It’ll be fall before you know it. Kids are going back to school and the mornings and evenings are cooler. This fall may look a bit different but soon enough the real estate market will hit its second busiest season of the year for home sales. Many people are quickly realizing they may need a better layout to suit their needs.
1) Boost Curb Appeal
A home buyer’s first impression of your home, besides a listing sheet, is the outside of your home. It’s crucial that you do your best to maintain the exterior the entire time it’s on the market. In the springtime, everyone is excited to get outside and clean up the house but by summer or fall your house could fall behind. Here are a few tips to get your home looking up to par:
• Remove all weeds coming up from cracks in the driveway, walkways, and the gardens
• Trim back any overgrown bushes or brush and remove any dead branches or unsightly growth
• Plant seasonal flowers such as mums to add some color
• Keep up with raking as the leaves start to fall
• Sweep all the walkways as well as the driveway
• Make sure all the bulbs are working on exterior lights and turn them on at dusk because prospective buyers may drive by and this will ensure that your home looks welcoming at all hours
2) Set an Appropriate Selling Price
You need to remember that the current market helps set your selling price. As much as you would like to set your price to the amount of money you want to make or close to what you heard your neighbor sold for, that’s not the way things go. If you price your home too high, people won’t give your house a chance. If you price your home too low, you can diminish the value and sell yourself short. It is best to price your home more aggressively so that you attract an abundance of homebuyers who end up competing for the home in a bidding war. Motivated sellers attract motivated buyers. In addition, if you do receive an offer in the first week that is less than you hoped, think twice before you deny it. There is always room to counter-offer and negotiate.
Do your research and speak with your REALTOR® about what the most appropriate price is for your home at that time because the market is constantly changing.
3) Accommodate Earlier Requests for Showings
As we dive into the fall, people will want to see your home earlier during the day. The sun will slowly start to set sooner so this means you may have to allow some earlier showing blocks. Make sure all your lights are on in and out of the home to help your home seem brighter and more spacious. As well, leaving your lights on will minimize the desire for anyone to touch anything, which is not recommended with COVID-19 safety precautions.
4) Make It Move-In Ready
Homebuyers don’t want to take care of various home improvements around the house. The amount of interest in fixing up a house is diminished in the fall compared to spring due to the upcoming weather restrictions. Go through and make the improvements that will make your home move-in ready. These improvements could include:
• New carpeting if the existing floors are damaged and very old
• Fresh neutral-colored paint job to cover stains, marks on walls, or bright uncommon colors
• Replace damaged screens or faucets
• Repair any scratches on cabinets or floors
• Replace any broken windows or doors
• Clear your gutters and roof
• Clear and cover your pool or hot tub to prevent leaves from falling in and making them look dirty
Fixing any small issues can help give you that advantage over the competition. Homebuyers want to look at a home and envision themselves living there. If they see a bunch of problems, it’ll decrease that happy feeling and make them want to move on to another property. Staging a home is such a big part of the selling strategy so be sure you do your part. The general rule of thumb is to:
• Clear the clutter
• Keep décor neutral
• Minimize how personal your décor is; remove most (not all) of the family photos and kid’s artwork to depersonalize the home
• Organize the basement and garage so buyers don’t feel overwhelmed by the prospect of moving
• Move extra furniture into storage so open houses have clear and easy walk-throughs
5) Make it Cozy
As the cooler weather rolls in throughout the fall, home buyers naturally want to purchase a home that feels cozy. Add warming candles, pleasing aromas, or fall baked goods. Also, ensure that your home is warm inside. We often see homeowners turn down the heat to save money but you want to make sure when your potential home buyer leaves, that they remember a warm, comfortable home that they want to go back to. As the days get shorter and you start showing your home in the dark, be sure you have adequate lighting inside and out.
Following these tips can help push you over the top and get your home sold quicker. Each step is as important as the next so if you’re selling in the fall, be sure to add these tips to your list of to-dos.