be that way though. It is actually not as hard as you might imagine to stage a deck or patio for year round appeal. After all, there really is something rather special about sitting outside around sunset, a nice glass of something to drink in hand and just admiring the scenery. And it’s a great scene to set for buyers.
Here are just a few ways you can showcase your deck or patio during the colder months and get a little bit of extra enjoyment out of it yourself too.
Let There be Heat
The number one reason that outdoor home spaces become off limits as soon as temperatures begin to fall is an obvious one – it’s just too cold to sit out there. However, there are plenty of options for warming that patio up for cold weather use.
Gas or electric patio heaters are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Most gas patio heaters do not need installing at all, as they are designed to be mobile heating units. Electric patio heaters on the other hand tend to be wall mounted features.
Both options provide a decent amount of heat but they are not your only option. Permanent outdoor fireplaces, firepits and old fashioned chimineas are all good sources of patio heat as well – and come with the added advantage that you can prepare a little campfire food on them!
Keep The Elements Away
All the heaters in the world won’t help if it’s raining cats and dogs, or snowing, as is far from unusual in our region at this time of year. Patio blinds are a great way to enclose a patio for the winter months without changing its overall appearance in the summertime.
These patio blinds are designed to be temporary “walls” when they are down and they come in clear or colored PVC or tough vinyl. Most operate on a roll up and down system, but you can opt to have motorize versions that operate at the touch of a button installed instead.
Add Some Color
A winter patio can be a rather depressing place. The garden is practically bare and the sunlight is the cold, winter variety that can be rather harsh. There are lots of ways you can brighten up your patio for the winter though. A few hardy pot plants can add the touch of natural color that is missing while a brightly colored outdoor rug in nice warm colors can do the same artificially. Candles and comfy cushions in bright summer colors can help everything look and feel a little lighter, and slightly summery as well