Monday, October 8, 2012

Showing Your House Through the Seasons

Moving on Monday

As summer turns into fall, your house is still on the market.  You’ve been taking care of it, mowing the lawn and watering the gardens.  But now that the weather is cooler and leaves are starting to fall, there are other matters you must attend to for it to show at its best.

The most important part of your house when selling is the outside.  It is the first impression potential buyers have when they drive by or come for a viewing.  Before they even step into your house, they will be assessing the condition of the driveway, the size of the trees and bushes, and the amount of clutter on the porch.  If they are just driving by, they may decide to cancel an appointment with a real estate agent.  If they already have an appointment, they will probably still come in, but their opinions will be affected by what they saw outside, no matter how nice the house is inside.

So if you are showing your house during this change of season, make sure you keep up with maintaining the exterior of your home.

Rake the leaves, sweep the walkway and porch, and clean out the gutters.  Have your asphalt driveway sealed if necessary, or the cracks in your concrete fixed.  With the upcoming snow and ice, potential buyers know that little cracks can turn into large problems.

Clean all the cobwebs from the front door and windows.  This is what buyers look at when they are waiting for the agent to unlock the door.  All dead plants should be removed from the front porch, and replaced with fall foliage.  If there are any nests in the lights (bird or wasp), get rid of them, and any mess they may have left.  If the wreath or decoration on your front door is seasonal, swap it out for a fall version.

It gets dark earlier now, so make sure all the light fixtures are working properly.  Put both interior and exterior lights on a timer so buyers driving by at night can see the house lit up even if you aren’t home. 

Make sure your address is visible from the street both night and day.  Use numbers in contrast with your house color.  That is, use black numbers on a white house, or brass numbers on a brown house.  Look at your address as you drive up from both directions, both day and night.  Brass or silver numbers reflect the sun, making them difficult to read.  If your house is set back off the street, have your address on a mailbox or post near the street.

Finally, cut down flowers and plants as they die for the season.  If you have extensive landscaping with mature perennials and you want buyers to see what you have planted, then leave photos on the counter of what your house looks like in the summer. 

Keeping your house showing its best will keep you a step up from the competition.

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