Selling in the Fall
Fall preparations for a home sale, are quite a bit different then in the spring. Forecasting the housing market is tricky at best. Experts will study current pending home sales to predict the coming trend. Traditionally, the best time to sell your home is during the summer. But this year has seen a three month decline through June, with it only recently picking up as we head into September.
Right now, the inventory of homes for sale are low. Couple that with a rise in prices and what will happen in autumn is anyone’s guess at this point. With the expanding job growth market and continued low interest rates, it appears that the fall home-selling market could very well be somewhat robust.
So if you’ve thought you missed the window for getting your house on the market…think again. With the proper preparation, selling your home in the fall can be creative and fun. Here’s how to get started!
Choose your real estate agent now
In choosing which agent to hire, ask specific questions on how they are going to market your home. The sooner their professional photographer photograph can schedule to have exterior photos to be taken, the better. There are so many opportunities agents have to make spectacular websites, video and 3-D products – you’ll be amazed! Make absolutely sure the agent is very knowledgeable about social media as well, the competetion for properties is fierce. You want your property to be at the top of all the websites and platforms possible.
Getting some great shots now in the waning days of summer will make your online photos pop during the fall months. Buyers will be able to see what your home looks like with the leaves on the trees and flowers in the garden (not a brown lawn and twiggy trees). Home buyers who are looking online will gravitate toward your home’s images with a lush lawn in all its glorious summer color! Be sure to make a few 8X10 photos of anything special, to leave on the table for fall buyers to see your; pool, flowering gardens, stone walkways …
Get maintenance out of the way
The summer months are rough on your HVAC system. Dust and dirt can accumulate around the outdoor components, restricting air flow during fall and winter. The lack of fresh air circulating in the home during showings can become a deal breaker. Be sure when you are home, to open all the windows and doors with screens to get the air circulating and freshened. Then, scheduling a few items for August might be; maintenance for your AC unit, gutter cleaning and maybe even power washing the aluminum, stone or brick. Not only will it make them ‘pop’ again, but it will enhance the photos that will be taken of your home as well. Autumn is all about getting cozy and nothing helps you get there better than a fire in the fireplace. Make the fireplace a focal point for showings. Clean the glass doors, clear out accumulated ashes and make sure the chimney and flue are clean.
Staging your home now for fall buyers
As the fall and winter days grow shorter, it gets harder to stage a home in natural light. Especially in the evenings. With your home interior appearing darker, it’s a good idea to beef up the interior lighting, keep the curtains open and leave as many lights on as possible.
Adding lamps for dark corners or brighter bulbs to fixtures will brighten your rooms. And again, if you have a fireplace, light it. Arrange the furniture so that it faces the fireplace and then dress the mantel (subtly) in an autumn theme. Use cozy throws on the sofa or chairs to further promote the idea of warmth and comfort. Staging your home, just a little can make all the difference.
Curb appeal always matters
Probably the most challenging aspect of a fall home sale is keeping the yard clean. Rake the leaves on a regular basis and tidy up the landscaping consistently during the showing period. Consider planting some fall flowers like maroon or yellow mums. Roses and Butterfly bushes also grow well when planted in the fall, and come back bigger and brighter each year! That pop of color will catch buyers’ eyes.
Keep the patio furniture and grill out a little longer so potential buyers can get a visual of your outdoor space. Don’t forget about the garage. If you use yours for storage, start with getting rid items you no longer use or need and then organize what’s left. No need to completely renovate it, just so long as it looks organized and uncluttered.
Use lighting outside
While added lighting can brighten the interior of your home, remember that outdoor lighting will lend to your curb appeal. Exterior lights provide safety, ambiance and a dramatic but warm welcome. Experts at Better Homes and Gardens suggest that if you do nothing else outdoors, light the pathways and the trees.
Consider these important outside areas: walkways, steps, patio/porch and driveway.
Down-lighting will give the illusion of the moon shining on the landscape, this type of lighting is achieved by placing the lights overhead, such as in a tree, and facing downward.
Up-lighting is more dramatic in that the lights are pointing directly at a feature in the landscape.
People overlook how important it is for buyers that the closets ‘appear’ large and with ample storage. Dig into your closets and clear them out. Throw out or give away what you don’t need. And the items you want to keep, put safely into storage bins and tuck them neatly into the basement. This will come in handy later as you are preparing to move. It is also a excellent time for a garage sale, to get rid of unwanted or unused items that have accumulated over the years.
Look for the little things
Take five minutes in each room to assess the paint or wall coverings. Sometimes you’re so used to the scuffs and nicks in the wall, you see right past them. A little spackle and a fresh coat of paint go a long way. Choose neutral colors. and try a glossy paint for inside closets. It has a highly-reflective sheen which offers better visibility in the confines of a closet. Lighter colors also make small rooms seem bigger, another great selling point for a buyer. Put mirrors across from windows. Not only will it make the rooms look larger, it will add light there as well.
Lastly, remove as many of your personal items as possible. Remember, you don’t want the buyer looking at all your ‘things’. The less there are of family portraits, kids rooms with wall collages… the easier it is for the buyers to see themselve’s in your home. These precious items will come out in your new house!
Fall Home Buying Tips via Luke Skar
12 Things Landscapers Do In Their Yards Every Fall via Country Living
Home Selling Tips for All Seasons – Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer via Bill Gassett