Tips for Preparing Your Home for Fall

Cooler weather is slowly creeping in, and that means that it’s time to prep your soon-to-be-listed home for its arrival while the days are still long.  Yes, Fall is officially in the air. So, don’t waste any more time, and finish up those last-minute maintenance projects to keep your home and yard in top shape before it goes to market.  Here are some tips to keep you on track:

Interior Prep

  • Prepare your furnace – Here in Chicago, we all know that the weather can turn fast, so make sure your home is prepared.  Prep your furnace for winter duty to keep you and potential buyers warm and cozy during walk-throughs.  If it hasn’t been done lately, get your furnace professionally serviced before the temperature starts to drop.  At the very least, be sure to visually inspect your furnace, and replace the filter before you turn it on for the first time this season.  
  • Clean your fireplace – Clean out your fireplace, and inspect the flue to make sure that the doors and shields work appropriately.  You might even consider having your chimney professionally swept, if needed.
  • Inspect all windows and doors – Every home should comfortably keep the warm air inside and the cold air outside, so take the time to ensure all windows and doors are completely sealed.  Check to make sure that all weatherstripping is tight and secure. To do this, simply place a piece of paper in the entryway, and close the door. If the stripping is in-tact, the paper should stay in place.  This is also the time to re-caulk around windows and door casings, if needed.
  • Add lighting – As the days get shorter and darker, you’ll want to bring as much light into your home as possible to show it off in all its glory.  Accentuate natural light by cleaning your windows and blinds, and add lighting to darker spaces with lamps (this also goes for outside; make sure the path to your home is properly illuminated).  

Exterior Prep

  • Fix major cracks in your driveway or concrete on your property – This may not be a total deal breaker, but the little extra effort can go a long way when it comes to your home’s curb appeal.  If any cracks or holes need to be filled, do so now while the weather is still warm.
  • Clean out your gutters – This is something that should be a regular part of a home’s maintenance, as it can prevent a whole heap of trouble down the road.  So, take the time to clean out your gutters, and while you’re at it, give your roof a quick visual inspection. Look for possible damage to your home’s ventilation, shingles and chimney.  Remember, if you can see it, so can any potential buyer or inspector.
  • Clean any outdoor furniture or visible gardening supplies – As it’s not quite time to put everything away, it’s a good idea to keep outdoor furniture clean and tidy for staging.  The same goes for gardening supplies that can’t be stored.
  • Plant Spring bulbs – Depending on your timeline, you may still be showing your home come Spring.  So, take the extra time to plan ahead, and plant your bulbs in October (or sooner, depending on when the soil cools).  This way your home will reap big rewards next Spring and major curb appeal points.

Once you complete your Fall prep checklist, you’ll rest easier knowing that your home is better prepared to go to market and ready to welcome all potential buyers into a warm, cozy environment.

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