We just received news that my husband’s job may be transferring him to St. Louis in March. We’re excited, but also a little anxious. Our home is a smaller 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home and we are located in a neighborhood where homes sell very quickly. We don’t want to put it on the market for sale too soon and end up with no place to live. Also, even though homes sell quickly in our neighborhood, there is a huge difference in the sales price between similar sized homes. So, we want to do everything right so that we can get the most for our home. We’re planning to list our home for sale in the last week of January or first week of February and have a pretty good idea of what we need to do to have the inside ready, but are very worried about how the outside of our house will look because all of the grass will be brown. Do you have any suggestions on how to make our curb-appeal look better when we get ready to list for sale?
Congratulations on your family’s big move! It sounds like you have a pretty good handle on what you will need to do to have your home ready to go. It’s good that you are planning ahead to overcome some of the seasonal challenges, as well.
Ideally, you would go ahead and get your landscaping looking tip-top right now while the grass is a little green, then interview Realtors to decide which one is the best match for you and have them take photographs now (preferably using an architectural photographer) to use in the winter. That way, your home stands out against the competition!
Of course, you will still want to maximize that first impression by making sure that your curb appeal is the best that it can be in the winter. You will want to make sure that you have flower beds that are clear of any weeds, have clearly defined boundaries, and also have fresh mulch. While I have seen beautifully landscaped homes with large bark mulch, brown mulch, and orange mulch, I feel that dark black mulch in small pieces has the best effect on curb appeal. It adds contrast to green grass in the summer and dormant grass in the winter and draws the eyes of your potential buyer to where you want them to be focused – your home.
Be sure to remove or cut back any dead or dormant plants. If you have long spans of brick or siding with no architectural interest (windows, etc.), you may want to plant a hearty bush or shrub that is a little taller (at least 3-5 feet) to break up that area and add some interest. A nice pop of color near your front door will also draw attention to where you want it. Pansies are a great choice for winter color! If your flowerbed does not drain well or does not get direct sunlight, the pansies will not last as long and you may consider planting them in attractive pots that you place near your front door.
If you have a larger front porch area, be sure to clear it of any unused pots or planters. The only thing that should be on your porch are staged outdoor entertainment areas. Brightly colored pillows in chairs also add to the curb appeal of any home!
Remember to remove anything that does not add to the appeal of your home. Trash and recycling bins should be moved to the garage or behind the fence on the side of your home. No vehicles should be parked in the driveway or front of your home.
If you follow the steps above, I have no doubt that your buyer’s first impression of your home will be fabulous, regardless of the season!
Do you have a question about home ownership or real estate? Please feel free to contact Jen Zweiacker at 979.450.0455 or visit Zweiacker & Associates at zarealestate.com