Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year and a great time to put your property on the market. With everyone back from holiday and feeling refreshed, energy levels are high and so is the number of viewings. However, whilst selling your home in autumn is a great idea, make sure it’s looking its very best before opening the door to your first potential buyer. Check out our top tips here on preparing your home for an autumn sale:
1. Concentrate on kerb appeal
Remember, you only have one chance to make that all important great first impression. Make sure it’s a first impression that leaves your viewers wanting more.
Make sure garden, the path, the front door and the windows are clean and clutter free. Mow the lawn, sweep up the leaves and, if possible, tuck the bins away out of sight. Dirty doorsteps and windowsills can be very off-putting for a potential buyer so give them a really good clean before each viewing.
2. Enhance your entrance hallway
Autumn can bring stunning views and colours to our gardens, parks and country walks. It can also bring a deluge of wet leaves and hallways overladen with muddy boots and shoes. Make sure the first thing the viewers see when you open the front door is a clear, clean and spacious hallway offering the universal dream of a bright, clutter-free lifestyle. Build on that great first impression and clear away all mess and clutter from the hallway. Hide away the shoes, coats and school bags. And if the hallway is where you keep your bikes, remove them for the viewings. The hallway is the window to the promise of better things to come so make that window is a clean, bright and appealing one.
3. Clear and clean inside and out
If you’re selling your home in autumn, this is the ideal time to clear away the summer paraphernalia ready for the big move. Clear away the summer clothes and sandals, tennis rackets and picnic blankets. Put the barbeque and paddling pool away in the shed or garage and give everywhere a thorough clean. If you don’t have room to store the things you don’t need out of sight, pack it in boxes or suitcases and ask a friend or relative store it for you.
The autumn sun can be deceptively revealing so make sure every surface shines, including the floors and especially the windows. Spiders are out in full force so clear away the cobwebs and maybe help the spiders find a new home. If the carpets have seen better days, have them professionally cleaned. If badly worn, consider replacing them. This may feel uncomfortably expensive but you will more than recover your money in the sale.
4. Love the light
Poor light in a home is one of the top buyer turn-offs. So, as we have fewer sunny days, it’s more important than ever to make sure you bring as much natural light into your property as possible. For every viewing make sure your curtains are tied back and blinds are fully open. Remove items of furniture or accessories and cut back plants that may be obscuring windows. Dirty windows can cut out a surprising amount of light so make sure windows are spotlessly clean inside and out.
As the nights start to draw in, make sure all the bulbs are working and that there are sufficient lights and lamps to make your home feel light and bright. For dark corners, simply add a small table with a lit lampshade or put an up or downlighter there to add warmth and ‘open up’ the space. For evening viewings, put the lights on in all the rooms before your potential buyer rings on the doorbell.
See our top buyer turn offs
5. Feel the warmth
Whatever your perfect temperature, remember warm and cosy is what most buyers wants from a home. So avoid the temptation to keep the central heating off till the first flurry of snow and visualise the additional energy cost converting itself into higher notches on your sale price. Similarly, make sure your windows and doors close properly so no drafts and make sure north facing or particularly nippy rooms are well heated.
6. Get the garden ship-shape
Gardens are a real bonus for any property on the market. They can provide an extra room to the house, a beautiful vista and nourishing connection to the changing seasons. However, as summer flowers and shrubs start dying back, gardens can look tired and neglected. Spending a bit of time pruning and clearing away the leaves and dead plants and making the garden look and feel really loved can make a big difference to a sale. Viewers often fall in love with a property because of the garden. However, a neglected garden can be very off-putting.
7. Time is of the essence
Don’t delay sprucing up your property and getting the photos on-line. There’s a small but important window of opportunity to enticing your potential buyers to your home between storing away the beach towels and preparing the Xmas lunch menu. The evidence is clear – the more appealing the photos, the higher the number of viewings and the higher the potential offers.
The autumn can be the ideal time for selling your home but unless it looks ship-shape and ‘shiny’, it won’t get the price it deserves any time of the year. If you need help preparing your property for sale, get in touch with a professional home stager. They can provide expert advice and simple DIY tips on how to achieve the best and quickest sale for your property. Ask your agent or take a look on Houzz.co.uk for recommended property staging specialist experienced in preparing properties for sale in your area.
Janine Shalev is a professional property and home stager at JS Property Staging. She transforms empty properties into spaces that prospective buyers or tenants would love to call home.
We would love to help you get a great sale for your property.
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