September… The festivals have packed up and left town, the kids are back at school and the property buyers are on the hunt for a new home.
If you’re planning on putting your property on the market this month or want to refresh it ready for the autumn influx of buyers, we are here to share some simple tips with you to help you to make the most of one of the busiest times of the year for property sales.
1. It’s the simplest tip, but a bit of elbow grease can make the world of difference and is the best place to start. A good tidy-up and clean will stand you in good stead for photographs and viewings. Put the picnic blankets and sports equipment back where it lives – you can always get them back out again next year to take advantage of the late summer sun (hopefully!).
2. If you have a garden, your family or pets have probably been outside making use of the summer sun we’ve had. But sometimes the garden comes back in with them! Invest in a professional carpet clean to get grass stains and mud out. Or if you’d rather do it yourself, you can purchase a decent quality carpet cleaner from the supermarket or even hire one from DIY stores.
3. Remember that the nights will begin to draw in earlier now. If possible, try to arrange viewings with potential purchasers during daylight hours. That way your viewers will see your property in all of its naturally-lit glory.
4. Something else to bear in mind when days get shorter is that the sun sets lower in the horizon and casts wider shadows. Pull up the blinds, open the shutters, push back the drapes on every window. Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights. Brighten darker rooms with few windows by placing spotlights on the floor behind furniture, and for goodness sakes, turn off the TV.
5. If you’ve been away a while over the summer, remember to air your property. If it’s been locked up for a few weeks properties can sometimes take on a musty or damp odour. Ventilate the property well before viewers come round. It’s also a great time to wash curtains and upholstery.
6. As the year wears on there can start to be a wee nip in the air! To make your home welcoming and inviting for viewers, try to take the chill off any rooms before they arrive. Pop the radiators on a timer to heat the room up about half an hour before a viewing or get home a bit before the viewing to switch them on, get any fireplaces cracking away, and make your home warm and toasty to welcome viewers and help them to imagine that it was theirs!
7. If you live in a flat and have a communal garden, remember that, even if the reality is that you never use it, most buyers will still want to imagine that they can. It can be worth spending a bit of time, even borrowing a strimmer and a lawn mower, to get the garden looking as good as it can before buyers come around: in my experience, no matter how small, no matter how overgrown and no matter whether your flat is on the top floor, nearly all buyers will want to look ‘out the back’.
8. You don’t need to dump a lifeless sofa when you can accessorise its dullness with bright red, orange and / or golden yellow pillows. Toss a quilt or autumn-colored throw over a chair. After you’ve cleared away the clutter and depersonalised each room, bring a little bit of autumn hues to each room by placing bold-colored accent pieces in odd groupings such as 3’s and 5’s. Create an autumn centerpiece for the dining room table by arranging pine cones and nuts around orange candles, stick in a few leaves from the yard.
9. Rake dead leaves and debris in your lawn. Don’t let overgrown vegetation block the windows or path to the entrance. Cutting bushes and tree limbs will let the sun inside and showcase the exterior of your home. Cut away summer vines and cut down dead flowers.
10. A lot of guides will suggest that you set up some autumn scents for viewings, but this could backfire if buyers are allergic to certain scents and rather than linger in your home they will be more likely to look for the quickest exit.
Many home sellers make the mistake of thinking the market becomes completely stagnant during autumn. This is simply not true. Many markets actually experience a surge during autumn as prospective buyers return from their vacations refreshed and invigorated.
Looking to capitalise on this market activity? Book an appointment with one of our local agent experts today.
Need more tips on how you can get your house sold? Have a look at our “24 things to change to help sell your property” blog.