Fall is the second best time of year to sell your home. The kids are back in school. Families aren't hustling and bustling back and forth from family vacations. The holidays aren't a stressor...yet. If you're placing your home for sale now, here are several things you need to consider doing first.
Make Your Windows Shine
Summer rains and dry autumn winds lead to a lot of streaky window residue. The easiest and most effective way to tackle dirty windows is with products you probably already have in your home.
- Combine a solution of 2 cups water, 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of dish detergent.
- Using a soft bristle scrub brush on an extension pole, scrub windows down with the cleaning solution.
- Spray/rinse the solution off windows before it has a chance to dry. Make sure to rinse thoroughly. No squeegee brush needed!
Prepare Your Fireplace & Then Play It Up
Having a fireplace can be a huge advantage for homebuyers wanting to cut down on costs of central heating during the cooler months. If you plan on using your fireplace throughout the fall and winter, invest in a chimney sweep. The National Fire Protection Association recommends homeowners having a chimney sweep remove soot and debris from your chimney once a year.
Once you have your fireplace prepared for use, stage your furniture to make your fireplace a focal point. Adorn your mantel with seasonal touches, like vases of faux fall foliage, pumpkins, bowls of seasonal fruit, etc. and provide extra lighting with hurricane vases and battery-operated candles.
Have Your HVAC Serviced
Most homebuyers will opt to have a home inspection, so it's a good idea to make sure your furnace is working properly and efficiently before you list your home. One of the perks of buying a home in the cooler months is being able to gauge the efficiency of a home's heating system. Hire an HVAC specialist to inspect your heating and cooling system and replace furnace filters.
Create a Cozy Ambiance
Fresh paint is a home-selling must. Not only does is create the illusion of a newer home, but you can play on a homebuyer's love for fall interiors by painting in warm, neutral shades of caramel, cream and taupes. Accessorize with throw pillows, blankets, and accents in deep reds, yellows and oranges.
Speaking of cozy, keep your thermostat up for viewings, even if you're trying to cut down on heating costs. You don't want potential homebuyers to remember your house as "the chilly one".
Properly Light Your Home
The days are shorter and a lot of homebuyers view in the evening, so lighting is a must. If showings are happening in daylight hours, allow as much natural light in by opening blinds and curtains. Add table and floor lamps to rooms that still don't get the lighting they deserve.
On the exterior, consider adding pathway and landscape lighting. Not only does it improve curb appeal, but it will also help decrease the possibility of slips and falls as homebuyers make their way to your home's entry.
Get On Top of Gutter Issues
Unless you've already invested in a form of gutter guards, it's time to pull out your ladder for one of the biggest fall home maintenance to-do's. Not only are debris-filled gutters unsightly, but they could also contribute to thousands of dollars in shingle, siding and foundation damage.
After you've cleared your gutters, use a garden hose to spray them down, which is a great way to spot any leaks, clogs or damage in your gutter drainage system.
Emphasize the Exterior
Falling leaves and bare trees leave your home exposed from the curb, so exterior home maintenance is a must for autumn home sellers. Spruce up your exterior by:
- Power washing the exterior of your home, driveway, and sidewalks.
- Applying fresh paint in areas that have faded or chipped.
- Power washing your deck and porch and apply sealant.
- Painting your front door in a warm hue and flanking your entryway with potted mums or urns filled with harvest-like materials.
- Hanging a fall-inspired wreath to your door and placing a new welcome mat.
Click here for more ideas to increase your home's fall curb appeal.
Take Care of Landscaping Basics
Homebuyers love well-manicured lawns and landscaping, but as the leaves fall and temperatures change, the care that you've put into your yard can be less evident. Convey the appearance of a well cared for lawn by:
- Trimming dead tree limbs.
- Applying new mulch.
- Aerating and fertilizing your lawn.
- Collecting and composting leaves.
- Cutting back perennials.
Put Away (Some) of the Scents
The aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin pie may invoke pleasant feelings of autumn to you, but contrary to common belief, complex smells are likely to turn off potential homebuyers.
While scent is a strong factor in making your home memorable, stick to natural scents and avoid using masking scent products. They're more likely to give homebuyers a headache rather than help your house sell. Stick to natural, one-scent products like cinnamon, pine, lemon, cedar or orange. Just don't go overboard; if you do, homebuyers will wonder what smells you're trying to cover up.
Avoid Decking Your Home with Full-Blown Holiday Accessories
Even though you're probably hoping for a quick sell, you're also probably fighting the itch to pull your Christmas and holiday decor out of storage. The reality is that too many trimmings can distract buyers from your home's permanent features. While an extremely tall Christmas tree shows off your home's two-story great room, it also might make the floor space appear limited.
If the holidays inch near and your home is still on the market, just remember less is more when it comes to holiday decor.
For more ways to attract homebuyers, prepare your home for the market and increase curb appeal, follows us on Pinterest. Also, download our free Upsizing & Downsizing Guide, which provides necessary information for repeat homebuyers.