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Are you selling your home or investment real estate this autumn? Here are ways to prepare your property for a sale.
Are you thinking of selling your home or investment property this autumn?
In Australia, spring is traditionally considered the best time to put your property in the market. During the season, it’s also normal to see buyers out in droves during open homes, attracted by blooming gardens and the warmer weather. This is why September, October and November earned the moniker “spring selling season”.
But it’s important to remember that with the right strategy, any season can be a good time to sell — and autumn is no exception.
All seasons have their benefits, but autumn can also be a great time to sell. People are back in the swing of things after the holiday season, and those who have made a new year’s resolution to buy a new home or add a new property to their portfolio are ready to house hunt.
With some sellers unaware of the benefits of selling in autumn, your property is also at an advantage by having less competition on the market. Fewer properties help drive buyer competition, maximising a seller’s chance of getting the best sale price possible.
Not to mention, the season is marked by the changing of leaves and relatively cooler weather after a scorching summer, which can entice home buyers.
In this article, we give our top tips on how you can sell your investment property or home this autumn.
Tips for selling your property in autumn
For the most part, preparing your home or investment property for listing in autumn is not any different from the prep work done for selling during other seasons, but there are some things property owners can specifically do to take advantage of the autumn colours and smells, as well as other conditions that come with the season.
Here are some tips on how to prepare your home for selling during autumn.
1. Clean gutters and drainage
If your home or investment property is surrounded by deciduous trees (or trees that lose their leaves in autumn), you would know that this time of year, your gutters start to fill up with dead leaves and broken branches.
As you prepare your property for viewing, make sure that your drains and gutters are not blocked by seasonal leaf shedding. Failing to do this will not only cause problems for the property’s structure and integrity in the long run but will also make your property look unattractive. After all, buyers do not want to see a roofline overflowing as it gives the impression the home is not maintained properly.
As autumn also signals the start of heavy rains, you do not want to have to deal with damp or mould issues during open homes.
It’s a good idea to seek professional help to help you to clean the gutter and ensure that there are no drainage issues.
2. Spruce up your garden
It’s no secret that much of Australia deal with extreme heat during the summer months, so if your garden is looking worse for wear come autumn, make sure to spend some time fixing it up.
You can start by watering the lawn each day or every second day leading up to the inspections. To be on the safe side, make sure you comply with water restriction laws when doing this.
You can also tidy up your garden by removing any dead or dying plants and replacing them with flowering plants that thrive during autumn. Make sure to also rake up any leaves and trim large bushes and shrubs.
If your property has a pool, clean up leaves that are floating around and remove any leaves that are stuck at the bottom of the pool – this will give future buyers the impression that the pool is going to be easy to look after.
3. Create autumn curb appeal
Improving curb appeal is important no matter what time of year you are putting your property on the market. But as we’ve mentioned, you must be extra diligent about keeping your curb sparkling clean because of the seasonal leaf shedding in autumn.
It’s important for sellers to remember that it’s not just your house you are selling but also your outdoor space. Oftentimes, potential buyers will do a drive past a property or home for sale before they drop in for an inspection to see if it’s worth their time (and money).
With this, first impressions matter, and this starts at the curb. Here are some simple ways to boost your curb appeal:
4. Set the proper mood by creating good lighting
Daylight becomes a premium throughout autumn as days get shorter and the sun drops down to a lower angle, so you will need to depend on your inside lights to create an ambience that is warm and inviting.
During inspections and open homes, pull back all the blinds, open the shutters and make sure that all curtains are open. With more house viewings being held during twilight or after dark, it’s a good idea to turn on every light in the house, including table lamps. If you have a dark room, consider adding spotlights behind furniture.
Another tip from experts is not to use stark bright lights inside. Instead, use warm, mellow lights from well-placed lamps that can help to make your inside spaces look snug and comfortable.
If you are not sure how to stage your home properly, talk to your real estate agent or seller’s agent about hiring a home stager.
5. Check heating systems
While temperature can vary across the country during autumn, remember to keep your heating in a warm and comfortable setting when prospective buyers or their agents are inspecting your property.
Ideally, you want buyers to see that it stands up to the cold but is not steaming hot. Most potential buyers viewing your property won’t stay long and may want to keep their coats on, so you don’t want to roast them alive while they look around! Put your heating on a timer, so it switches on an hour before they arrive.
A fireplace can also be a good way to regulate the temperature inside the property. Additionally, nothing smells like autumn more than smoke from a wood-burning fireplace. If the temperature is low and the property has a fireplace or a gas fire, ensure these are lit just before the agent arrives.
If the fireplace is filled with cobwebs because it hasn’t been used for months, make sure to also vacuum it out and wash it down.
If a fire isn’t something you want to tend to while an open house is ongoing, some home stagers arrange knick-knacks in the fireplace in place of wood logs.
One more way to ensure your property has the right temperature is to ensure there are no cracks around doors and windows. Check for any older windows as these are the worst offenders for letting in drafts. Spend an hour or so checking and fixing these before opening your doors for inspection.
6. Home smells matter
Aside from appearance, another thing that will make a strong first impression on buyers when they enter your property is the smell. No one wants to buy a smelly or musty property. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that the inside of your property smells fresh.
For starters, think back to the last time you changed your furnace filter. Before turning on your heater, make sure to check the HVAC system if it is still working well. If you discover problems with your furnace, it’s better to fix them before your property goes on the market.
The cleanliness of your property will also affect how your home smells. Make sure to empty out rubbish cans, clean out and declutter rooms and leave no room for dust when you’re preparing your home for sale.
7. Bring the season indoors
Many people favour autumn over other seasons, so embrace it by adding subtle reminders of autumn in the property to make it more inviting.
Add autumn colour to your property by accessorising your furniture. For example, you can brighten the dullness of a sofa with bright red, orange and/or golden yellow pillows. Toss a quilt or autumn-coloured throw over a chair.
After decluttering your property and depersonalising each room, bring a few autumn hues to each room by placing bold-coloured accent pieces in odd groupings such as threes and fives.
These touches will all help make your room and home feel more inviting and in theme with the season. Just make sure not to overdo it or you can end up making your property look cluttered and unorganised.
For more tips on how to secure a successful property sale in autumn, check out our previous article, Is autumn a good time to sell your property? You can also check out our article Selling a property fast: 7 tips on how to make it happen.
Disclaimer: The information provided is for guidance and informational purposes only and does not replace independent business, legal and financial advice, which we strongly recommend.
Smart Property Investment provides Australian property investors with must-have insight, strategies and real-life experiences to help guide successful buying and selling decisions in the Australian property market. Tune in to our podcasts covering a variety of topics related to the real estate market. You can also follow Smart Property Investment on social media: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
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