Summer is peak home-selling season. Real estate agents, sellers and buyers alike focus their energies on the homebuying or selling process during the summer months. But if your home still hasn't sold by the time the leaves start changing, don't fret. Fall is also an excellent, though underrated, time of year to sell, according to AOL Real Estate.
With fewer buyers, it's easier to focus on just a few serious buyers, rather than entertain masses of people with minimal interest in buying a home. Fall is also a time when buyers realize they need to find a home, fast. When they find the perfect one, they'll want to move quickly before the winter months set in.
While fall is a great time to sell a home, there is still a lot of preparation into making your house buyer-ready. Cleaning, repairing and staging your home are crucial to making a good sale possible. However, staging your home in the fall is different than it is in the summer. Buyers are in a different frame of mind. They don't want to be reminded of summer when they're wearing sweaters and coats. If your home has been on the market since the summer, you will benefit from making a few staging changes to your home.
The front yard
In the summer, buyers want to see a lush, green lawn and neatly kept flower gardens. In the warmer months, you likely put a good amount of energy into making sure the lawn was mowed and the garden was vibrant.
As the weather begins to cool down, your summer flowers will begin to fade and leaves will begin to cover your lawn. Mowing the lawn will be replaced with raking. U.S. News & World Report explains that a few leaves left over is OK. However, there should not be piles of unraked leaves.
In lieu of your colorful garden, fall decorations should be brought on scene. A fall wreath and some pumpkins are good seasonal decorations for the front porch or stairs.
During the fall months, buyers will likely notice home repair projects easier. On the exterior of the home, leaves and flower gardens will no longer distract people from the siding and they will notice if the house needs to be repainted or pressure washed. Leaves don't just clutter up the yard; they can also clog the gutters. HGTV recommends taking care of these chores before a buyer notices them.
When preparing to sell a home, it's important to appeal to a wide range of audiences when it comes to home decor. Using colors that are universally accepted is important. That means repainting any brightly-colored room in the house a neutral color. Lushome suggests painting walls a white or beige color. These colors are neutral and call to mind the airy feel your home should have in the summer.
In the fall, your home should still be painted with neutral colors, but there is room for some seasonal changes. HGTV recommends autumnal tones, like caramel or cream.
Decorations should complement the wall color. Fall decorations like cornucopias and dried wheat or corn are great ways to accent the season, according to Realtor.com. When shopping for a home in the fall, buyers want to find a cozy home they can warm up in. Adding things like throw pillows and blankets will help them envision themselves living there. If there is a fireplace, be sure to make it the focal point of the room. Put some seasonal decorations around it, orient the furniture so it faces the fireplace and place some stacked wood inside it.
Smells like a sale
The sense of smell is often underrated. According to Ambius, it actually affects people more than they realize. It can remind people of memories, aid in productivity and even evoke emotions. Because of this, it is important to have pleasant scents in your home while showing it off.
The first step is to get rid of odors that will turn people away. Pet, garbage and food smells should not be detectable. Streetdirectory.com suggests incorporating a grapefruit or other citrus scent to a home during the summer. On the other hand, ForSaleByOwner.com says that generally, little to no scents are the way to go in an open house. However, the website suggests breaking this rule during the fall. Using candles to call autumn activities to mind is a good idea. Likewise, HGTV recommends heating some apple cider on the stove with a cinnamon stick to bring a fall scent throughout the home. Then, set the warm cider out for potential buyers to enjoy along with some pie or cookies.
Selling a home often requires a lot of hard work and patience. Selling in the fall doesn't have to be harder than in the summer if you follow these staging tips.