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Five tips for getting your house ready to list this fall

By Joan Herlong

Kids are going back to school, people are planning their last summer vacations and your clothes tend to stick to the backs of your legs and arms when outside for more than 20 minutes.

The idea of fall’s warm sweaters, football games and pumpkin patches seem as far away as Greenville is to the Andromeda System. Sure, we know it’s out there, but why think about it now? The reason is if you are planning to list your house in the coming months, now is the time to be getting it ready to look good this fall.

I’ve been in the real estate business for almost 30 years in Greenville. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the unsightly each fall as people list and buy. Here are five tips you can use to get your house ready.

  1. Gutter check: Clean your gutters. And then clean them again (leaves don’t fall all at once). If it involves a ladder — HIRE someone to clean your gutters. Messy gutters are one of those things that prospective homeowners will always see first. This also goes for sticks in your yard, dead grass spots and that bag of potting soil that has been sitting on your deck since May. They all need to be cleaned up.

  2. Curb appeal: If you haven’t mulched your beds since the Spring, now is the time. And plant fresh annuals — your impatiens will be probably looking a little leggy by September. Fresh mulch and flowers look and smell great. It’s a key part of making a great first impression.

  3. Cleaning is not just for the Spring: Declutter and have your home professionally cleaned. Why professionally? We become inured to a lot of the dust bunnies and cobwebs around the house, but your potential buyers can sure see them. Better to hire a professional crew to clean and wipe down every square inch. Likewise, find a new home for anything that exists primarily to gather dust, such as silk plants, silk trees, etc.

  4. Fall means autumn, not austere: There is a tendency for people to go overboard by stripping/de-personalizing their home. I’ve walked into homes over the years that looked like they were prepped for surgery. The idea that less is more won’t help your house get sold. Your family photos and art — especially your children’s art — are a part of your home’s personality. That story helps people feel warm when looking at your house.

  5. Take photos now: Arrange for at least the exterior photography to be done NOW, while the trees are still full and green and your yard looks its best, so that the photos are not “dated” to a specific time in the fall.

The Fall Market here is always lively, and kicks off in earnest right around Labor Day. Take advantage of August’s relatively slower pace by taking the time to be market ready for the Fall Market.

Contact one of the talented Associates at Joan Herlong & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty. They’re trained by the best in the business to help you make your home show its best; to help you set the terms in advance for this important transaction; and to be your advocate at every turn. They can line up the gutter guy, the cleaning service, and more — put the power of our arsenal of proven service providers to work on your side.


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