An All-season Guide to Curb Appeal

A colonial home in autumn with trees surrounding it.

I once read that the best time to sell a home is in spring. The warming weather and blooming flowers can give effortless beauty to your yard. This doesn't happen when the temperatures drop, however, as fall weather can make plant life look dreary and winter’s best often covers the grounds, hiding any possible charm.

Yet if curb appeal is of the utmost importance, how does one prepare a home for a sale when seasonal weather doesn’t cooperate? This article will work as an all-season guide to maximizing curb appeal by offering a few simple ideas to ensure your home looks its best and sells regardless of the weather.


A small evergreen tree being planted.

Plant Season-less Plants: Spring is a wonderful time to bring new natural life to the front of a home, though it should be done with consideration for all other seasons. For instance, winter weather tends to lessen what a homeowner can do to spruce up a listing. Trees such as evergreens, pine, and corkscrew willows thrive in colder weather and aid in decorating a snowy scene, but must be planted before the ground freezes. Spring is an ideal time to do that.

Spring Clean From the Inside Out: Most people realize how highly cleanliness is appreciated by a buyer when first walking through a home to buy, but did you know it could help add curb appeal as well? Home features like windows, drapes, and even windowsills and flower boxes make a great difference in how well a residence sells. While doing your spring cleaning this year, try to pay closer attention to the condition of such objects in your home, as the difference a good cleaning can make could be drastic.

Clean Edges: When it comes to adding appeal to a home’s exterior, beauty often comes down to the details. The spring is a great time to fix and alleviate potential issues. For example, grass and flowerbed edges tend to become overgrown and sloppy with time. Using a flat edged spade, simply clean the edges, making a distinct line that gives a more organized and fresh appeal to landscaping.


A house at the end of a long driveway in dusk with exterior lights on.

Light the Way: As mentioned, adding curb appeal in the winter months is a far greater challenge than when it is warm. Yet there are still a number of things that can be done to bring out a home's natural beauty in cold weather. For example, lovely hanging lights can be effortlessly strung along porch sills and even down the front of walkways, lighting the path ahead. This is a simple touch, but its presence adds security and comfort, both of which are things people look for in a home hunt.

De-ice with Style: When adding curb appeal, it matters what the path from your mailbox to your front door looks like. Though it may be a no-brainer, I have seen many people in my own neighborhood toss multi-colored salt on their front paths in attempts to melt ice build-up, and it looked terrible. When trying to sell your house, ensure the salt is white or non-colored. It's a small detail, but one that tells how highly you care for your home.


An expansive front porch.

Reface and Replace: With the heat of summer, small simple upgrades are best to do outside. In this spirit, attention should be placed on the small details of a home's outward appearance that often get overlooked. Things like house numbers, mail boxes, and window sills can all be refaced with a simple coat of paint while door handles, window panes, and wooden fences all have parts that may need replacing.

Skip the Buzz Cut: Most experts agree that when focusing solely on the beauty of a home, longer blades of grass create the appearance of a fuller and more luscious lawn. By simply adjusting the setting on your lawn mower (a common setting on most newer models), your home and yard will look like a million bucks.

Water with Care: Most homeowners don’t realize it, but a large patch of grass can require different things at different times to grow successfully. Before turning on a hose, stick a finger in the soil and test for dryness. Should the lawn require moisture, simply water that section with a hose and allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes before checking again. This will allow for greener, stronger blades, making the lawn appear more greatly tended to.


A lawn of autumn leaves and a rake.

Keep it Tidy: When I think of autumn, I think of leaves falling. Yes, they look lovely as they tumble to the ground but when they collect there, problems start. For the sake of curb appeal, rake leaves up as much as possible. A few leaves and tree branches are fine, but when they collect enough for children to jump into them, maybe one should strongly consider cleaning them up.

Cut Grass Freely: Unlike the summer months when long, flowing blades of grass look best in a lawn, in autumn most of nature is heading toward a less beautiful existance. Therefore, to create the best-looking yard possible in the cooler months, experts say grass should be cut as short as possible. As mentioned above, homeowners can achieve this by setting their mowers to cut as low to the ground as possible.