Tepilo take a look at what sellers need to do to get their home sold this autumn, from taking advantage of keen buyers to encouraging early viewings.
After a long, hot summer, it might not seem like autumn is really here yet. But soon the nights will start drawing in, the temperatures will start to drop and the leaves will turn all manner of vibrant yellows, ambers and reds.
It also happens to be a fantastic season in which to sell a home, with September and October typically heralding a post-summer boom in activity.
What, though, can you do to improve your chances of selling in the next few months?
Take advantage of eager buyers
Many buyers will be keen to be settled in their new home before Christmas. As such, they'll have to act fast – and push through a purchase in a speedy fashion – if that is to happen. That can be to your advantage, as they may be willing to pay slightly more in terms of asking price to get things moving.
What's more, when it comes to selling a home, delays and hold-ups are the most frustrating part of the process. If, however, both parties are on the same page when it comes to getting things done quickly, this can really help to smooth the process to completion.
Concentrate on lighting
While homes are nearly always best viewed during the day, this can become less achievable as the days get shorter and darkness descends sooner. This means lighting your home in the appropriate way becomes much more important. The closer we get to winter, the less natural light you'll have to play with, so lamps and well-placed light bulbs (bright but not too bright) will become very handy.
Energy-saving light bulbs are an excellent way of filling your home with light in an eco-friendly, relatively cheap way. Certain rooms – such as the kitchen, dining room and bathroom – will benefit from being well-lit, while bedrooms and living rooms may be better served by giving off a cosy, intimate vibe, with lower-level lighting and less stark bulbs.
Of course, you will still be able to hold viewings during the daytime – and autumn often brings some wonderfully sunny, crisp days – but remember to make sure all curtains and blinds are fully open to allow as much natural light to flood in as possible.
Consider an autumnal theme
Warm, woody tones and colours can help your home to reflect the season. As we approach the winter months, the need to keep warm will become more acute, which is where throws, duvets, blankets and cushions prove their worth.
Ensure your home is cosy, comfortable and colourful. Natural materials can further help you to create a sense of autumn in your home, while a fireplace or wood-burner (if your home has one) will start to become a more prominent feature once again.
Keep your garden in good condition
Use of outside space might become less frequent as autumn progresses, but it's likely to be a key feature – and selling point – for many buyers. Temperatures often hold up well even into October nowadays, so your garden is likely to still be an integral part of any property viewing. With this in mind, it needs to be in tip-top condition when prospective buyers come to view your home.
With the leaves falling off the trees with more regularity, you'll need to keep on top of sweeping these up so your garden doesn't look untidy. Also, carrying out all those minor tasks – such as weeding, mowing the lawn, pruning and watering plants (if rainfall has been low) – will ensure your garden looks up to scratch.
If you have children, it's likely that your garden saw plenty of use over the summer months. But now is the time to clear your garden of all their toys, or any paddling pools, mini slides and sandpits, to allow your garden space to breathe.
You might very well be targeting family buyers, in which case they will want to see how they can make use of the outdoor space, but to appeal to as broad a range of people as possible it's best to keep your garden uncluttered.
Clear the gutters
While all those fallen leaves often look beautiful and spectacular, they can prove a right pain to your guttering and drains. A build-up of leaves and other debris over time can cause serious issues – and leave a big dent in your bank balance – so it's best to clear your gutters and drains of leaves on a regular basis at both the front and back of your property.
Doing this will also ensure the front of your home – the first thing most buyers will see of your property – is visually appealing. It's also wise to keep your front garden/driveway free of leaves if possible. If you want to add colour and a slice of nature to these areas, pot plants and hanging baskets both work well – with dahlias and geraniums especially good options.
Encourage viewings early
In October and November, it can get dark as early as 4pm (sometimes even before then), so if you want to carry out viewings in the daytime – when your home is likely to look its best – you'll need to arrange viewings in the morning or early afternoon.
It's also important, as the weather gets colder, to make sure your home is warm and cosy – allowing people to explore the property in comfort. The more comfortable they are, the more likely they are to come away from the viewing with positive vibes. This, in turn, could make them more likely to place an offer.
As always, to give yourself the best chance of selling your home, decluttering and thoroughly cleaning your property before you bring it to market is a pragmatic move. In addition to this, your home will need to be attractive, inviting and well-maintained, and receive the necessary exposure on all the main property portals.