Home for Sale? Stage it Right for Autumn

By Barbara Pronin

The transition from summer to fall means more than the beginning of football season and sending the kids back to school. For a homeowner wanting to sell a home, it means staging it right with fall in mind to make it more appealing to buyers.

Here are seven ways to bump up your home’s seasonal appeal:

Start with curb appeal – Keep the lawn free of falling leaves and debris and cut back dead or dying perennials. Replace them with fall blooms, like mums, and/or add a few fall blooms in pots to the front porch.

Add fall décor – Use neutral fall décor outside, such as pumpkins, leafy wreaths or small hay bales that appeal to adult sensibilities. But keep it to a tasteful minimum. The idea is to add a few homey touches but keep the focus on the home itself.

Use seasonal scents – Nothing conjures up warm memories more than the sweet, spicy scents of fall. Bring them to mind with a pot of simmering cider on the stove or the aroma of freshly baked bread or cookies. But try to keep it natural. Scented candles or aerosol sprays can irritate some buyers.

Make the kitchen sparkle – Keep it very clean and remove all cleaning supplies from view. Take the notes and photos off the refrigerator and keep the counters clear – except, perhaps, for an attractive cookbook and a bottle of wine or olive oil, or a handsome arrangement of fall produce in a pretty bowl or basket.

Let the light in – Keep drapes and blinds open during the day, and turn on the lights if your home is dark or the weather outside is gray.

Make the fireplace a focal point – Can you make it seem cozier with an armchair or rocking chair facing it, draped with a shawl or afghan? Will a few small pumpkins or gourds add a homey touch to the mantel? Can you rearrange the furniture to make the fireplace the focus of the room?

Set the dining room table – Using fall foliage and candles as a centerpiece, set the table with your best cloth, glassware and china – or dramatize a polished wood table with a showy bowl or basket full of autumn’s finest fruits and foliage.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

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