Fall Housing Market
For those of you who read my column in the Era & Banner papers, here's the full un-edited version of my last submission. I apologize in advance for the editing decisions made by the publisher.
Thanks for continuing to read!
I don't know about you, but I'm having trouble believing its fall already. I know that as I write this it is technically still summer, but the early evening darkness seem to have snuck up on our household and there's a different chill in the air, like someone turned a switch off and presto-change-o, the fall is here.
What has amazed me most this month is that no sooner is Labour Day weekend over, then a whole new crop of for-sale signs have sprouted up around our neighbourhood, a sure sign of the ever vibrant York Region fall housing market.
Considering preparing your house for sale? It's important to know that what works for marketing and showing your home in its best light in the spring also works for marketing it in the fall months.
The good news is that while the weather is still nice there's just enough time to get in a last minute garage sale should you be making efforts to tidy and improve your spaces. Scheduling a garage sale that involves everyone in your household is a sure fire way of forcing you and your family to make some difficult but necessary decisions as you begin thinking about what you need to get rid of in order to get your property looking its best.
The "fall purge" is not only a good regular yearly habit to establish to help keep your house under control, but it's a particularly effective step in the right direction to efficiently clearing the clutter that may have collected in your home over the summer months.
If you usually dedicate some time in the fall to changing over the clothes in your closets, take the opportunity to put out-of-season clothing and sports equipment away in storage so they're ready to go when it's finally time to move. This small organizing step will help create extra room in closets and storage areas, making those spaces appear larger and more appealing to potential buyers.
Consider investing in the services of a professional stager to help you determine what needs to stay and what needs to go when getting your home ready for market. When I provide staging services for clients, I typically forewarn the homeowners that once I'm done with my staging report, it's not likely they're going to like me very much. It's difficult hearing that you need to get rid of all those things around your home that you love so much, but clearing your space and depersonalizing your property is the key to showing potential buyers an environment in which they can picture themselves living.
Despite instinctively spending more time focusing on the insides our homes in the fall months, it's still important that some attention be paid to its exterior when you're getting ready to sell. If you're anything like me, somewhere around August 20th, I begin to care-less about all the flowers in the pots around our yard that I so attentively managed in the early spring. Growing weary of watering, weeds start to take over and I finally surrender to Mother Nature the territory I vehemently defended just months before.
If neglect has gotten the better of your yard too, it's important to spend some time cleaning up the greenery and getting rid of any dead plants that linger in the yard. A well-kept property shows pride of ownership and certainly improves curb-appeal, establishing good first impressions for potential buyers.
Think about spending a day pulling out any brown plants and flowers and clear out the clutter of summer pots. Consider replacing them with the full, colourful fall planters available at local garden centres and grocery stores. Little hits of bright colour around your yard go a long way to creating a welcoming entrance to your property.
Once done tidying the yard, take pictures of your property to display during open houses so that potential buyers can see the property in its full glory should the snow come before you manage to find that perfect buyer. If you have a pool, leave it open as long as you can. It looks nicer than a pool cover and shows potential purchasers it's functioning and in good condition.
This month, it's not too late to have your windows cleaned... Nothing let's the light in better than clean panes of glass. Don't forget it's more important than ever, particularly in the greyer days of fall to open all your window coverings and turn on all the lights before every showing.