As August makes its way into September, we’re already preparing to say good bye to summer. While it wasn’t around long (especially in the Chicago area), we can now prepare ourselves for shorter days and cooler weather. Whether you still have your home on the market or are deciding to list now for the first time, I wanted to offer some tips to help you sell in the fall.
1. Make sure your exterior stays in tip-top shape. Even though your flowers are probably gone, make sure that you are raking the leaves and they’re not scattered all over your front and back lawns. Make sure to keep your grass mowed if it’s getting long. The beautiful fall colors look great in photos. Try to capture your exterior photo with a tree with some orange, red, or yellow leaves. And don’t forget your regular summer maintenance! Keep shrubs and trees from hanging over parts of your house by trimming and pruning as necessary. This will be your last chance before the snow starts and it gets really cold.
2. Decorate as appropriate. While you may want to go all out for Halloween, if you’re selling your home, now isn’t the time to be putting the fake graves on the lawn or have the skeletons hanging from every window. Your buyers probably won’t enjoy that. Keep it simple with a fall wreath on the door or a pumpkin centerpiece on the table.
3. If it gets really cold, make sure you keep your house at a comfortable temperature. If you can make it through the season without turning on your heat, that’s great to save energy. But you want your buyers to be comfortable while they’re walking through the home. You don’t want them to feel rushed because they’re freezing.
4. Show off that fireplace! In climates like ours, a fireplace is a great feature to have as the temperature cools off. Make sure the mantel is clutter-free. You might want to go ahead and get your chimney and fireplace inspected prior to listing your home, just to make sure nothing will come up in a home inspection. You want that fireplace in working order for your new buyer. And make sure your Realtor mentions the fireplace in all the marketing materials.
5. As the days get shorter, you’ll still have buyers coming to view the home during the week after work. If you’re not home yet from work yourself, make sure to set some lights on a timer so that your home is bright when the buyers come by. Make sure your blinds stay open and you turn on any lamps that will help brighten the room up.