Woman raking leaves

Maintaining your yard and planting fall-friendly foliage will help set the stage for a home on the market later in the year. (Getty Images)

As the seasons change so does the real estate market, and it’s important to embrace these changes throughout your home to capture every buyer opportunity before the winter slump. If you’re looking to sell your home before year’s end follow these simple home staging tips for your exterior and interior to welcome buyers into your home.

Exterior:

Create a welcoming front porch. If needed, paint your front door, add a new welcome mat and a few seasonal plants and pumpkins. Hang a wreath on the door that embraces fall foliage, so it can be used through the Thanksgiving holiday. Try adding a seating area if you have the space. Put out colorful, fall-inspired pillows and a throw blanket when showing.

Add seasonal plants. Speaking of seasonal foliage, change out your plant containers and pots around your home to show off hardier plants that will flourish this time of year. Try colorful mums, cabbages, goldenrods, burning bush or aster to show off a lively space.

[See: 9 Easy Ways to Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal.]

Prune back landscaping. Take a look at the trees, shrubs and bushes around your home. Cut away anything dead or overgrown, especially around your windows. This will help safeguard your home from falling debris, as well as allow for maximum natural light to enter the home.

Inspect the roof. Fall is essentially the last time of the year you’ll be able to make any repairs on your roof. Depending on where you live, brutal weather can cause leaks, collapses and other damage, so do yourself a favor and a schedule an inspection.

Clean gutters and downspouts. This time of year, trees shed their leaves and can clog up your gutters. Because moisture can turn to ice during the fall and winter, you want to make sure any water is easily being removed from your home’s structure.

Spruce up the lawn. Those leaves can also make a mess on your lawn, so rake them frequently while on the market. Also, now is the time to repair any brown spots in your lawn and fertilize it. Winterize your sprinkler system now too, to save on electric.

Winterize the patio or deck, and pool. Most of us will have to say “bye, bye” to those fun summer days in the pool. Now is the time to close up the pool and put away or cover up most lawn furniture. Despite colder days, you should still set a scene to entice buyers. Try using an outdoor fire pit – create a seating area where you can chat around the fire, roast marshmallows and sip hot cocoa. Use a string of white lights to highlight the area, and don’t forget to add seasonal plants.

[See: 13 Photography Tips When Shooting Your Home to Put It on the Market.]

Interior:

Find the perfect temperature. Check your heater, schedule your oil delivery and prepare to transfer from the air conditioning to heat. When showing your home you want to make sure it's the perfect temperature to reduce any buyer distractions.

Focus on the fireplace. During this time of year the fireplace will become the center of attention. Make sure to check the fireplace and chimney are working properly. Create a seating area around the fireplace, bring in wood and set up a fall scene on your mantel.

Update your window treatment. Treat your windows to a good cleaning inside and out. Change out curtain panels for more luxurious fabrics, like velvet in darker or bolder colors. Make sure to keep your window treatments open to maximize the amount of natural light entering the home.

Light up the interior. With shorter days upon us you may need to add more lighting inside your home to really highlight the space during showings. Have at least three light sources in every room and turn on all the lights when showing your home. Try putting your lights on a timer and keep your front lights on to welcome buyers up to the house.

Add warmer tones. Besides using light to add warmth to a space, switch out your cooler-tone colors, like blues and greens for orange, red, burgundy, and yellow. Add these colors in your home with paint, curtains, artwork, a rug or other smaller accessories. Remember a little goes a long way with these colors.

Incorporate cozy upholstery. Time to add on the layers. Bring in textured upholstery in your furniture, window treatments, bedding, pillows, throws and rugs by using plush, soft materials – burlap, silk, fur, velvet and other heavier, durable materials work well.

Use autumn scents. Intrigue the senses this fall by adding familiar fall scents like vanilla, pumpkin spice or apple cinnamon.

[See: 13 Things to Know About Selling Your Home in Fall and Winter.]

Change up decor. Time to remove the lighter-colored accents, summer photos and boating, fiesta and beach house themes. Replace those accessories with warmer colors like those mentioned above – pumpkins, owls or birds, leaves or other natural elements to remind you of farm stands and harvest time.

Tags: real estate, housing market, housing, home improvements, holidays


Tori Toth is a best-selling author, DIY and lifestyle expert, award-winning home stager and lifestyle authority. She can show anybody how to add more value to their home by giving the tools needed to prepare and showcase any home for sale. She works with consumers, real estate agents, or anybody else who wants to make their home look its best quickly and easily. Home staging is a strategic marketing tool for the biggest return on investment of a home, focusing on renovation and creative design. By creating a lifestyle that buyers will find aspirational, Tori Toth will demonstrate methods of rearranging, organizing and in many cases, adding or editing furniture and home décor. The best, clearest, most helpful information of how to stage a home with and be an immediate success can be found in Tori’ best-selling book "Feel at Home: Home Staging Secrets for a Quick and Easy Sell."