While Spring rightfully is touted as the busiest home-selling season, you don’t have to give up plans to sell your home until nest year. September through December may actually be the right time to sell your home. Conventional wisdom is that once Spring gives way to Summer and school starts, you’ve missed the opportunity to sell your home. After all, families have settled into the new school year and so are less inclined to move. But, as we noted in the post on Preparing Your House To Sell in the Fall, Boomers and Millennials don’t always follow conventional wisdom either when buying or selling.
So, if there are buyers out there after Labor Day, how do you attract them?
Take care of outdoor winter maintenance for curb appeal
If your home is on the market in autumn and winter months, the last thing you want is to let maintenance slide. Potential buyers are more likely to notice (and ask about) exterior issues, so beat them to the punch by making certain your home’s outdoor systems are in topnotch condition.
Here’s a list of places to pay attention to:
- As leaves begin to fall, mulch or rake them. If you mulch them as you mow, the miniscule pieces of leaves will drop between the grass-blades and decompose, nourishing your lawn. If you rake up your leaves, don’t leave them in a big pile in the yard or on the curb. Piles of decomposing leaves and debris reduce your home’s curb appeal. Instead, contact your municipality to learn the best way to dispose of your raked leaves.
- Avoid pruning shrubs and trees until late in the winter. The healthiest time to prune typically is late winter—just before the spring growth begins. If you aren’t sure about the best time to prune your trees, contact a local nursery or the horticulture department of a local university. One exception to this rule is that if you have any dead limbs or trees, hire an arborist to removes them so that winter winds to not cause them to fall on your home or power lines.
- Once the need for watering is past, turn off exterior faucets, remove and drain hoses. If your home is more than 15 years old, you likely do not have frost-proof faucets, so turn the shut-off valve to off inside your home. If your home has an irrigation system, hire a professional to drain your sprinkler system so that pipes don’t freeze and break underground during the colder weather.
- Check your roof. In particular, look for loose, missing or damaged shingles. If you have a steep roof, use binoculars, or hire a roofing inspector to check it for you. If you’ve had hail in your area, most roofing companies offer free hail damage inspection. If you have a flat roof, make certain you sweep up the detritus of the long summer and fall.
- While checking your roof, have your gutters and downspouts inspected and cleaned. If water backs up in your gutters because they are filled with dirt and leaves, the damage to your roof, soffits and even your home’s walls is expensive to repair. Simply cleaning your gutters protects you from costly fixes later. If your downspouts end at the bottom of the exterior wall, add extensions or splash blockers to divert water away from your foundation.
- Put away garden tools and cover or store barbecues, outdoor furniture and toys. Give your porch and patio curb appeal with pots of autumn plants such as Chrysanthemums, Alstromeria, Amaranthus, Carnations and other fall-growing potted plants. As winter nears, add other winter-blooming flowers like Pansies to your pots. If you’re not into flowers, use pumpkins, straw or other dried autumn foliage to brighten up your home.
If you plan to have your home on the market after Labor Day, make certain to follow the advice of your real estate professional to present your home in the best possible light to the buyers that search for homes during this time.