Summer cannot possibly be coming to an end! Ok once we wrap our head around that notion it’s time to think about what we need to advise clients’ on getting their homes ready for a fall sale.
Use the Beauty of the Season: If you are lucky enough to be an agent in a season changing climate, encourage your clients to bring in autumnal flowers, plants and floral arrangements. Mums are gorgeous and colorful and you can find a list of the best plants with the most color to plant for fall on many sites. Or go to a local nursery and get some good advice. Not only do perennials add to the value of your home, they also add intense color and drama to the look of your exterior. But you can also feature some fall floral arrangements in and around the interior of the home too.
Check Roof and Gutters: A good home inspector surely will! Chances are you’ve experienced a “rainy season” of some sort during the summer. Your roof's drainage system diverts thousands of gallons of water from your house's exterior and foundation walls. Keep that process moving well to prevent water damage. Unclog those gutters thoroughly. They are prone to rust and corrosion so look for signs of those things while you are doing the deed. Clean your gutters or have them cleaned before leaves start falling. Then to prevent the leaves from clogging them all over again cover with mesh guards to keep debris to a minimum.
And Speaking of the Roof: Inspect your roof from top to bottom, or have your own home inspection before your buyer does. Using magnifying glass check ridge shingles for cracks and wind damage. Look for damage to metal flashing in and around vents and chimneys. You can spot signs that things need to be fixed a bit if you see missing, curled, or damaged shingles or large accumulations of granules, a sign that your roof is losing its coating. This is the time then to fix these issues before they become big and expensive and the buyer’s home inspector catches it all. No one wants to have to negotiate the price for a whole new roof during a sale.
Are Air Leaks Costing You? A home with air leaks around windows and doors is costing you! Gaps in caulk and weather-stripping can account for 10% of your heating bills, per the U.S. Department of Energy.
Weather-stripping is the most cost-effective way to control heating and cooling costs. The stripping will help reduce drafts and keep your home from wasting energy year-round but it does need to be checked periodically. It is a material that wears out but is quite inexpensive.
So, checking your weather stripping every 6 months or so is a good idea—see if you feel air coming through and at the same time look for missing or damaged caulk around windows, doors, and entry points for electrical, cable, phone, gas, and so. Seal any gaps with a suitable caulk.
Check your Driveways and Sidewalks: Damaged walkways, drives, and steps are a real issue when the weather turns icy. Fixing problems in the fall is also critical to preventing little problems from becoming expensive headaches. Look for cracks more than 1/8-inch wide, uneven sections, and loose railings on steps. Check for disintegration of asphalt. For the bigger jobs hire a professional. It costs so much less to have the job done right rather than twice.
Get Ready for Water Shut Off: If you live in an area with freezing weather, take steps to ensure that outside faucets and inground irrigation systems don't freeze and burst. Close any shut-off valves serving outside faucets, then open the outside faucet to drain the line. If you don't have shut-off valves, and your faucets are not "freezeproof " types, you can buy faucet covers sold at Home Depot and the like.
Get a Pro to Check Things Out: Many of the items discussed here could be found and fixed before cold weather hits and a buyer gets the jitters. But it's nearly a must to have your heating system inspected by a professional. Here are signs that you should have an inspection performed soon.
Hearing weird screeches or whining sounds may be a signal that belts connected to the blower motor are worn or damaged. A heating system that doesn't seem to work as well as it once did could be a sign of various problems. Your heating ducts might be blocked, the burners might be misadjusted, or the blower motor could be on its last legs. One check you should be sure to conduct: Make sure your furnace filter is clean.