Beautiful Fall. Use Season to your Advantage When Selling a Home

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Pillar To Post Home Inspectors

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.

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Comments (14)

Margaret Goss
@Properties - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

For those of us living in a changing season area, your tips are an important part of home maintenance. My biggest problem is air leaks - particularly the front door which is hard to replace because of its custom size and shape.

Aug 28, 2017 06:16 AM
Rhonda Sanderson

Can someone customize some weather stripping for under that door for winter? Sounds a lot cheaper!

Aug 29, 2017 07:21 AM
Robert Hicks
United Country River City Realty - Savannah, TN

Thanks for sharing. Fall is my favorite time of year!! Love the cool crisp air and Beautiful colors in the great state of Tennessee!!

Aug 28, 2017 06:31 PM
Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL
Providing the integrity and service you deserve.

Living in Florida I don't get to see the leaves changing. I miss that. But is does get cold enough sometimes to put the heat on in January. Bad weather stripping can be an issues here and I actually need to work on that in my home. Great tips no mater where you live. 

Aug 28, 2017 08:55 PM
Rhonda Sanderson

Can you find someone who can customize a bit of weather stripping for that door? It sure sounds like the less expensive and more practical solution.  Try Googling that!! :-)  

Aug 29, 2017 07:27 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Rhonda,

This seems like the basic winter button up list. Make the house nice & cozy for the winter.

Aug 28, 2017 09:06 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

You don't hear about Susan's talked about this way in such a nice way and I love it!

Aug 28, 2017 11:48 PM
Rhonda Sanderson

Well I don't know who Susan is but thanks!

Aug 29, 2017 07:22 AM
DALIA KIBBY
One Sothebys International Realty - Cooper City, FL
Selling Broward County Homes with Passion!

Even in Florida, I feel the slight change in seasons...wonderful! 

Aug 29, 2017 05:59 AM
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Here in Florida we just went through a lot of rain. I imagine there will be many roof inspections and repairs. It is best to keep up with the condition of the house before you need to make expensive repairs.

Aug 29, 2017 07:07 AM
Rhonda Sanderson

Exactly John!  Poor Texas!  I have a house in Florida too and I am always so nervous during hurricane season when I am here in Chicago. I always ask my local Pillar To Post franchisee in South Florida to check everything before I go. 

Aug 29, 2017 07:24 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

The fall season can be a very enticing time to purchase a home, esp if you are in an area with trees changing colors and a crispness in the air!  Glad you touched on keeping those gutters cleaned out!

Aug 29, 2017 04:02 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Excellent tips for preparing to list your home!

Aug 29, 2017 07:12 PM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

These are great tips for all homeowners.  Dallas is having its first taste of slightly cooler weather this week.  

Sep 05, 2017 09:28 PM
Rhonda Sanderson
Pillar To Post Home Inspectors - Boca Raton, FL
Pillar To Post resident Blogger

Chicago is actually getting fall weather now as it should be.   

Sep 06, 2017 07:02 AM
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

The winter season is when we service our air conditioners!  Much different than a cold climate. Looking forward to winter.  Great post for those in cold climates!

Sep 10, 2017 07:28 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

New York has had a crazy fall season going from hot to not so hot and back to hot again. It’s really crazy!

Oct 24, 2017 10:14 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

How much are season will be here in about a week I bet LOL! This weather has been crazy in the Northeast and even crazy when I visit California. :)

Oct 24, 2017 10:15 PM