What Autumn Home Buyers Want: 5 Tips

There are two ideal seasons for selling a home: spring and autumn. Spring is the busiest season for Toronto real estate for obvious reasons: the grass is growing, Torontonians are emerging from winter hibernation, and the urge to upgrade to a new and better space is strong.

While spring is without a doubt the busiest season for real estate, autumn isn’t far behind. As Canadians stare down the barrel of yet another six months of frigid temperatures, upgrading to a bigger, brighter, warmer home becomes very appealing.

If you’re planning to take advantage of the busy fall season for selling your home, you should be aware that buyers place importance on different factors than they would in the spring or summer. Whether consciously or unconsciously, different aspects of your home are more important, and you’ll need to be aware of these subtle differences and stage your home accordingly.

Here are five considerations when selling your home in autumn:

Curb Appeal

Pay special attention to your home’s curb appeal in the autumn, because you can no longer rely on the neighbourhood’s natural lush greenery to make your neighbourhood feel vibrant and inviting. Cut back any plants that have been affected by frost by disposing of their yellowing leaves. This upkeep will make your home appear well-kept and tidy. Rake leaves weekly or even daily to add to the maintained ambiance. If you own a power washer, give your siding, deck, and driveway a good wash to remove the soot and pollution that built up over the summer.

If your budget allows, invest in autumn-friendly annuals such as chrysanthemums or marigolds. Both plants are cold-tolerant and will give would-be buyers the impression of colour and life instead of death and decay that so often accompanies cold weather.

Related Read: 9 Home Renovation Projects to do in the Fall

Optimize Lighting

A key difference between home viewing in the autumn and spring is that potential buyers will be visiting your home after dark. To further improve the first impression of your home you should make sure there is adequate lighting both inside and outside your home. That means making sure your motion sensors are set to permanently illuminate your yard and driveway in the evenings, upgrading your outdoor fixtures to a brighter luminosity, and adjusting your window treatments, so a maximum amount of light shines from your windows.

Inside, make use of accent lighting. Use lamps and candles, and your fireplace to create a cozy ambiance. If you’re handy, consider installing dimmers in your main living spaces, which allow you to light the home without exposing every imperfection and problem. Your buyers are going to be imagining themselves spending the winter here, and you want to make it as inviting as possible.

Wash Windows

With the beautiful warm lighting spilling through your windows, you’ll want to make sure they are as clean as possible. Give each ground floor window a thorough cleaning inside and out. Remove hand marks, pet nose marks and dust and dirt that may have accumulated over the summer.

Service Your HVAC

A working HVAC system is a high priority for any home buyer in the autumn season, so make sure to have yours serviced before scheduling viewings. If your system is forced air, replacing the air filter will prevent any unsavoury smells from wafting out of your system, and installing a smart thermostat is a quick and easy do it yourself project that will make your home appear modern and up to date.

Check School Rankings

If you live near schools that are highly ranked, consider preparing a fact sheet about this and leaving it out for your potential buyers to see. If they have children who have recently returned to their studies after a summer off, this will be high on their priority list. Make sure to include it in your listing too, because any browsing parents will surely be motivated to view your home based on this information.

Looking to make an autumn real estate move? Check out Toronto townhouse and Toronto condo listings>

About Jordann Brown

Jordann Brown is a freelance content marketer and owner of the popular personal finance blog My Alternate Life. She has been featured in major publications and by news outlets including CTV News, the Globe and Mail, Moneysense and the Huffington Post. You can follow Jordann on Twitter at @myalternateblog.

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