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15 Ways to Boost Your Curb Appeal for a Winter Open House

By Michelle McGuinness · December 22, 2022 · 5 minute read

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15 Ways to Boost Your Curb Appeal for a Winter Open House

If you’re planning a winter open house, you might think there’s not much you can do to boost your curb appeal. In summer, you can clean up the lawn, add new plants, and set out an Adirondack chair in a cool color. But in the depths of winter, it may feel hopeless. However, there’s actually a lot you can do to boost your curb appeal for a winter open house.

How to Prepare for an Open House

No matter the season, there are some things that hold true about how to prepare for an open house. You always want your home to give off a great first impression. Whether it’s raining, snowing, or sunny, that means cleaning up the lawn, tidying the driveway, and doing other basic maintenance.

In winter, you may face some additional challenges. A heavy snowfall can be a high hurdle to overcome. But there are still plenty of people buying a home in the winter, and you can still give those folks a stunning first impression of your house. Let’s look at 15 things you can do that help with a winter open house.

1. Start at the Front Door

No matter what the weather is doing, you can always spruce up your front door. It will greet potential buyers before they ever step inside. A fresh welcome mat and a charming wreath (whether real pine boughs or, say, holiday ornaments) can go a long way in this regard. You can also do some basic cleaning no matter what the season. Basic tidiness can give you more of an edge than you might imagine.

2. Find Plants that Work in Winter

You might think you can only spruce up the garden in summer and spring, but there are several plants that thrive in colder weather. This will depend on where you live; holly is a popular choice that adds color all winter. Another idea is to grab some pots of mums from your local supermarket or garden center to bring some greenery to the front door area on the day of your open house.

3. Don’t Forget the Birds

It isn’t just plants that are surprisingly hardy in winter. If you have birds in spring and summer, they may be around in winter, too. Hanging a bird feeder can entice them to flit about your yard, which will be charming for visitors. Plus, this is a super easy way to prepare for an open house if you already have bird feeders for the warmer months. Just add seeds.

4. Know the Trends

You don’t have to go it alone when trying to figure out how to prepare for an open house. Look up the current housing market trends by city. This can show you not only what’s selling, but perhaps why it’s selling. See what other sellers are doing to improve their curb appeal. Take a look at the listings and let them inspire you.

5. Turn on the Lights

You can use outdoor lighting to not only make your home more attractive, but also safer. You don’t want prospective buyers stumbling through the dark or approaching nervously because you left them in the dark. Add more lighting if you can. You can line a pathway with lights, for example, for both safety and aesthetics.

6. Check the Gutters

In winter, the gutters can take a beating. Make sure you clean out snow, leaves, and other debris that tends to build up during bad weather. Overstuffed gutters just aren’t a good look.

7. Clean the Walkways

A winter open house shouldn’t require snow shoes. If you’ve had snow and other bad weather, make sure the walkways to and from the house are clean and clear. Shoveling snow isn’t fun, but it will make a much better impression when buyers pull up in front of your house.

8. Don’t Hide Those String Lights

You might think that you have to prepare for an open house by hiding all the holiday lighting, but string lights can add a stylish touch to your home. Don’t go overboard like something out of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” but do think about having some in the front of your house, whether around the front door or on some shrubs by the entryway.

9. Put on a Fresh Coat of Paint

There’s no wrong season for a fresh coat of paint. If you get the opportunity and have the budget, try painting your home. It can make your home look crisp and well cared for.

10. Paint Your Front Door a Bright Color

Don’t have the time or budget to repaint the whole house? Even just painting the front door can add a fresh splash of color that boosts your home’s curb appeal. Some colors to consider: bright red, like the color of an English double-decker bus, or sunny yellow.

11. Make Sure the House Number Is Visible

When it comes to curb appeal, you also have to think about the literal curb. Is your house number visible from the street? If not, consider updating those numbers to make them visible and chic.

12. Spruce Up the Mailbox

While you’re looking at your house numbers, why not spruce up your mailbox as well? Perhaps you get a brand-new one, or give your current one a fresh coat of paint or some string lights, so it pops.

13. Do a Quick Roof Fix-Up

Maybe you’ve lived with a few broken or missing roof shingles or tiles for so long, you hardly notice them. Sorry to say, prospective buyers may well zero in on them the second they walk up your front path. It’s wise to get those repaired before you welcome your home shoppers.

💡 Recommended: What Are the Most Common Home Repair Costs?

14. Add Pine Cones to Your Landscaping

You might think of pinecones as a nuisance you have to clear out during winter, but you can use them to your advantage. Line flower and tree beds with pinecones in order to protect the plants and add a seasonal touch to your lawn.

15. Use Fake Plants

You don’t have to be 100% authentic with your decorations. Topiaries made of fake trees or grapevine balls can make your porch more appealing. And they’ll likely stand up to any weather winter can throw at them. You can even add string lights to these kinds of plants for a nice extra touch. And when winter is over, simply store them away.

The Takeaway

You might feel discouraged at first when wondering how to maximize curb appeal for an open house in winter. But it’s a lot easier than it seems. There’s no point trying to fake spring or summer flowers, so opt for cleaning up, some greenery (real or artificial), some lighting, and perhaps a pop of color.

If you’re planning to shop for a new home at the same time you’re selling your current house, you may want to start researching mortgage rates and getting pre-approved. SoFi can help you with your future mortgage loan at competitive rates and with a super simple process.


Photo credit: iStock/Korisbo

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