How to Prepare Your Home for a Fall Sale

Road Through ForestBy now, most of us have put away our shorts and sandals and replaced them with the sweaters, boots, and coats that have lain dormant these past four months or so. Summer has indeed left us in the Pacific Northwest.

That does not mean that the classic Northwest beauty is gone until next April; on the contrary, these next six weeks have some of the most visually appealing sights Washington State nature has to offer.

In the summertime, selling your home – at least from an upkeep perspective – is relatively easy. Keep the lawn mowed, the house clean, be sure to water the flowers, and let the sunshine do its thing. An autumn sale requires a little more work, so here are some tips on getting your home ready to sell in the fall.


1. Maintain the yard

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when most people picture autumn? Falling leaves. Those leaves look great when they’re swirling around your car as you drive down a country road, but in your lawn, they quickly become a decomposing eyesore for any potential buyers.

Keep the leaves raked and dispose of them properly rather than leaving them in piles in your yard. If you don’t have the time or are physically unable to rake the leaves yourself, hire a neighborhood kid to do it for you a couple times each week.

Also, just because it’s autumn doesn’t mean you are done mowing the lawn! While it’s true that the grass won’t grow as fast as it did during the summer, you still need to keep your lawn from looking like a hay field. Mow until the grass hibernates for the winter.

2. Inspect and maintain your roof

Regardless of when you sell your home, a home inspector will climb on the roof to check for damage prior to sale. Even if you just got a new roof installed, head on up there and make sure no damage has occurred from the wind, rain, or rampaging armies of wildlife (birds and squirrels can wreak havoc!). A leaky roof is a major turn off to any seller.

Remember the leaves we discussed earlier? They have a great habit of falling in and clogging up your gutters. Clean the gutters -more than once – and make sure all downspouts are properly draining.

3. Keep your house cozy

A cold home is an uninviting home, something any buyer who has viewed a bank owned property in the chilly months can tell you. Have your furnace inspected and make sure it’s in proper working order to keep your home comfortable.

If you have ceiling fans and they have a reverse setting, use it. Heat rises, and this will help push the warm air down into the part of the home where you actually live. This feature can work wonders for people with vaulted ceilings.

4. Shut off exterior water

While we don’t get the brutally cold winters like those in the Midwest or Northeast, it can still get cold enough here to make your pipes burst and cause a major headache for you. Watering your lawn is no longer necessary, so disconnect exterior hoses and drain the exterior pipes of water before shutting them off until April.


Keeping your home running like a well-oiled machine is something that requires a year long effort and should be a high priority for any homeowner. Preventative maintenance is an easier – and much more cost effective – alternative than dealing with the issue after disaster has struck.


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