If selling your house in the spring or summer didn’t work for your schedule, you can still get top dollar in the fall between the time when kids return to school and holiday madness takes hold.

Visibly changing seasons give everyone in the home-buying business a boost of energy. Autumn temperatures are crisp, and the falling leaves remind people they have to act now if they want to snag the best home mortgage and be in their new house before the snow arrives.

So, you’ve already got some things going for you, but let’s take a look at what you can do to help make your home stand out and sell fast.

Give Your Front Yard the Once-Over

Those falling leaves a couple paragraphs back? Make sure they don’t stay on your lawn. Ditto for any twigs, and dead or dying greenery.

Put a nice edge on your lawn’s borders and clear anything that might block light coming in through the windows.

If you’ve got flower beds, either buy some bags of mulch or grab a friend with a truck and find your city’s free mulch spot and put a nice, fresh layer on the ground.

If it was a particularly dusty summer, consider renting a power washer and giving your home’s exterior a good cleaning.

Embrace Your Inner Johnny Apple Autumnseed

Line the walkways and your porch with either planted or container-ed autumn-blooming flowers.

You can also take advantage of the wealth of autumn squash and use those as accent pieces.

Clean the Glass

As the days get shorter, you want to maximize all incoming light.

Clean the insides and outsides of your windows including the sills. You may even want to remove the screens if you don’t need to keep the windows open for ventilation. At the very least, give them a thorough cleaning.

Lights

To complement your now-squeaky-clean windows, turn on all of the lights in your home (yes, even the range light).

Eye-pleasing LED bulbs are cheaper than ever, so consider splurging on all-new bulbs for every socket. A little bit of research and you could create a “light palette” with daylight and soft-white bulbs to bring out the best mood for each room.

Go All Natural

If you’ve got hardwood floors, show them off. Remove any rugs, side tables, and whatnot, and let all of that light your now letting in make ‘em glow.

You can probably skip sanding and treating the wood unless you’re not getting the interest you’d hoped for or you’re in a really tough market for sellers.

The Four Fs: Filters, Furnace, Fans, and Fireplace

Now is not the time for the word “musty” to be on anyone’s mind when they’re touring your home.

Replace all filters, have your HVAC system inspected and ductwork blown out.

Sweep out your fireplace. If it’s wood-burning, dress it up with some nice logs or fun tchotchkes. If it’s gas, fire it up before people visit.

One More “F”

Fix all of the small problems. Cracks, leaks, old seals and insulation, etc. All of the little stuff can get magnified and take a buyer’s mind off of all of your home’s great qualities.

Spring Clean in the Fall

Not just the usual suspects, but all of the places you normally don’t think about.

  • Under all of the sinks
  • Behind the stove
  • Behind any furniture up against a wall
  • Inside all of the cabinets (some new shelf liners might be a nice touch)
  • Shower heads (or maybe just replace them outright with something nice, but inexpensive)
  • The tops of any ceiling fans and all around the fan motor housing
  • The dishwasher

Music Has Charms

If you sprung for nice speakers, put ‘em to use. Have fun, season-appropriate music playing at a discreet volume to help people feel comfortable and at home.

Use the Season’s Colors

Autumn’s traditional oranges, yellows, and reds can add wonderful splashes of color all around the house and help invigorate your comfortable, but maybe a touch drab, furnishings.

Don’t go overboard, though! One or two pumpkins in October is expected. Seven, eight or more and it’ll look like you’re expecting Linus to hunker down and wait for the Great Pumpkin. Ditto Christmas lights, Halloween decorations, seasonal spices, etc.

Less is More

It’s a fact of life: we accumulate stuff to fill every available surface area, and then we keep going.

Whether you call it clutter, knick-knacks, or bric-a-brac; it has to go—preferably into some off-site storage since the last thing you want is for someone to open a closet door and see it crammed to the rafters.

Use a few pieces to accentuate shelf space while leaving plenty of room for buyers to imagine what it would look like with their stuff filling every nook and cranny.

And, yes, this de-cluttering should also include the TV. A big-screen plasma may be great to watch a game or the latest blockbuster, but they’re just big, black rectangular eyesores to potential buyers.

Embrace (Virtual) Reality

Have your Realtor put together a video tour of your home during daylight hours so anyone who visits your home after work can still see what it looks like when it’s fully light outside.

“Time and Tide…”

Autumn may not be the hottest home buying season, but it’s far from an also-ran! With a little bit of planning and elbow grease, you can easily go from “selling” to “sold”!

Want to learn more tips and tricks for selling your home this fall? Answer a few questions here, and a home lending expert will contact you!

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