Curb appeal is a critical part of marketing real estate investment properties, and each season brings its own unique challenges and opportunities. The need to make a great first impression in the fall is just as great as any other time of year, but the distinct quality of fall presents some fantastic opportunities that are just not available in the winter, spring or summer.
Maintain The Lawn and Garden
Of course, well maintained plants that can be seen from the car are a great way to make a warm welcome to a prospective buyer. This is true even if they are in planters or other temporary containers. Cold overnight temperatures can kill ornamental plants even if the day before was warm and sunny. If possible, cover plants overnight with a drop cloth to protect them and preserve the curb appeal of a well planned and tended garden.
If this is too labor intensive, just be sure to remove dead plants as quickly as possible. Nothing gives a worst first impression than greeting buyers with a job to be done. Consider replacing annual flowers with hearty Mums that withstand the early frost and provide a brilliant splash of color. A fall decoration like corn stalks or pumpkins can add a festive touch as well.
Be sure the lawn is cleaned of leaves regularly. Again, raking leaves is a chore and while a lawn full of them is colorful and is unique to fall, not everyone appreciates the beauty. A lush green lawn is appealing at any time of year, so if you have invested in one be sure to show it off to prospective buyers as they pull up in their cars. Also, be absolutely sure that the gutters are cleared of leaves as well.
Stage Inside The Investment Property For Fall
Although anything inside the house is technically not curb appeal, there is a fantastic strategy for staging a house in the fall that needs to be mentioned. Bring in a dining room table and set it for a holiday dinner! Any buyer looking at a house in the fall is considering what it would be like to live there at Thanksgiving and other upcoming holidays. Setting a table with some decent china bought at Goodwill or other second hand store helps them easily see themselves living in the house at the holiday.
Of course, before prospective buyers can see inside they have to come in the front door, and this portal can be seen from the curb. Decorating the lawn with cornstalks and pumpkins was already mentioned, but the opportunity to add a door decoration should not be passed up. Think of someone living there would welcome visitors to Thanksgiving dinner. An appropriate door decoration featuring this theme, even well before Halloween, can get the prospect thinking how nice it would be to live there in the coming months.
Invest in Proper Lighting For The Real Estate Property
Outdoor lighting is a more significant upgrade, but one that is well worth considering. Keep in mind that fall means shorter days, and prospective buyers may well be coming by in the evening after the sun has set. A well-lit porch or entranceway is very inviting and adds a touch of security as well. Just be sure the lights are on when buyers are expected. In fact, leaving them on will add little to the electric bill and welcome unexpected buyers.
Of course, it is better if real estate agents call before showing a house, but marketing a residential real estate property means being ready for prospective buyers at all times. In fact, a real estate agent who has the listing can be a true ally in the fall or any time of the year. They may be able to be at the house to point out the benefits at a moment’s notice.