5 Tips for Selling Your Home in the Fall
Did you know that fall is the second busiest time for home sales? Fall is a popular time of year for many types of home buyers including first time home buyers, retirees, and those who are relocating because of a new job or transfer. These home buyers also want to take advantage of the low mortgage rates and they want to be moved in before the holidays. With fewer houses on the market, your house may even get more attention in the fall than other times of the year.
Set your home apart from the competition. Follow these 5 tips that work when selling a home in the fall:
1. Add Curb Appeal
A home sale begins with the buyer’s first view of the house from the outside, whether they are driving past the home or viewing it online. So it’s important to get the exterior of the home looking its best. You’re in your home every day so you may not see it objectively anymore. Ask a friend or neighbor to give you an honest opinion of the exterior of the home. Is the yard well maintained? Are the leaves picked up? Are there children’s toys or bicycles blocking the driveway? Make sure to clean gutters and downspouts. Pressure wash areas exposed to dust or mildew such as the siding, deck, patios, or driveway to really make them sparkle. Spruce up the lawn and plant seasonal flowers such as mums to add rich autumn hues that will make the home more inviting to buyers.
2. Set The Right Price
Home buyers comparison shop so they know when a home is priced correctly. What price you want for the house has nothing to do with what you’ll get for the house. As we’ve said in our blog about pricing a home to sell, the market determines the price. If your home is priced too high, buyers won’t even look at the property let alone make an offer. This time of year buyers are ready to make an offer quickly, all the more reason to price the home correctly the first time. Remember if you don’t price it correctly you could be holding on to the house through the winter.
3. Increase the Web Appeal
They say web appeal is the new curb appeal, so present your home in the best possible light to get the attention of serious buyers. Home buyers start their home search online, so their first impression of your home will come from viewing the pictures in the listing. Make sure you have plenty of photos of the home. Not just the exterior and rooms, but include any unique features your home may have such as walk-in closets, built-in bookcases, or unique landscaping—anything that will make your home stand out from other homes. When a home buyer looks at pictures of your home, their first impression is made from the pictures in the listing, which is why it’s so important to clear clutter, de-personalize, add ambient lighting, and make the rooms appear larger so buyers will want to see it in person. Don’t forget to update your listing photos now to showcase how the home looks in the fall when foliage in the background will make the home look warm and welcoming.
4. Make The Home Move-In Ready
Buyers want homes to be move-in ready, so take care of small improvements and repairs now. Buyers are a bit less interested in doing work in the fall than the spring. If the home needs new carpet, put it in. If rooms need a fresh paint job, get them painted. When buyers view your home they are already trying to imagine living there, they don’t want to think about the costs and time involved in replacing the carpets. The same goes for repairs. Replace damaged screens or dripping faucets, repair scratches on floors or cabinets, and replace broken tiles. Fixing problems now gives you a competitive advantage over other sellers not willing to take the time. Staging has become an important aspect of selling a home, so make it part of your selling strategy. Staging presents the best features of the home as well as the home’s potential. If you can’t afford to hire a professional, read our blog on 5 Staging Secrets Professionals Use to Sell Homes Fast, or consult the web or books on staging that offer simple inexpensive ways to stage your home to sell.
5. Keep it Cozy
With cooler weather in the late fall, home buyers naturally want to get cozy. You want home buyers to feel right at home when they view the house. Before showing your home, fill the home with pleasing aromas of the season by burning a cinnamon-scented candle or baking pumpkin cupcakes. And make sure it’s warm in your house, some sellers turn down the heat to save costs, but you don’t want buyers leaving early because they’re too cold. Remember that in the fall the days get shorter so when you have viewings in the afternoon make sure you have adequate lighting so the home looks bright and comfortable. Open all the blinds to let in as much natural light as possible. Emphasize comfort in your home with decorative fabrics, a satin table cloth, and plush towels.Accentuate your fireplace (if you have one) by arranging furniture to make it the focal point of the room.