Selling a house in the fall can be challenging. Houses sell quickly in the spring and summer because buyers with children want to get settled in before school starts. Fall is the beginning of a slow down in real estate that lasts until late winter. That is not to say it is impossible to sell your home in the fall, however. It can be done if you know the tricks to make your home appealing to potential buyers.
1. Leaves: While everyone loves the sound of fall leaves crunching underfoot, be sure to be fastidious about removing them from your front lawn walkway, front porch, and back deck. Having a vast spread of well-maintained grass, free from leaves, goes a long way in creating curb appeal.
2. Temperature: Frugal experts always tell you to turn down the heat or the air conditioning when you leave the house for work. When selling your home, however, don't. You want buyers to walk in and feel comfortable. You may have a larger utility bill this month, but you will get your house sold faster.
3. Lights: Like the heat, you need to leave the lights on in every room. This is radical, but the light starts to dim in the fall. In fact, depending on what part of the country you live in, it can get downright gloomy outside. Turning on all the lights in the house for a showing makes your house appear sunny and cheerful.
4. Pets: This is tricky. You need a hard-core, brutally honest friend to do a sniff test in your home. Over time, pet owners do not notice the smells that pets can leave behind in a home. You want to know if your house smells like a wet dog, gerbils, or worse so you can address the problem head-on.
5. Flexibility: Fall can wreak havoc on schedules. School, fall sports, and runs to the cider mill all take up your precious time. Remember that buyers are short on time too. Be as flexible as possible when scheduling showings. Do not turn away a potential buyer.
6. Closets: Autumn is an awkward time of year for closets. Summer gear is still out and in use on the sunny days, but the fall overcoats and boots have been dug out of storage. Closets can get cluttered fast. Even if it is inconvenient, keep your closets as sparse as possible, just half full, if possible. You want buyers to open them and see all that empty space. They will remember your home as 'the one with the huge closets' and that's a good thing.
Keeping your house clean, clutter-free, and comfortable is the key to getting it sold fast. If you're ready to sell your home, start working with real estate agents.