Welcoming Winter

Winter can be rough on a beautiful house – grass dies, trees lose their leaves and flowers disappear for the season. On top of that, sellers become accustomed to seeing their home in the winter and forget to look at the home through the eyes of the buyer, limiting their chances of quickly selling the property. Fortunately, we have come up with a few staging tips for your yard to make it an appealing environment, even in the dead of winter.

Invest in plants
Consider investing in plants, which are not affected by heavy frosts or limited sunlight. Pansies, for instance, are visually enticing through the entire winter season, as well as snowdrops, hellebores and early narcissi. Also, consider heavy shrubs or midsized trees, which if placed correctly, can continue to grow even in a cold season.

Feed the birds
There are plenty of birds in the winter months that can bring bright plumage to your trees. Consider planting wintery shrubs such as burning bush, snowberry or bayberry. Also, get a bird feeder to attract a variety of birds all winter long.

Prune trees
It is important to keep trees trimmed and tame so their silhouettes frame the house instead of block it. Luckily, the best time to prune most trees is when they are dormant. When pruning, remove diseased or damaged branches first, then prune for shape, cutting branches that droop or obstruct views. Make sure you thin the crown of the tree to allow light and air circulation from season to season.

Get outside
Detail is essential in maintaining an attractive yard through the wintery months. Regardless of how cold it is, choose a day each week to get outside and groom the yard. Keeping your beds weeded, mulched and free of debris makes a huge difference in the appeal of your home. Following a storm, go out and pick up loose tree branches or sticks, which may have found their way into your yard.

Hide tools
Take your lawn chairs, watering hoses and summer gardening tools to the garage   or shed. The appearance of summer items in mid-winter inhibits buyers from visualizing the benefits your property can offer in the cold months.
Keep seasonal décor. Em- bracing the cold weather with nostalgic items such as seasonal decorations is a great way to frame the space in a positive light. We also suggest keeping holiday lights up until February as the twinkly white lights are welcoming to guests and perspective buyers.

Take advantage of your space
Think about how your space can be best utilized in the winter. For instance, a large front porch or back patio can be an excellent place for a small contained fire pit surrounded by chairs to showcase the space’s use. Weather permitting, stage the area with a coffee mug and magazine near your charming fire pit to further promote the all-season area.
Your home can be beautiful regardless of the season; it just takes the right set of eyes to realize it. Your real estate agent knows the ins and outs on what buyers do—and do not—like to see. Don’t be afraid to ask their opinion. As we look forward to spring, remember Tennessee summers get hot. Enjoy the cold while we have it.

Lawrence M. Lipman is the owner and president of RE/MAX Homes and Estates, Lipman Group. Real estate is Lawrence’s career, but also his passion, and he takes pride in guiding buyers and sellers through exciting home transitions at any budget. Lawrence welcomes questions and can be reached by calling 615-364-3333.