In parts of the country with four seasons, we watch leaves explode in vibrant colors as "For Sale" signs pop up in yards. People are happy and relaxed as the temperature begins to drop. It's not just sweater weather that creates static electricity in autumn; it's the scurrying of agents diligently working to pop a few more sales into the hopper before third quarter sales results are posted.
Here are 10 tips for attracting the autumn home buyer in the fall:
Clean Up the Yard
Rake dead leaves and debris in your lawn. Don't let overgrown vegetation block the windows or path to the entrance. Cutting bushes and tree limbs will let the sun inside and showcase the exterior of your home. Cut away summer vines and cut down dead flowers. Make the most of autumn weather in the fall real estate market.
Create Autumn Curb Appeal
Pick out a colorful fall flower arrangement for your porch, steps, windowsills - wherever you wish to decorate on the exterior of your house. Plant your flowers in pots. Accent with pumpkins or other types of squash.
Dress the Windows
Rain and wind from over the summer months can make your windows dusty and streaked by autumn. You might not notice smudges, but buyers will, if only on a subconscious level.
To sell a home, your windows need to sparkle. Remove screens and spray them down.
Check the HVAC
You want the air inside your home to smell fresh. When was the last time you changed your furnace filter? You can buy 90-day furnace filters. Have the HVAC system checked before you need to turn on the heat. Besides, the buyer will ask a home inspector to look at your HVAC. If you discover problems with your furnace, it's better to fix them before your home goes on the market.
Clean Out the Fireplace for the Fall Real Estate Market
Ah, nothing smells like autumn than smoke from a wood-burning fireplace. However, in some parts of the country, burning wood indoors or outdoors is outlawed. If you have a gas fireplace, light it when buyers come through.
If the fireplace is filled with cobwebs because it hasn't been used for months, vacuum it out and wash it down. Some home stagers arrange knickknacks in the fireplace in place of wood logs.
Prepare Autumn Edibles
Speaking of autumn scents, you might set out freshly baked pumpkin cupcakes or simmer hot apple cider on the stove. Put a tray of cinnamon sticks on the counter, dotted with whole cloves. Prop open a cookbook to an autumn stew. Fill a bowl with crisp red apples.
Utilize Autumn Accent Colors
You don't need to dump a lifeless sofa when you can accessorize its dullness with bright red, orange and / or golden yellow pillows. Toss a quilt or autumn-colored throw over a chair. After you've cleared away the clutter and depersonalized each room, bring a little bit of autumn hues to each room by placing bold-colored accent pieces in odd groupings such as 3s and 5s. Create an autumn centerpiece for the dining room table by arranging pine cones and nuts around orange candles, stick in a few leaves from the yard.
Turn on the Lights Everywhere
Above all, 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, push back the drapes on every window. Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights. Brighten darker rooms with few windows by placing spotlights on the floor behind furniture, and for goodness sakes, turn off the TV.
Offer Parting Treats to Potential Buyers
I like to leave a guest book by the door for people to leave comments about the home. Gathering buyer feedback can be crucial. And buyers will feel more compelled to leave you a note if you give them something in return, like tiny packets of candy corn or snack-sized candy bars. Or, you can go all-out and leave a tray of individually wrapped caramelized apples, tied with a curling ribbon.