Prep your home to sell in fall

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I can’t believe how fast this summer has gone by.  In two days, it’s going to be September.  It seems like it was just yesterday that school was ending for the summer.  Maybe it was the consecutive high temperatures we’ve had in Chicago, but this summer flew by.  So for those of you who will be putting your homes on the market for the fall or for those of you who have your homes listed but want a better chance of it selling now, here are a few tips to get your home sold this fall.

1.  I can’t stress the importance of curb appeal.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I’ve had buyers decide not to look at the interior of a house because the exterior was so neglected.  Your home could look like the Taj Mahal inside, but if the outside isn’t taken care of, it probably won’t matter.  So make sure leaves are raked and clear of the driveway and walkways.   Keep the lawn mowed.  Nothing is more unappealing than a front lawn that looks like the rainforest.  Trust me; I’ve seen it.  Keep gutters free of debris so that they drain properly.  If you get snow early, make sure to shovel any area that a potential buyer will walk on.  Again, I’ve had people not able to reach the front door because of 12″ of snow blocking the path.  If your home is vacant, make sure to go back to take care of these items or hire a service to handle it for you.

2. Keep windows clean.  Nothing brightens up a room more than a sunny day.  When the sun is shining through those windows, it’s pretty obvious if they’re covered in grime or dust.  The house will look bigger and brighter if you open up curtains/blinds to let the sun shine through clean windows.

3. If you have rooms that are painted dark colors, considering lightening them up with something neutral, or even a light yellow color.  It will make the room feel larger, brighter, and even cooler, especially as it gets dark earlier.  Buyers will be able to get a better sense of what the room looks like if they come to view your home in the late afternoon/early evening.

More great tips can be found here.  If you’re ready to get your home on the market, I’d love to help you prep it for fall.  Please visit me online.

Spruce up your sale for fall

leavesAs 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. 

View some more great tips here.  And if you’re ready for your home to sell this fall, be sure to contact me online.