The Advantages of Selling your Home in the Fall and How to Prepare:
People often think that the spring and summer seasons are the prime time to sell Real Estate. While that is undoubtedly the time most houses are listed, there are many great benefits to listing your home in the fall.
Less Competition – the fact that there are less houses on the market allows your home to shine. It puts you at an advantage in an already competitive market. This also means that when I market your home it is standing out and not getting lost amongst numerous other real estate ads.
Buyer’s are serious – Buyer’s at this time of the year are usually very committed to purchasing a property within a certain timeframe. Buyer’s are likely looking to make a purchase before the snow starts falling, with time to get settled.
Great curb appeal – Prince George during the fall is stunning – the vibrant colours and perfect sunlight make for exceptional photos and staging opportunities.
Productive Time of Year – During the fall months, people have returned from summer holidays and gotten back into their school / work routines. With the holidays quickly approaching, this is a time people take care of business.
How to Prepare:
Change light bulbs and update light fixtures. It’s easy to forget about all the bulbs that have burned out over the years, but you want your home to be as bright as possible. Lighting makes an incredible difference to how a home looks to potential Buyers. If you have dated light fixtures (it’s OK, a lot of us do), take a quick trip to IKEA or Home Depot and pick up some modern ones.
Get some boxes and duct tape. A big part of the adventure you’re about to embark on involves reducing clutter. Start packing anything that you will not need for the next few months. Be sure to label all boxes with the room and contents to make unpacking easy.
Make an extra set of keys. Have a set of keys cut that we can leave in the lock box – for prospective Buyer’s and their Realtors to gain entry.
Tackle the bathrooms. Remove all the toiletries you have on display. Keep the counters completely clear if possible. Simple decorations and nice towels can be on display, but all personal effects should be hidden.
Kitchen. The kitchen is one of the rooms Buyers are most attracted to so if you’re looking to skip a room, this shouldn’t be it. Remove your blender/George Foreman Grill/Kitchen Aid mixer/toaster/bread machine from the counters – you want the counters to be as clear as possible. Clean inside all the cupboards. Pack anything you do not need, make the cupboard appear like there is abundant storage – dishes should appear neat and organized. Clean inside the fridge (and remove the magnets, photos and reminders). Turn on your self-cleaning oven. Consider investing in some fresh flowers and a beautiful bowl with some fresh fruit in it.
Bedrooms. The bedrooms should be inviting, and that means more cleaning and decluttering and investing in a few props. If you don’t already have one, invest in a neutral-coloured duvet cover and some new fancy pillows. Straighten the bookshelves. Remove personal photos, knick knacks and personal grooming products. Clean out the closets. Consider getting an area rug if the floors are cold. If you’ve jammed in a dresser or armoire that doesn’t really fit into the space), consider storing it offsite. If you’ve converted two of your three bedrooms into offices, convert at least one of them back to a bedroom.
Living room. Clean the sofa and chairs and invest in some new throw pillows. Consider getting an area rug to bring the room together. Hide the magazine rack and all the clutter that has accumulated. Hide the wires from your TV/stereo/speakers.
Dining room: Declutter. Clean up the hutch. If your dining chairs have seen better days, consider getting them reupholstered. Invest in a new table cloth to hide an old table.
Basement / Rec Room. Declutter. If couches are not presentable, purchase some couch covers. Personal items should be removed and decorations should be simple.
Closets and storage areas. Do not over pack these areas – you want people to think there is a lot of storage space. Make sure you can easily see inside the closets and they are not obstructed with too make boxes / items.
The entrance. Remember that most Buyers will have an emotional reaction to your home within 15 seconds of entering it, so what they experience at the entrance is CRITICAL. You want your entrance to be clean, de-cluttered and inviting. Ensure shoes and coats are all neatly in the closet and out of view.
Paint touch-ups and re-painting A fresh coat of paint is one of the cheapest ways to freshen up your home. Bold colours are bound to be a turn-off to some Buyers, so to appeal to the most people possible take the time to re-paint that red bedroom and blue bathroom. (Tip: light colours will help small rooms look bigger). Don’t forget about baseboards and ceilings – they might need some paint too.
Make a list of all the little stuff that you’ve been avoiding repairing: including the leaky faucet, the picture holes in the wall, etc. and get it done once and for all. If you aren’t handy yourself, bring in a handyman to take care of it.
Get the windows cleaned: Inside and out.
The front yard Curb appeal matters and will significantly impact people’s first impression of your house. Stand on your street and take in your front yard: what do you see? At minimum, clean the scuff marks off the front door and touch-up the chipped paint or give it a fresh coat. If you have a front porch, make it look inviting. Invest in some seasonal plants. Clean up the garden. A lot of Buyers will see your home at night, so make sure that your outdoor lighting is showing off your home.
The backyard Rack all the leaves, remove dead branches or plants. Attend to any gardens or foliage that requires it.
Get the carpets cleaned. Unless your carpets are brand new, you’ll want to have them steam cleaned (or do it yourself). You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes.
Don’t forget about the floors. You’ll need more than a Swiffer to get into all the corners and cracks. If your floors are scratched, there are some great products out there to make them look almost-brand-new.
Make your house smell good. If you’re a dog owner, wash any couches, beds and surfaces where the dogs sleep. You may not smell him anymore, but Buyers will. Tuck the litter box away (and clean it twice a day while your home is on the market). Consider lighting some candles or using mild air freshners.
If you have any questions, or would like to discuss current market trends - please do not hesitate to contact me. I am always happy to help.
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