Are you busy preparing to sell your Windsor real estate this fall or winter? Chances are, you are busy making the necessary repairs and doing a little home improvement, not to mention decluttering. But don’t forget to look outside and spend some time getting your landscaping under control to create terrific curb appeal.
I often tell clients, it won’t matter what your house looks like on the inside if the outside of your home looks neglected. Curb appeal is valuable as it gives buyers that first impression. I have had clients not get out of the car because they simply see landscaping that has not been touched and a home that needs major outdoor work.
Whether you plan on selling your home, or simply want to prepare your garden for next spring, here are some tips to do now, before the real cold weather starts.
1. Walk the property:
With a notebook and pen, see what plants did well, and what needs to be removed. Look at the overall health of the plants, including any that have diseases. Remove anything that is dead or dying, including those summer annual plants and replace with fall, cool-weather plants and flowers.
Prune trees, shrubs or bushes to remove any dead branches. Anything that is overgrown and brushing against the home needs to be trimmed back as it can damage siding.
3. Add mulch:
Mulch is very popular with buyers as it gives the landscaping a professional and uniformed look. If needed, place extra mulch around the bases of plants as it provides insulation from the bitter cold.
Keep on top of raking leaves! If left unattended, the leaves can smother and create mold and fungus. Not a good sight for buyers to see if your home is for sale this spring. Also, make sure all leaves are swept away from paths and driveways leading to the home.
If necessary, consider aerating your lawn as it creates water, fertilizer and air to move more easily, creating a healthier and more vibrant yard. Fertilizing is a good idea as well as it will create maximum growth in the spring.
If you know that you will be selling your home in the spring, now would be a great time to plant some spring bulbs. Buyers are attracted to homes that have even a few spring flowers, so make your home stand out from the competition or at least wow them the minute they get out of their car.
6. Disconnect and drain hoses:
If necessary, also wrap insulation over exterior faucets to protect from freezing temperatures. The last thing you want are any outside pipes freezing and breaking. One client had this happen to a pipe that was located under their porch. It burst and the front walk way became an ice skating rink.
7. Check lighting:
Buyers look at homes at all hours of the day, including evenings. Make sure that all of your outdoor lights are working properly. If they are dated, consider replacing fixtures with more modern ones. Keep in mind that it should always compliment the style of a home. Because the days are shorter, make sure that the outside of your home will be well-lit so buyers won’t stumble to the front door.
8. Speaking of your front door…..
If a buyer walked up to your front door, what would they see? Cobwebs? Dirty window sills? Summer ornaments? Dress up this entrance as this is the first thing your buyer will see up close. Paint your front door if necessary. Sweep away all spider webs, bugs and dirt. Replace the “welcome” mat, put fall flowers in nice pots around your front door and maybe a fall wreath if it works with your style of home. If your address is missing numbers or not visible, replace.
Again, whether you are selling your home this fall or next year, proper fall yard maintenance ensures that your lawn and home will be in good condition when the days grow warmer. This will make a huge difference to buyers as they correctly assume that any homeowner that takes good care of the outside of their home, will more than likely have an interior that is well-kept as well.