Although the real estate business tends to slow down in the fall, the season still can be an attractive time to put a home on the market. If you want to sell your house in the next few months, it can be done.
Potential buyers—such as empty nesters or millennials who aren’t worried about moving after the school year has started—will compete for fewer homes on the market and will likely want to seal a deal before the holiday season kicks into high gear.
Here are three tips to help make your home more attractive in autumn, so you can sell your house before winter comes.
1. Clean Up
As many regions slowly shift from a sellers’ market to a moderate or buyers’ market, you’ll want to do everything you can to make your house look it’s best.
Pay particular attention to eliminating clutter and safety hazards that can crop up with cooler weather:
Make sure your yard, walkways and gutters are free of leaves and debris.
Mow your lawn so it looks neat.
Trim trees so unexpected winds don’t knock down branches that could damage your home or hurt anybody.
If it is rainy, be sure you have a good doormat so visitors can wipe their feet and not traipse mud and water through the house.
If you already have snow, be sure stairs and walkways leading to your front door are not icy.
Wash decks and wipe down windows so they sparkle instead of appear streaked by rain.
Vacuum and wash down the fireplace, especially if it hasn’t been used in months.
If you live in a region where it’s still warm enough to use the patio, make sure the area is inviting and arranged with the views from indoors in mind.
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.
2. Create Autumn Curb Appeal
If your house’s exterior looks drab, you may want to consider painting it a warm color, planting seasonal flowers, or placing pumpkins strategically along your walkway to accent your home’s appeal with instant color.
Potential buyers will make an instant judgment when they see your home, and you want to be sure it’s positive.
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—and lighting so people can clearly see the path to your front door—can make your home feel fresh, even in the fall.
And don’t forget to rake up that yard. Of course, having some beautifully colored, freshly fallen leaves lightly strewn about can create a lovely fall vibe - but you don’t want to be reminding any potential buyers of all the manual labor they will need to put in this season.
3. Keep the House Cozy
Entering a cold house could leave an unfavorable impression. So warm up your home with a fresh coat of paint and set the thermostat at a comfortable temperature.
Another way to warm up a home is with light, especially as days get shorter leading into winter. Be sure to open blinds and curtains so plenty of light illuminates the home’s interior.
A few embellishments like red, orange or golden yellow pillows can breathe new life into a dull sofa—or a fall centerpiece can highlight a certain area of the home.
While you don’t want your home to look like the latest department store display, well-chosen embellishments that give potential buyers the impression you’ve paid attention to the details and taken care of any problems with the home will help you put your best face forward.
And remember, 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.