In real estate, timing is everything. While spring and summer are usually the prime seasons for both buyers and sellers, there are plenty of indications that this fall is actually a good time to sell your home.
Just the same, selling your home once the weather starts to turn colder can be challenging. Typically, the number of potential buyers starts to decrease as people turn their attention toward the upcoming holiday season that’s mere weeks away. Since most people don’t really enjoy trooping around from home to home through the cold, the number of buyers out there won’t usually pick up until the snow and ice start to taper off.
It’s in your best interests, then, to do whatever you can to make your home as attractive as possible to your potential buyers — and the right decor and staging can be an essential part of that process.
Here are some tips you can use to decorate and stage a home during the fall:
Remember Your Curb Appeal
Making sure that your home’s curb appeal is on point is a little more difficult in the fall since everything is dying away. There may only be a few short days where you can take advantage of the glorious fall foliage on the leaves, and then you’re left with bare branches and dead-looking plants.
To keep your home looking its best:
- Rake up the leaves from your trees as soon as they come down.
- Make sure the lawn has a final cut and the edges are trimmed.
- Cut back any flowers that have already died.
- Consider planting a few cold-weather plants, like kale or holly.
- Frame your steps or door with large pots full of fall mums.
- Add a colorful fall wreath to your front door.
You want to emphasize the fact that your home is attractive all year, not just in the summer, so don’t be shy about repainting the door and adding a few extra lights to the walkway to make the front especially inviting.
One thing you don’t want to do is go overboard on the yard decorations. Halloween is coming, but some people are turned off by big displays full of scary ghosts, skeletons and the like. Stick with natural decorations, like an array of pumpkins, gourds and corn stalks, instead.
Emphasize the Comfortable
People naturally gravitate toward coziness and warmth during the fall, so play up your home’s most welcoming features. If you have a fireplace, it’s time to kindle up a few logs. The extra level of comfort can encourage buyers to stick around for a longer look and evoke happy images in their minds about what it could be like to live in that space.
With or without a fireplace, you can ratchet up the cozy factor in your home by adding some warm throw blankets and a few extra pillows. If your floors look a bit bare, consider throwing down a thick rug or two.
Use Seasonal Scents and Colors
Colors and scents can have a powerful effect on the way people react to a place and feel. Make the most of the season by being sure that your accent colors evoke pleasant thoughts in the minds of your potential buyers.
If your walls could use a fresh coat of paint, consider shades of caramel, light mocha or cream. They’re good neutrals that mesh well with fall colors. Choose gold, cinnamon and amber tones when you’re picking out accent pieces.
Make sure that your house smells wonderful, too. Cinnamon-scented candles can make a home feel more inviting, but so can baking a pumpkin pie right before potential buyers come over or leaving a pot of apple cider on the stove to warm.
Accent, but Don’t Overwhelm
No matter what the season, it’s important to show restraint in your staging when you’re selling a home. Too much seasonal decor can be overwhelming or kitschy, and that can make buyers feel claustrophobic. Less is always more.
If you’re adding a few seasonal items to your home, make sure that you stick to your color themes and make sure that everything is understated and elegant, not scary or cute. Another good rule to remember is that you need to remove at least one item from a room for every piece of additional decor that you put out. That will help you avoid making the rooms look cluttered.
Add More Light Where You Can
Don’t overlook the importance of lighting at this time of the year. Many of your potential buyers may not be arriving at your home until it starts to get dark, so consider these options:
- Pull back all the curtains and let as much natural light into your rooms as possible.
- Add an extra lamp or two. Make sure that you choose warm white bulbs in living areas to capture that super-comfortable feel.
- Put up a few string lights if you have a back deck or an enclosed porch. This will create a festive atmosphere and help show off the space to potential buyers.
You don’t want your buyers to have to squint when they’re trying to see your home’s best features, so consider asking a friend to walk through your home and help you decide where a little extra light is needed.
Finally, trust your REALTOR®. REALTORS® don’t stop, no matter what the season, so they can offer some invaluable advice when you’re trying to decide what to keep, what needs to go and what needs to be updated. It may seem like a lot of work right now, but the rewards can be great!