Although the weather cools, fall is almost always a hot season for the real estate market, and this year is no exception. Behind spring, fall is the second best time of year to sell your home. Families have returned from summer vacations. Kids have gone back to school. The holidays aren’t yet upon us. It’s a great time for prospective homebuyers to plan a move and find a house. During this time, there’s a lot you can do to make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Here are five tips for selling your home in the fall.
Attend To Your Landscaping
Fall brings a lot of landscaping challenges for many homeowners. Falling leaves, dormant lawns and the disappearance of seasonal plants and flowers can leave your property looking dingy or dull. Rake dead leaves and debris in your lawn. Don’t let overgrown vegetation block the windows or path to the entrance. Cut away brushes and tree limbs that will let the sun inside and showcase the exterior of your home and trim away summer vines and dead flowers. Do your best to keep your lawn nicely mowed and watered (if necessary) to keep it green and attractive as long as possible. And above all, make sure your doorway and the rest of the house is clear from knick-knacks, bicycles and toys that make your home appear cluttered. Never, ever take real estate photos of your home until fall landscaping has been done. Many buyers won’t get past a picture of a cluttered or messy exterior, and will never have the opportunity to see what your home has to offer.
Create Fall Curb Appeal
If you’ve tackled your landscaping and your home exterior still looks drab, you may want to consider painting it a warm color, planting seasonal flowers, or placing pumpkins or other decorations strategically along your walkup to accent your home’s appeal with instant color. The most popular fall flowers are chrysanthemums (or mums), and they bloom for a long time. While you don’t want to go overboard with fall decorations that detract from the home itself, a few displays like a festive front-door wreath or lighting to illuminate the path to your front door during the shorter days will make your home feel fresh, even in the fall.
Let There Be Light
Bring in the light. When days get shorter, the sun sets lower in the horizon and casts wider shadows. Pull up the blinds, open the shutters, and push back the drapes on every window. Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights. Retract blinds and widen curtains, so there’s minimal window coverage. The windows will look bigger (which will make your space look bigger), and it will encourage daylight to flow into and through your space. An abundance of natural light with artificial accents will be the best friend of your interior real estate photos… just ask any photographer.
Check the HVAC
Would you prefer to deal with real estate contingencies before or after a prospective buyer’s inspection? Chances are that any HVAC issues, which cause concern to one buyer, will likely be flagged as a concern by all. Make sure to check or replace your furnace filter and have the HVAC system checked out before you turn on the heat and list your home. If you discover problems with your furnace, it’s often better to fix them before your home goes on the market.
Trick or Treat
Leave your guests with a good taste in their mouth. Welcome prospective buyers with a tray of themed collections of candy or seasonal treats. Keep hot coffee and tea and cold bottled water on display for anyone that tours your home. And there’s nothing wrong with trying to sweeten the deal with the comforting aroma of a freshly baked, cinnamon-laced apple pie or pumpkin cupcake to leave a lasting impression of your home as the potential buyer takes a bite. Take advantage of the fall and autumn season by appealing to the buyer’s emotions. With a little creativity, you’ll sell your home fast!