Preparing your property for an autumn sale

Timing the sale of your property can make all the difference, but most importantly, it has to suit you as the seller. Often people believe that the warmer months are the best time to sell, but in truth, all seasons have their advantages. So, is autumn a good time to sell a house?

Is autumn a good time to sell? 

All seasons have their benefits, but autumn is a smart time to sell. Buyers have well and truly settled into the year, most people are back at work, kids are in their school routine and those who have made a new year’s resolution to buy a new home are ready to house hunt. Other sellers are also not always aware of the benefits of selling in autumn, so your property is likely to have less competition on the market. 

It is important to note that with the right strategy, any season can be a good time to sell. This is something that an agent who is a suburb expert can assist with. 

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:

  • Water blast or high-pressure hose the path out the front of the property and along the entryway
  • Paint the fence if it is looking scruffy. You could also paint one feature of your home a bright colour. For example, the front door, letterbox or fence. Something to grab the eye but not enough to dominate the view of your home.
  • Tidy up the front garden – keep it neat and trim, weed your garden beds, remove dead plants, keep the lawn mown – and yes even the strip out the front of your home if you have one should be mowed.
  • Remove fallen leaves – If have an excessive amount of fallen leaves are in your front garden, rake these up, as leaving big piles can make the home feel unloved.
  • Ensure windows and doors are free from grime and dirt
  • Just because the leaves are starting to change colour and falling off the trees, it does not mean your garden needs to be void of colour.  Head to your local flower market and pick up some seasonal flowering plants and either add them to your front entrance area in pots or if you feel really inspired plant them around your garden beds.  
  • If you are selling an apartment, add window boxes with some colourful autumn flowering plants, to make your place more welcoming.

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.

6.    Lighting

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.

DISCLAIMER - The information provided is for guidance and informational purposes only and does not replace independent business, legal and financial advice which we strongly recommend. Whilst the information is considered true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact the accuracy of the information provided. LJ Hooker will not accept responsibility or liability for any reliance on the blog information, including but not limited to, the accuracy, currency, or completeness of any information or links.


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