While the real estate market here in Chicagoland can be seasonal, the winter months can still be red hot, as homeseekers across the area zip up their parkas and head out in search of a property to call home.
For sellers, it’s important to make sure your home is always looking its very best during the colder months, whether you’re putting your home on the market for the first time or transitioning your sale from fall to winter. Working with a real estate professional to get your home ready to sell is one of the most important steps you can take to streamline the sales process — and during the winter season, this means taking care to spotlight your home’s best features, both inside and out.
In addition to making the interior of your space stand out, it’s also important to spend some time discussing winter curb appeal with your real estate professional. First impressions really matter, especially on a freezing winter day. Fortunately, there are all sorts of ways you can help showcase the exterior of your home in the best possible light, all winter long. Looking for some inspiration? Here are five key ways to spruce up your property’s wintertime curb appeal:
1.) Make Safety a Priority
Taking some simple precautions can help make your home look more appealing to buyers — while also ensuring that they can explore the property safely and comfortably. After winter storms, shovel all walkways, stairs, and porches, as well as the home’s driveway, to ensure that there’s always a clear and accessible path to the home. Take care to get rid of patches of ice, and look out for fallen tree limbs and other dangerous debris. If your property has handrails or other outdoor safety features, make sure that they are secure and ready to use, all season long.
Similarly, you can make your home look its very best — and get rid of potential safety hazards — by getting rid of outdoor clutter. Be sure that all shovels, bags of salt, and kids’ toys are safely stored away out of sight once you’re done using them.
2.) Bring In Color Where You Can
With our famously cold climate, winter days in Chicagoland can be gray and drab. One way to battle the winter blues is to introduce pops of bright color in strategic areas around your property. For example, adding colorful new paint to your front door or window shutters can make a dramatic difference, and help your home really shine.
Similarly, look for hardy winter plants to add to window boxes or the front garden, or consider adding colorful outdoor flourishes like weather-proof patio furniture. You can even make an impact with a striking doormat, a functional finish that can allow visitors to wipe mud and ice off of their shoes, so they don’t track anything into the home.
3.) Add Plenty of Outdoor Lighting
Creating a warm, welcoming glow is important, especially on a dark winter’s day. Adding plenty of lighting around your property is a key safety consideration, and can help showcase your home in the best possible light — literally.
To increase your winter curb appeal, consider adding or updating your pathway lights, as well as the light fixtures on your garage door or driveway, and your front and back porch. You could even add decorative flourishes that add extra warmth to the property, such as wrought iron lanterns. Make sure that all of your lights are fully functional and bright, throughout the winter months.
You may even consider updating your indoor lights, and making sure that you keep your windows clean and clear. This way, you can help warm interior light shine through so that it can be seen from the street for a perfect, picturesque wintertime view.
4.) Keep Everything Clean and Tidy
Regular home maintenance is one of the most important ways you can help keep up your property’s curb appeal in winter. Clean your gutters in autumn, to prevent buildup of snow and ice during the colder season. Be sure to regularly rake leaves and clear away debris, and keep your landscaping looking tidy. Keep any bushes trimmed and looking uniform, and consider working with an expert to have large trees pruned and cut properly for the season. You can also add mulch to flower beds for an appealing, resilient finish.
Keep an eye out for damage, and make any repairs as necessary throughout the season — whether that means replacing a broken shutter, fixing loose window boxes, unjamming that “sticking” screen door, or adding decorative new address numbers. For a beautiful, functional touch, you may also wish to paint, update, or repair outdoor elements like fences, gates, and mailboxes.
5.) Decorate for the Season
Embrace the winter season in your decor by adding creative, chic design flourishes. While you may want to avoid going “all out” for the holidays to avoid turning off potential buyers, you can still add plenty of distinctive and appealing touches — such as hanging wreaths, outdoor lanterns, white string lights, or decorative piles of firewood.
You might also go shopping for small evergreen trees and shrubs, and display them outside in festive, visually appealing planters. For a natural touch, add a colorful, chic bird feeder to help draw cheerful winter birds to the property. You can also showcase your home’s garden space with beautiful, winter-ready garden ornaments.
Ready to Make Your Move This Winter?
Looking for help selling your home during the frostiest months of the year? We get you. At Baird & Warner, our agents are hyperlocal experts who know all the ins and outs of buying, selling, and living in Chicagoland — during the freezing days of winter, or the dog days of summer.
As the largest independent and locally owned real estate brokerage in Chicagoland, the Baird & Warner family has earned success by putting our clients’ needs first, and always making it easier to navigate the real estate process at every step of the way.
With mortgage and title services in-house, our full-service approach can transform an intricate, complex process into one that is smarter and more seamless, so you can spend less time stressing, and more time creating the winter wonderland of your dreams.