Hot tips to prep your property for an Autumn sale

Autumn is a great time to sell. Buyers have well and truly settled into the year, most people are back at work, kids are in their school routine and those who’ve made a new year’s resolution to buy a new home, are eager and ready to home hunt. But as the weather starts to shift, how do you make the most of your property.

  • 30 April, 2019
  • Autumnsale-preparingthehome

Here are 7 jobs to ensure your home is ready for sale in rain, hail or shine.

1.    Create autumn curb appeal

This step is important no matter what time of year you’re selling.  Why? Because potential buyers often do a ‘drive past’ a property before they come in for an inspection – they are seeing if the property looks good and worth their time.  This means that first impressions are critical and this starts at the curb.  

Here are some simple jobs to help enhance your curb appeal:

  • Water blast the path out the front of the property and along the entry way
  • Tidy up the front garden – keep it neat and trim, weed your garden beds, remove dead plants, keep the lawn mown – and yes even the strip out the front of your home if you have one should be mowed.
  • Remove fallen leaves – If have an excessive amount of fallen leaves are in your front garden, rake these up, as leaving big piles can make the home feel unloved.
  • Just because the leaves are starting to change colour and falling off the trees, it doesn't mean your garden needs to be void of colour.  Head to your local flower market and pick up some seasonal flowering plants and either add them to your front entrance area in pots or if you feel really inspired plant them around your garden beds.  

2.    Check gutters and drainage

If you’re surrounded by deciduous trees you’d know that this time of year your gutters start to fill up with dead leaves.  Buyers don’t want to see a roof line overflowing as it gives the impression the home is unloved.  

It’s a good idea to get a professional to help you here to clean the gutters and make sure there are no drainage issues.  As autumn can bring heavy rain, you don’t want to have to deal with damp or mould issues during open homes.

3.    Check your roof

It's probably best to get an expert to help you with this job as it can be dangerous.  But getting up and checking that the tiles on the roof are all in good condition and not damaged is an important job to do before you open your home for inspections.  In most cases, serious buyers will organize for a property inspection to be carried out and if the report highlights issues with the roof it may turn buyers off.

If you have any broken tiles get them fixed by an expert as leaving them can result in more extensive damage to your property especially if water gets in.  Also ask the roofer to check the seals around vents and chimneys are not worn out and if they are seal them up.

4.    Tidy up the garden

Water the lawn each day or every second day leading up to the inspections (just make sure you comply with water restriction laws), remove any dead or dying plants and replace with fresh flowering autumn plants.  Rake up any leaves and trim larger bushes and shrubs.

5.    Check heating systems

Make sure your home feels warm and inviting when buyers are inspecting it, you want buyers to see that it stands up to the cold but not steaming hot.  Put your heating on a timer so it switches on an hour before they arrive.  If it’s cold and you have a fire place or a gas fire ensure these are lit just before the agent arrives.  The flickering of a fire can totally change the atmosphere of a room.

Some additional ways to ensure your home feels warm is to ensure there are no cracks around doors and windows and fill in any cracks. Watch out for any older windows as these are the worst offenders for letting in drafts. So spend an hour or so checking and fixing these before the first open for inspection.

6.    Lighting

As the days get shorter and the sun drops down to a lower angle, you’ll need to rely on your internal lights to create the feeling of light and space.

Pull back all the blinds, open the shutters and ensure all curtains are open.  Turn on every light in the house, including table lamps and if you have a dark room consider adding spotlights behind furniture.

7.   Bring the season indoors

Autumn is a favorite season for many, so embrace the season and add subtle reminders of autumn around your home to make it seem more inviting. If your home has a fireplace, have a low burning fire during the open home can help to create an inviting autumn atmosphere.  Potential buyers will love to envisage themselves lounging by the fire after a long day.

LJ Hooker NZ

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