1. A Good First Impression
A wreath on the front door, planted urns with greenery and cedar or pine boughs with dried berries and magnolia leaves gives your home a cared for feel. As with any time of year, make sure that the house looks well maintained with clean eavestroughs and minor repairs done. You can’t paint in winter but you can wash any paintwork down with warm soapy water on a mild day and have the windows washed as well. Shrubs that may bend down with need to brushed off or even lightly pruned. Ensure your driveways and walkways are continually cleared of ice and snow and put salt down, especially before showing
2. Be Prepared
Be prepared for snowy shoes and boots, have a small ‘Shoes Off’ sign placed strategically near the front door, have an absorbent mat protecting your stone or wood flooring. A shoe tray will avoid any puddles and have a rack or closet cleared and ready for winter jackets, hats and scarves. Show that your home is well laid out and there is plenty of storage.
3. Warm It Up
Set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature. If you have a gas fireplace, turn it on before an open house or right before a showing OR if you have a wood-burning fireplace, light a fire and let it glow during the showing. Winter flower arrangements in the kitchen and other main rooms while amaryllis blooms in the bathrooms give an upscale feel. Focus on adding layers, such as area rugs, throw blankets, fur pillows in the living spaces and have all the bedding throughout your home appropriate for the winter season. Light fragrant candles and have a tray of freshly baked cookies on the kitchen island.
The daylight is very limited during the winter months, so take full advantage of natural light when you can and let the sunlight in by opening curtains and blinds as wide as possible. Make sure you have planned and had all of your windows washed to let in the most light and show your home off in its best possible condition. Don’t forget that many buyers will probably see your home after the sun sets, so it’s important to keep your home well lit. Clean all the light fixtures and replace any bulbs to ensure they are giving off as much light as possible. Another idea is to have both indoor and outdoor lights on a timer, this way even when you are not home, your home will be welcoming to prospective buyers.
5. Summer Potential
What does your home and garden look like in summer? Leave out an album of great photographs of your outdoor spaces taken in late spring, summer and early fall. Show off your back garden and or front yard – flower gardens in bloom, sparkling pool, landscaping and lighting, and any stone work that is hidden under all that snow. If you had professional landscaping or lighting installations plans, include those as well.