BEND, OR – Though, many lament the dwindling days of summer, most of us are open to turning the page with great anticipation of falling leaves, 24/7 football and best of all, pumpkin-spice overdose. Most climates do, however, experience an unfortunate limited window of opportunity to thoroughly immerse themselves in the autumn spirit. For homeowners, the mere thought of raking leaves, yard work and maintenance rekindles memories of lower back pain, but for others, it’s time to take stock and make the most out of your outdoor living experience and prep the space so that it easily springs to life next season. If you’ve been contemplating a potential move, now’s the time to ensure that your property’s curb appeal will maximize your asking price.
Spruce Up That Lawn
While brilliant fall foliage can automatically make your home look more attractive for showings, that doesn’t mean you can slack off on lawn maintenance during this season. Keep falling leaves at bay with frequent raking and patch up any brown spots in the grass to keep things lush. This time of year, weeds aren’t the only thing standing between you and the turf of your dreams. You’ve also got to watch for pests, fungal diseases—and even Fido. Fall is the ideal time to fertilize and seed. Don’t regret addressing your tattered yard or wishing that your patch of dirt were a blanket of soft blades. “Seeding is the easiest thing for a homeowner to do,” says This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook. “It just takes a little soil preparation, the right mix of seed, and lots of watering.” Lastly, consider performing lawn aeration to provide improved drainage, and keep things neat and manicured with some edge trimming and weeding of any paths or walkways.
Once the dog days of summer hit, flower gardens generally start looking tired. Colors wash out, edges brown, blossoms become fewer in number. In addition to getting your lawn looking its best, spice it up with a splash of color. As your summer plants start to fade, replace them with vibrant mums or other colorful flowers. To keep your garden blooming well into the fall, consider a few of the many varieties of fall-blooming perennials. Note, that spent blossoms on these summer-flowering perennials can be clipped to encourage blooming long into the fall.
Highlight That Front Door
Making your front door the focal point of your home’s exterior is a good tactic no matter what time of year you decide to sell your home. During the fall, a simple wreath of fall foliage and flowers can add an inviting touch. A fresh coat of paint–possibly vivid color choice if you’re daring, can also make your entrance stand out when potential buyers drive by. Don’t forget not to neglect the general maintenance often required of wooden doors. Even custom, high-quality construction will need some form of upkeep. Fill any spacing caused by temperature swelling with a paintable/stainable putty or fill material. This may be necessary on the interior as well and will ensure that your entry is well-insulated and cared for.
Clean Things Up
When fall rolls around and the trees shed their leaves, your home becomes more exposed, making its exterior appearance extra important. Before putting your home on the market, pressure wash the exterior and clean the windows. If the paint is chipped or faded, applying a fresh coat will do wonders to revive your home’s appearance and will often increase your resale value. Don’t forget to address the surfaces of your porch, railings, sidewalks, driveway and other hardscapes. A thorough pressure wash, scrub or even a simple sweep will make an immense difference. You’ll be amazed at the transformation! Also, be sure to clear your gutters and downspouts of leaves and other debris, which will protect your home from water damage and reduce the threat of sagging from sitting water unable to drain properly.
Lighten the Mood
As the days get shorter, it becomes increasingly important to not only provide potential homebuyers with a safe path to your front door, but strategic illumination will provide ambiance on tours, as well as in your listing photography and video. Use decorative lights to illuminate walkways, and install flood lights or lanterns to brighten up entrance areas. Make sure that all exhausted bulbs are replaced and cleaned of insects and cobwebs. Investing in fresh, new modern fixtures that enhance the architectural style of your home will add immediate curb appeal to any space and surely add value.
Check the Mail(box)
Many newer subdivisions and housing developments now have banks of mailboxes located in central locations to make distributing the mail easier on the postal carrier. But, if your mailbox is located on the street, there’s a good chance it’s seen better days. In fact, it could look more like it was used to house a pipe bomb, and you’ve just stopped paying attention. If it’s affixed to your house, you’ve probably forgotten about it, aesthetically speaking. Paint it, polish it, replace it or simply just perform a clean-up. The trick is to keep it low-key and unassuming. You don’t want to draw attention to something that acts as a receptacle for your bills and junk mail.
Keep Decorations on the Down-low
The autumnal season presents many opportunities to decorate and showcase our love for the holidays, or even our alma mater’s big game. While subtle fall decor – a wreath on the door or pots of seasonal flowers – will make your home look inviting and fresh, going overboard will distract buyers from your home itself. Save your scarecrows and spooky Halloween decorations for another year if you’re serious about getting a buyer’s signature on a contract.
If you do decide to add your home to the market during the fall, or are ready to take advantage of some potential savings on a listing that may be lingering, the highly experienced, exceptional Associates with Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty are prepared to assist you. With 10 offices strategically located throughout Oregon and SW Washington, the brokers of Cascade Sotheby’s are prepared to respond to client needs amid the ever-changing trends of the Pacific NW real estate market. View available listings.