Many people shy away from putting their home on the market in autumn, putting it off until the New Year. Yet, autumn can be a wonderful time of year to sell. It would be a shame to miss out on the opportunities that the season brings. Autumn brings Christmas into focus for many. This can motivate buyers to ramp up their search during autumn as they dream of being in their new house by Christmas.
If you are thinking of selling this autumn, here are some tips and hints so that you can get your sale off to a good start
The easiest way to sell your home before Christmas and for the highest price is to make your viewers fall in love with it. How do you do this? Through selling the type of lifestyle your home has to offer. You want your viewers to imagine themselves living there. You want them to feel like they don’t want to leave. A clever way of doing this is through how you present your home. Dress your home to impress. Autumn is full of wonderful natural smells, colours and senses. Draw on these when you are dressing your home for sale.
Create a cosy, comforting environment by adding splashes of autumnal colours. Fabrics, cushions and throws are a wonderful way of doing this. Think tartan, wool, opulent velvet, richly coloured fabrics and snuggly textures. Use these seasonal props to dress your sofas, chairs and beds.
Bring the season indoors and play on autumnal smells. Cinnamon, spiced apple, wood and smoke are all smells associated with autumn. If you have a fire, light it. As well as creating a wonderful woody, smokey smell, the dancing flames of a fire add a warming, soft light that looks wonderful in property photography and for viewings.
Create extra ambiance through soft lighting using lamps, candles and fairy lights. Play soft music in the background.
How your estate agent promotes and markets your home is critical to a successful sale. There is no point having a beautifully presented home if the photography, written description, brochure and online listing do not do it justice. The job of property marketing is to get viewers across your threshold. There are many houses for sale at any one time. You must make sure that yours stands out head and shoulders above the rest. If you do not, would-be buyers will skip passed your online listing without a second glance. It is paramount that your property marketing is of the highest quality. This will entice viewers to want to know more. You have seconds to make an impression and if the way your agent is marketing and promoting your home is not up to par then you’ve missed the opportunity.
Ensure that you choose an agent that believes in high-quality marketing. You can check how an agent presents their homes yourself by looking at their website or on Rightmove. Talk to your chosen agent about how they can make the most of the season when promoting your home. The property photography is a good place to start. There are so many wonderful colours around this time of year, they can look fabulous on external images. A good photographer will be able to work with the way you have presented your home, play on the autumnal look and bring this out in the images.
There is only a short time between autumn and Christmas. If someone is house hunting in autumn they are likely to want to get the sale underway if not be in their new home by Christmas. This goes for sellers also. To avoid languishing on the market you need to make sure that your home is priced correctly right from the start.
Before you invite an estate agent to value your home, you can research your local area and get an idea on this yourself. Perform a search on Rightmove.co.uk on your postcode plus a quarter of a mile. Compare your home to others and gauge what you could market your home for. Rightmove is also a useful tool to find sold prices in your area so you can see what the precedent is in your area.
Whilst you are paying your estate agent to sell your home for you, there are several things you can do yourself to help things along. Don’t be shy to tell people that you are selling. Most homeowners have heard their friends and family tell them how lovely their home is. Your contacts and their friends could be your next buyer. School mums, your hairdresser, work colleagues, business associates – whoever they are, don’t be shy in telling them. You don’t need to do this in a ‘salesy’ way, just mention it in passing. You never know where the conversation could lead.
Carry your property brochure around with you and keep copies in your car. If a person shows interest, ask them “who do you know that is looking to move to the area”, give them a brochure. Exposing your home to the most amount of people will increase your chances of a sale. Promote a link to your online property brochure through social media such as Facebook. Ask friends to like and share.
Take pride in your home and keep on top of any DIY and cleaning jobs. Doing this you can be a little more flexible and accommodate last-minute viewings. The more viewers you get the higher chance of a sale. Always find ways to accommodate your estate agents request for viewings.
Be prepared, get in the moving mindset. Line up a solicitor so you can act quickly when you receive and accept an offer. Get all the paperwork your solicitor will require ready.
1. Clear away the fallen leaves
Clear away those leaves. Sweep them up, even if they are on the street outside. Clear them out of your gutters and drains. Litter may have blown up the street. I suggest you clear this too. It may not be yours but think how a buyer may feel about it. Trim back any dead plants. Keep your home looking alive!
2. Turn on the heating
Make sure your home feels warm and inviting when buyers come around. Put your heating on a timer so it switches on an hour before they arrive. If you are home, light the fire and then pop out just before the estate agent arrives. Buyers love the glow of a fire in the autumn. A lit fire can truly change the atmosphere of any room. If this is impractical, why not use fairy lights on a battery pack. It will still give a lovely warm glow.
3. Switch on the Lights
A simple tip and one used by show homes. Switch on those lights. A simple side lamp can light up a gloomy corner. Lamps add atmosphere. Use them to highlight a reading corner. Turn them on even on your cooker hood. See how they transform your room. Use bedside lamps to make your bed the focal point of your bedroom.
4. Create Autumn Kerb Appeal
You’ve swept away the leaves, now it is time to make sure your home stands out. Look to the Americans who celebrate the fall. Why not add colour with an autumn window box or hanging basket? Also ensure your windows and doors are free from grime and dirt.
5. Find space for those coats and boots
Do you have cloaks cupboard or any area where you can hang coats and boots? Don’t over pile but why not show it off. Think along the lines of a Barbour jacket and Hunter wellies. Not only does this show you have the space but it conjures up thoughts of pleasant autumn walks!
6. Bring in thick tactile fabrics
Tactile fabrics add both texture and warmth to any living room and bedroom. Plush Velvet cushions. Thick luxurious rugs. Buyers subconsciously touch. Give them a feeling of luxury.
7. Add autumn colours and smells
I love autumnal colours. Think burnt orange, creams and shades of brown. Arrange pumpkin-spiced or vanilla candles as centrepieces on a table. Add a basket of logs next to your fire. I’m even going to create a display with mini pumpkins as a table centrepiece. Why not try it yourself?