Preparing Your Home for Sale in the Fall

(December 18, 2013, posted in Selling)

Before the peak months of September and October, if you’re thinking of putting your house on the market this Fall it’s a good idea to take a walk around the outside of your house and find those areas in need of a little TLC. Do it before the weather gets too chilly in case your house is still on the market come the colder, winter months.

Here’s a short list of things you can do to improve the curb appeal of your home.

  1. Outdoor Painting – it may be that the entire house needs a paint job to make it look new again, but if you can’t afford painting the whole house or don’t think you need to, taking a walk around the perimeter and fixing up any worn away, faded or peeling spots will help to give a better impression. Simply scrape, sand, prime and paint for even texture in problem areas.
  2. Outdoor Caulking & Sealing – check perimeter windows for air leaks to keep winter heating bills to a minimum and alleviate any concern to potential buyers that draughts may be a concern.
  3. Clean Gutters – Yes. Clean them…the last thing you want is a waterfall over the side of your house when showings occur on a rainy day.
  4. Fix Driveway Cracks - If the driveway is asphalt, cracks can be repaired with asphalt driveway patches and fixes. If the driveway is concrete, cracks or holes can be fixed with epoxy patching materials.
  5. Patio & Deck Maintenance - If the deck is wood, any rotten planks should be replaced and if the deck requires re-staining or painting, now is the time to be taking of that. If the decks are concrete, brick or stone, a power-washing to remove any rain or mildew stains, as well as dirt is advised to have them showing their very best. If you have weeds growing between bricks or cracks in concrete, pull them!
  6. Landscaping – Keep landscaping clean and attractive by pulling weeds, trimming overgrowth and adding a burst of colour with seasonal, potted planters. If you have large trees close to the house make sure they have been pruned recently and that no large branches are hanging onto the rooftops or pushing against the side of the house. A general weeding and raking of the leaves once they start to fall is advised to have the yard looking well taken. Many landscaping companies offer a Fall clean-up package at a reasonable cost if you don’t have time to this kind of work yourself.
  7. Lighting - As it starts to get darker earlier in the evening it is important to keep the house well-lit as potential buyers may be taking a drive-by on their way home from home when it is dark. Showings may also occur later in the day when lighting is dim and so you want to ensure that pathways leading up to the house and around the perimeter of the house are well-lit for safety and greater appeal.
  8. Show Off Your Fireplace - Though not really an outdoor tip, if you have a fireplace this is the time of year when you want to show it off. Make sure it is clean and don’t cover it up with furniture. Decorate the mantel attractively but don’t clutter it.

Not only will you feel good about showing your home after taking care of the items on this list, but should your house not sell right away, your time will be freed up to enjoy it during the Fall and perhaps working on indoor tasks when the weather is cold.

Bonus Tip! Scents of Cinnamon and Apples are great Fall scents that can be used to give your home a warm and cozy feeling during showings… use sparingly but do use them!