Selling Real Estate in the Fall

With the activities of summer tapering off and the swirl of the winter holidays not yet a reality fall can be a great time to sell! There may be a little less competition on the market, and buyers will probably want to get busy and make decisions and get settled before the holidays. So the idea is to let this time work for you!

You’ll want to look the house over carefully and correct anything that needs to be done. We always recommend an inspection prior to going on the market since a prospective purchaser will most likely have one done at time of contract. Forewarned is forearmed, and being pro-active can save time, trouble and money! A professional inspector will check plumbing and electrical fixtures and systems, roof, window, doors, air conditioner and heating, ventilation, insulation, as well as exterior surfaces, drainage, chimney, and decks.

First impressions are as important as ever in the fall, and you should do all you can to give the house curb appeal. A house with gleaming windows and fresh paint with lawn mowed and landscape trimmed will pay off in a faster sale, for more money.

Take a good look at your front door. Chances are that you and the family don’t use it much, but the buyers will. Make sure that it is clean and in good condition- paint or stain it if necessary. New hardware goes a long way to maintain that great first impression. An appropriate wreath or door hanging can set the tone for the showing.

Take a walk through the house using “Buyer’s Eyes.” Often the things that make our homes cozy and right for our families and friends may be potential turnoffs for the buyer. You’ll be packing anyway, so start paring down the collectables and surplus furniture to make the rooms more spacious. Out of season clothes can be packed and put in storage to make the closets roomier. Kitchen and bathroom counters must be free of clutter.

Prepare for cold weather

The signs of fall are all around: golden-hued leaves, crisp temperatures and shorter days. As you prepare for the months ahead — storing summer clothes, checking heating systems and making sure your home is well insulated — don’t forget the landscape around your home.

If you’ve been mowing all spring and summer, it’s not time to quit just yet. Continue until the grass stops growing. (The weather in your area will determine when this happens.) And speaking of mowing, don’t forget to take care of your trusty lawnmower. Drain it in late fall, because gas left in the machine all winter will get gummy and may make startup difficult when spring rolls around.

As the temperatures drop, so will leaves from the trees around your home. It’s important to rake lawns regularly so the grass can "breathe." How long can you wait before breaking out the rake? Most gardening experts say you shouldn’t go longer than three or four days. However, if the layer of leaves is particularly thick or has been weighed down by rain, the sooner you rake, the better.

If your area gets snow and ice, you’ll want to protect deciduous flowering shrubs under a lean-to or similar structure. Begin by building a wire cage that is secured into the ground with poles. Attach chicken wire or heavy-gauge wire to the poles and then fasten burlap to the sides of the structure to protect the shrubs from damaging wind.

Last but not least, remember your garden hose. Drain it before storing it for the winter and then turn off your outside water supply to prevent pipes from freezing or bursting. Even though we don’t get much freezing in Austin it does occasionally happen. 

We can help at each stage of this process. Just give us a call and we’ll provide the advice and information to enable you to select the right price and timing to make the most of this sale!

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