Sprucing up your house’s exterior can help prospective buyers see the possibilities.

As daylight lingers longer and temperatures begin to rise, it’s evident that spring is on its way. Spring is generally a busy season for real estate, as homes hit the market after a hunkered-down winter and ahead of summer fun.

In many places, winter weather can take a toll on the exterior of a house. Before listing your home for sale this spring, consider these tips for improving curb appeal and charming prospective homebuyers.

1. Remove old leaves and debris

Toward the end of winter – when snow is officially gone for good – lawns can be littered with leaves lingering from fall, as well as twigs brought down by storms. Removing them is important before starting on lawn revitalization, as debris will block seeds and nutrients from doing their job. Plus, clearing away debris makes for a much cleaner appearance.

Don’t forget to clean up flower beds or other non-grassy areas too – these places are also prone to collecting leaves. And make sure to clear out the gutters. All kinds of junk gets lodged in the gutters throughout the winter, and it can make for inefficient draining as well as a sloppy appearance. Not doing so can lead to roof leaks and other issues that could have negative repercussions on a home inspection.

2. Get the grass growing

Once the temperature is staying well above freezing throughout the night, it’s time to get your outside water lines and sprinklers going again. This involves turning your outdoor faucet back on – and re-starting a built-in sprinkler system if you have one. Carve out time to get the system running again before you need it – or reach out for professional assistance.

From there, assess what else your lawn needs. This could be patch-fixing, overseeding, providing nutrient-rich grass food, or aerating, among other measures. For lawns that feel beyond repair, some homeowners choose to lay down sod – which can be a steep cost – to achieve a luscious lawn in a quicker timeframe.

3. Add a new coat of mulch

A fresh coat of mulch along edges and around plant beds can help a yard look cohesive. If you want to shake up your exterior color palette, try a different shade of mulch. The most common options are black, brown and red – and each one complements a home differently.

For example, red mulch provides a nice contrast against the vibrant color of plants and flowers. But, if you have a red home or brick home, the red may feel too monochromatic, making a muted brown shade a better match.

4. Clean up hedges, edges, and more

Take time to trim back trees and other plants that appear overgrown. This is especially true for large trees that canopy over a property, and smaller trees and bushes that line the house or yard.

For a well-manicured appearance, edge your walkways – especially the one leading toward the front door. These small details work together as polished curb appeal.

5. Consider the state of the structure itself

The physical exterior of your home could likely use some TLC following winter, too. Depending on the accumulation of dirt, it could be time to pressure wash the siding. Then, while it can be a more costly task, having the house repainted adds an element of newness and could make a substantial impact on the impression of prospective buyers.

Consider the front door, too. Give it a fresh coat of paint to correct any knicks, dings, and scratches. And for those looking to shake things up, try opting for a different color of paint – or sanding down a wooden door and covering with stain and varnish to restore its natural look.

6. Add pops of color

Spring is the season where nature blossoms – so help emulate that cheery feeling as people catch a first glimpse of your home. Add a pop of color to the front porch with colorful planters framing the stairs or door. Or, to fill a larger space, try hanging planters from the ceiling of the porch.

Plants and flowers are a great way to add bits of color here and there. Just be sure to water them regularly, and according to their species, to ensure they stay vibrant all season long.

Article originally appeared on RE/MAX.

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