September 13th, 2017
The sun will soon be setting on summer and the traditionally "hot" selling season - but as you know just because the leaves are starting to turn doesn't mean that buyers have "turned off." Every season presents its opportunities and challenges, and whether the weather is balmy or brrr it's up to sellers to ensure that their houses are in tip-top showable shape - and your expert guidance can help, inside and out.
Grooming the greenery
In climates where the leaves start to turn and fall, rule one for sellers is to make sure that yards and walks are clean and uncluttered. Aside from raking the leaves and regularly mowing the lawn, trees and shrubs should be trimmed to keep them looking neat - and (at the least) twice-a-year grooming is a good habit to get into regardless of where you live. Dead or dying trees and limbs are not only unsightly to a buyer, but can pose a safety hazard if left to fall on their own - especially if there is snow and ice on the way (proper preparation is always half the battle). Now is also an opportunity clean out whatever has accumulated underneath shrubs, bushes and hedges: weeds, grass, those stray circulars the neighbors never fully put into their garbage, etc.
Going, going, garage
If your sellers have a garage, fall is the time to clean it up and sweep it out after a summer of stuff blowing in through open doors and the hustle and bustle of yard work - especially if it's where they store their tools, lawn equipment, do handiwork, etc. Again, it doesn't matter whether you are in California or Connecticut, everyone's garage can use a bi-annual sweeping and organizing - particularly important if your seller is also using it to protect lawn furniture, etc., for the winter.
Assess twice, fix once
Have your sellers give their homes' exteriors the once (or twice) over to ensure that the summer has not been unkind to their siding, windows, etc. Clean windows are essential when daylight is in shorter supply and lower in intensity, so your sellers should get out the supplies of choice and let the sun shine in - or hire a professional if they live in a home with exceptionally high or inaccessible windows. Do they have siding or clapboards that need fixing or painting? Loose or clogged gutters? A little bit of effort (or money if they need someone else to do the work) can go a long way to help sellers make their homes look and function their best.
Heater and furnace "physical"
No one wants to think about having to wear a sweater after a summer of shorts - but it's probably time to also start thinking about turning off the AC and turning on the heat. Before your sellers do, it's a good idea for them to have their heating and ventilating systems checked out by an HVAC professional - especially since it's something that a home inspector will examine during his or her inspection. At the very least, your sellers should stay on top of keeping furnace filters cleaned and changed - something they can do themselves at minimal cost.
You are the producer, director, wardrobe director and head of makeup for the big premiere - with your help, your sellers can make the star of the "showing" red-carpet ready for opening night (or day). Your advice and insight are what they rely on to get to the next scene in their life - together, you can turn their sale into a smashing success.