Autumn is traditionally a season of recovery and reflection, a time to burrow in after the frantic pace of summer. For sale signs pop up on lawns during spring and summer, as families with children want to get settled before school starts.
But buyers are still out there during the fall season, looking for a good deal. And there’s more good news. A recent survey by Relocation.com found that 50 percent of those surveyed moved to improve their living situation, whether a bigger house or to a better neighborhood. A previous survey in March 2009 indicated the recession played a major part in selling and buying decisions.
Here are some tips to help you get maximum dollars for an autumn sale.
- How your house appears during a drive-by is the first step. Trees have great appeal, especially in the fall with the brilliant red, gold, yellow and green palates showcasing your house. Continue tending to your outside upkeep. Trim back shrubs, remove dead or almost dead annuals and trim dead limbs from trees. Add color with freshly planted annuals like mums, pansies and petunias. Rake leaves, or shovel snow, making a clear path to your home and one that is not fraught with dangers.
- Light and bright on the inside is the way to go. Let abundant sun shine in. Consider replacing heavy drapes with lighter ones to show off your house and avoid that gloomy look.
- Give your potential buyers that cozy feeling. If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s in working order, and have a nice fire burning. The glow really sets off the richness of hardwood floors and offers the viewer an at-home feel. Temperature control is important too. Not too hot and not too cool.
- Decorating is a nice touch, but take it easy on the holiday decorations. Potential buyers are not impressed when they have to work their way through dangling spiders, ghosts, witches and giant turkeys. Prepare you home for the season, certainly, but use some restraint.
- Speaking of spiders, wee little critters do come in your house in the fall, and that’s normal. Be vigilant and eliminate cobwebs and insects. Check corners and closets so that a buyer doesn’t have any unpleasant surprises.
- Be flexible. The housing market is in the recovery stage, but we’re not at the robust stage. Give serious consideration to your price and negotiable points, such as closing costs and inspections.