Preparing your property for an autumn sale
Autumn is a great 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’ve made a new year’s resolution to buy a new home, are eager and ready to home hunt. But as the weather starts to shift, how do you make the most of your property to help buyers fall in love with it?
Here are 7 jobs to ensure your home is ready rain, hail or shine.
1. Create autumn curb appeal
This step is important no matter what time of year you’re selling. Why? Because potential buyers often do a ‘drive past’ a property before they come in for an inspection – they are seeing if the property looks good and 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 the path out the front of the property and along the entry way
- Paint the fence if it is looking a bit scruffy. It can also work if you 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 doesn't 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’re 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’re surrounded by deciduous trees you’d know that this time of year your gutters start to fill up with dead leaves. Buyers don’t want to see a roof line overflowing as it gives the impression the home is unloved.
It’s 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 don’t want to have to deal with damp or mould issues during open homes.
3. Check your roof
It's 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 the seals around vents and chimneys are not worn out and if they are seal them up.
4. Tidy up the garden
Much of Australia has been hit by extreme heat over summer, so if your garden has been depleted of water and is looking a bit worse for wear, spend some time giving it love. 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 super easy to look after and keep clean.
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 not steaming hot. Put your heating on a timer so it switches on an hour before they arrive. If it’s cold and you have a fire place or a gas fire ensure these are lit just before the agent arrives. The flickering of a fire can totally change 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 and fill in any cracks. Watch out for any older windows as these are the worst offenders for letting in drafts. So 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’ll need to rely on your internal lights to create the 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, have a low burning fire during the open home can help to create an inviting autumn atmosphere. Potential buyers will love to 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 ambience. Plus, 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.
Styling to sell
The tips above are Autumn specific, but for a successful sale it’s essential you spend time styling your whole property. To help you get ready for your upcoming sale, here is our easy to following Styling to Sell infographic that walks you through the eight steps to successful styling to sell. Of course your agent is the best person to talk to here so make sure you ask them what they suggest you focus on as every property is different.