by ELIZABETH WEINTRAUB
1. Clean Up the Yard
When selling a home in the autumn, you'll want to be sure your front lawn looks neat and tidy when potential buyers arrive at showings.1 Create yourself a to-do list and set the whole family to work outside.
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. Cutaway summer vines and cut down dead flowers. Make the most of the autumn weather in the fall real estate market.
2. Create Autumn Curb Appeal
The most popular autumn flowers are chrysanthemums (or mums), and they bloom for a long time. Marigolds are another idea for fall. Both mums and marigolds are available in yellow, which is my number one home selling color. Plant them in pots. Place pots on the steps and along the sidewalk. Accent with pumpkins or other types of squash.
3. Clean 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. Your windows need to sparkle to sell a home. Maybe your cats routinely rub their little noses on the inside glass while walking along window ledges. You'll need to wash my windows inside and out every autumn. Remove screens and spray them down.
4. 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. Check the HVAC system before you need to turn on the heater. 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.
5. 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. In Sacramento, we have certain days when we are not allowed to burn wood in the fireplace. 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.
In addition to cleaning out the fireplace, you should also take a quick peek in your bathrooms prior to hosting a showing. If there are mildew marks in the bath or shower, you're going to want to give the whole bathroom a good cleaning before inviting in prospective buyers. This is because buyers, these days, are especially tuned into how problematic mildew and mold can be in older bathrooms.
6. 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.