If your market is like my local market, homes are still moving rapidly. We have experienced a shortage all summer, and I know the season change and approaching holidays will only heighten that shortage. I have continued pushing clients to maintain exceptional care of their homes on the market even though there are a lot of interested and qualified buyers. To get the highest market value for the home, it needs to look the part. No potential buyer wants to pay top dollar for a home that doesn’t exceed expectations. This fall season is the perfect time to showcase the quaint beauty of your home or investment property. All you need to do is put in a bit of sweat equity, and it will outshine every other “comp” in the area.
Let me tell you a bit about why I love the fall season, especially in real estate. In my area, our weather finally cools a bit and we lose the summer humidity. Additionally, there are a ton of community events around the area at attend so as to network and pick up new buyers and sellers (most notably the nationally recognized Westside Nut Club Fall Festival – Google it!). Realtors enjoy this time of year because it highlights the beauty of so many neighborhoods and homes. It really is so much fun to be out on a beautiful day, helping buyers find their new homes or working with sellers who are preparing their homes to sell. I know there are many communities around the country that experience this same lovely season too.
Throughout our fall season, the local market is still strong. There are a lot of people out and about looking at homes so any homes on the market can be moved (hopefully!) by the holidays. If you have been thinking about selling all summer and are wondering if now is the right time, the answer is: Yes. This is the perfect time to showcase your home and allow buyers to see how warm and welcoming it is ― very important for cooler weather and shorter days ahead!
Even though there are buyers out there, selling is still competitive and I want your house to stand out from the competition, as I’m sure your local agent does as well. The real purpose of this post is to share some things I recommend for sellers to do around the house to really make it “shine” compared to everything else on the market.
Below are a few of my recommended cosmetic touch-ups to ramp up your home’s curb appeal that will hopefully lead to a quicker sale:
Painting: Touch up your house’s paint before you put it on the market. This is applicable for interior and exterior paint jobs. Neutral, light colors like cream and gray are best indoors. Paint and/or clean the front door and shutters. Add an inexpensive wreath for added curb appeal.
Lawn: Keep your lawn freshly mowed and neatly trimmed. Clear debris from the lawn and the border of your home. Weed your landscaping often and keep hedges neatly trimmed as well. Buyers need to know the yard and garden work is doable for them, even with a busy schedule.
Sidewalks/Porch: Sweep your sidewalks and porch daily ― you never know when you might have a showing! Leaves will start falling soon, so this could turn into a five-minute daily task. Also, keep an eye out for cobwebs on the porch and knock them down as you see them.
Shrubbery: Remove or replace any dead or dying trees, hedges, or shrubs; prune anything that looks overgrown. Many people pull weeds and tackle the small plants as I mentioned above, but don’t forget the large, more “wild” greenery around the yard.
Flowers: Filling flowerbeds with seasonal flowers is an inexpensive way to add color and charm to your property. Mums are perfect for this time of year, but if you’re in the South or another warm area, keep them well-watered! Also, consider placing a couple flowerpots by your front door or arrange them on your porch for a cute vignette.
Repairs: Be sure that all gutters and downspouts are in place and clean. Replace missing roof shingles and broken or cracked windows. No matter how meticulously you care for the yard or flowers, that will be overshadowed by noticeable issues with the house. A sturdy, well-maintained house is the most important factor for buyers, so be very particular about checking all components indoors and out to ensure they’re in working order.
If you have recently sold your home or an investment property, what else have you been doing? I’d love to hear what has made a difference in presenting your home to buyers, especially in different size markets and various locations.