Preparing your property for an autumn sale
Is autumn a good time to sell?
Tips for selling a house in autumn:
1. Create autumn curb appeal
This step is important no matter what time of year you are selling, but in autumn you must be diligent about keeping your curb sparkling as leaves fall. Potential buyers often do a ‘drive past’ a property before they come in for an inspection to see if it is worth their time. This means that first impressions are critical and this starts at the curb.
Here are some simple jobs to help enhance your curb appeal:
2. Check gutters and drainage
If you are surrounded by deciduous trees you would know that this time of year your gutters start to fill up with dead leaves. Buyers do not want to see a roof line overflowing as it gives the impression the home is uncared-for.
It is a good idea to get a professional to help you here to clean the gutters and make sure there are no drainage issues. As autumn can bring heavy rain, you do not want to have to deal with damp or mould issues during open homes.
3. Check your roof
It is probably best to get an expert to help you with this job as it can be dangerous. But getting up and checking that the tiles on the roof are all in good condition and not damaged is an important job to do before you open your home for inspections. In most cases, serious buyers will organize for a property inspection to be carried out and if the report highlights issues with the roof, it may turn buyers off.
If you have any broken tiles get them fixed by an expert as leaving them can result in more extensive damage to your property especially if water gets in. Also ask the roofer to check that the seals around vents and chimneys are not worn out and if they are, they need to seal them up.
4. Tidy up the garden
Much of Australia faces extreme heat each summer, so if your garden has been depleted of water and is looking worse for wear, spend some time fixing it up. Water the lawn each day or every second day leading up to the inspections (just make sure you comply with water restriction laws), remove any dead or dying plants and replace with fresh flowering autumn plants. Rake up any leaves and trim larger bushes and shrubs.
If you own a pool make sure there are no leaves floating around and ensure there are none stuck at the bottom of the pool – you want future buyers to feel the pool is going to be easy to look after.
5. Check heating systems
Make sure your home feels warm and inviting when buyers are inspecting it. You want buyers to see that it stands up to the cold but is not steaming hot. Put your heating on a timer so it switches on an hour before they arrive. If it is cold and you have a fireplace or a gas fire ensure these are lit just before the agent arrives. The flickering of a fire can transform the atmosphere of a room.
Some additional ways to ensure your home feels warm is to ensure there are no cracks around doors and windows. Watch out for any older windows as these are the worst offenders for letting in drafts. Spend an hour or so checking and fixing these before the first open for inspection.
As the days get shorter and the sun drops down to a lower angle, you will need to rely on your internal lights to create a feeling of light and space.
Pull back all the blinds, open the shutters and ensure all curtains are open. Turn on every light in the house, including table lamps and if you have a dark room consider adding spotlights behind furniture.
7. Bring the season indoors
Autumn is a favorite season for many, so embrace the season and add subtle reminders of autumn around your home to make it seem more inviting. If your home has a fireplace, having a low burning fire during the open home can help to create an inviting autumn atmosphere. Potential buyers will envisage themselves lounging by the fire after a long day.
Consider adding a small decorative bowl of branches, berries, or even mini pumpkins around the living room as it can give a fresh and subtle indoor autumn experience. Styling your dining room table with small vases of autumn coloured flowers can help create the right ambiance. Add some cozy accessories such as chunky throws, some warm-toned cushions in heavier wintery material, and scented candles. These touches will all help make your room and home feel more inviting and in theme with the season.
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