By Nan Johnston, Southern Staging & Redesign

No matter what Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction was about having six more weeks of winter weather, the temperatures that we’ve been experiencing lately makes us want to be outside.

It’s a perfect time to get ahead with some of the outdoor task needed to get house ready for the Spring market.

• First of all, treat exterior for carpenter bees.  Most first time home buyers are not familiar with these creatures and to have hundreds of them flying around the exterior soffits and gutters, it can be quite alarming to them.  NOW is the time to treat them.  There are DIY kits one can order online or contact your pest control company and get on their schedule.  Time is of the essence on this one!

• Then you will need to clean the siding and windows once the house has been treated for the carpenter bees.  Bee treatment and the bees leave a big mess and streaks the windows. Pressure wash or gentle spray the siding, clean with solution if needed to remove any mildew or stains.

• Access for painting needs after siding and trim has been cleaned.  Occasionally, cleaning will reveal some bare spots and those need to be addressed.  DIY or hire a painter, but get on their list ASAP!!!!  Every GOOD RELIABLE painter is super busy right now.  Don’t hesitate to get on their list.

• Don’t overlook the drive way and side walk!  These tend to get dark and dirty quickly, due to tree sap, airport pollution and dirt washing during rain storms and will definitely need cleaning.  Is that really necessary, one may ask? ABSOLUTELY! New construction is going strong and your house is in competition with these brand new shiny homes.

• While you’re out there, check the roof!  If it’s stained, it will need to be cleaned.  Same reason as above…new constructions homes don’t have stained roofs and buyers don’t understand why the staining occurs or if it compromises the roof condition.  Just go ahead and mark that off their “worry” list.

Nan Johnston is a professional home staging consultant from Newnan with over 30 years experience in the real estate industry. Check out her website for some interesting before and after photos at To contact her, email her at