Fall has crept up on us. Cooler weather is setting in and in many parts of the country, people are getting ready to hunker down for the winter. That doesn’t mean home selling stops in the fall and winter, but it does slow down. 

If you are selling a home this fall, consider investing in some inexpensive fall maintenance and improvement projects to boost the chance of making the sale. Read the following 10 tips to keep your home and property looking good for potential home buyers.

1. Keep a well-kept yard. Stay on top of the mowing and patch any brown areas of grass. After a whole summer of taking care of the lawn, don’t let the routine slip now! If you have an underground irrigation system, you may need to clear the water lines to prepare for the winter months. 
2. Take care of the leaves. Rake the yard frequently. Clean out the gutters and downspouts. Not only will the yard look better, but cleaning up loose debris creates a safer environment for potential buyers. 
3. Tend to your landscaping. Fall is the time to prepare ornamental plants, trees and bushes for the winter, Prune bushes and trees, such as removing low-hanging tree branches that are in the way and trimming back bushes that have become overgrown. Don’t forget to mulch your garden beds.
4. Put away the lawn furniture. Give outdoor tables and chairs a good cleaning. Then stack or store them in a tidy manner, somewhere out of the way. A garage, shed, or even a corner of the porch could work. 
5. Add a splash of color. Your annuals and perennial flowers are probably fading or dead. Replace them with some potted mums and other autumn-friendly flowers. The added color will create a welcoming display for potential home buyers.
6. Clean the exterior of your home. With all the shrubs and bushes trimmed back and eventually losing all their leaves, your home will be more exposed than it is during the summer months. Pressure wash the exterior and scrub the windows. A nice clean look will instantly and cheaply increase its curb appeal.
7. Provide adequate outdoor lighting. The days will be getting shorter and the nights will be coming sooner. Buyers will need a well-lit path to your front door. It is not only an issue of safety, the lighting will make your home look more inviting from the curb, even when it is dark.
8. Weatherize. Now is the time to seal out the cold – before the temperature has really dropped! Add weather stripping to doors and windows if needed; install storm doors and windows if you have them. Exterior caulking is also best done before the temperatures get too cool.
9. Check your HVAC system. Winterize your air conditioner or central air system. Make sure your furnace is in good working order and install a new filter. A warm house is inviting for potential home buyers, but they’ll want to know your maintaining the system. After all, if they buy, it will be their HVAC system.
10. Clean out the fireplace. If you have a fireplace, chances are pretty good that you haven’t used it in a long time, so it’s a good idea to make sure it’s clean and free from cobwebs.

Just because the weather is changing and the market is likely winding down for the winter doesn’t mean you should abandon the idea of selling a home during the fall. To make sure your home will stand apart from the rest, get started on your fall home maintenance.

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