As we float into the fall season, thoughts of autumn leaves, comfy sweaters, pumpkins and pumpkin-flavored everything are at the forefront of peoples’ minds. And guess what – that includes buyers! Staging your home with a few seasonal decorations makes potential buyers feel cozy while daydreaming of spending the holidays in their new home. Showing off some autumn charm will help buyers picture themselves curling up with their loved ones by a fireplace, carving faces into the perfect pumpkin, and smelling hot cider or fresh apple pie cooking in the kitchen. The care and effort you place into your décor to make a homey impression will be noticed and appreciated by a prospective buyer. Take some of these tips and suggestions to get your house sold this fall!
1. What says “fall” to you? Fall can mean a lot of different things to different people, but some ideas are typically universal – pumpkins, of course, lots and lots of pumpkins (don’t forget those off-color white ones!); an overflowing cornucopia (that fog-horn looking wicker basket full of fruit – tip: use fresh fruit!); anything turkey (or are you more of a holiday ham person?); and arrangements of autumn leaves (perfect in vases or a cute decorative wreath). For fall-themed decorations, sticking with the basics with reach that warm, fuzzy spot in the biggest number of buyers!
2. Use your fall color palette! This one is a given. We all love when the warm tones of fall come out so take your cues from the changing of the leaves – deep reds, burgundies, caramels, goldenrods, pumpkin oranges. Used strategically, these colors can be game changers for the feel of your home. Use more muted or lighter colors for larger features like fresh painted walls, and save the bold for accent pieces, such as wall curtains or decorative pillows. Carry the theme into other rooms with decorative hand towels in the bathroom or cozy throw blankets in the bedrooms. From dull and boring to warm and colorful with just a few easy touches!
3. “This is my haunted house.” Halloween is great occasion to change up your look, but the same shouldn’t be applied to your house. When you’re selling your home, it is not key to follow the same mantra as your Halloween costume (a tacky “This is my Halloween costume” printed shirt!) Your home is not a substitute haunted house, and buyers should not be scared when they walk in (cross your fingers for those inspections!). Don’t use fake cobwebs, especially outside, as they can be difficult to remove and may make your home or property look messy. Don’t try to scare your buyers with a skeleton that screams when it senses motion nearby or a hand that pops out of a bowl of sweets. Don’t use fake caution tape or wooden boards on doors or windows, as it could give the impression that the house isn’t up-to-snuff – say NO to anything that draws attention to possible flaws or puts buyers on edge! Instead, keep your Halloween decorations to a tasteful minimum. A vase or other arrangement of bare branches as a centerpiece or mantel accessory can give the desired spooky feel. Various antiques such as an old rake or a vintage lantern can also give that eerie appeal in a refined way that will please future buyers. Even fake blackbirds or crows can be placed strategically as classy Halloween decorations!
4. Those sweet fall smells… Pumpkin spice, apple pie, cinnamon sticks. These are just a few that when asked what smell reminds you of the fall season, most people would probably answer. A nice aroma in a home during a showing is pleasant and charming. Something as easy as a scented candle or cinnamon broom (decorative and sweet!) is inviting to buyers. Other ideas (with more effort) could be leaving fresh baked gingerbread cookies or a pitcher of apple cider with cups waiting on the counter as a refreshment (kill two birds with one stone!). Side Note: Some buyers may not appreciate a certain scent the same way you do, or they may be allergic! Take these risks into account when considering staging your house with a fall aroma, and make sure if you do choose to use a scent that it is not overwhelming (a.k.a. test it out beforehand!)
5. Focus on the fireplace. This is pretty straight forward, too. Why wouldn’t you focus on a place of warmth in the face of upcoming cold weather? (Orlando does get cold, guys!) Staging furniture around the fireplace is an easy way to create a fall story with the room. While actually lighting the fireplace may be a bad idea for safety or just convenience, some fall decorations such as a cute pile of pumpkins or a fall banner can give the right attention to a fall staple.
6. Don’t overdo it. The most important advice of all. The attaché “less is more” is definitely true here. You still want your home to be remembered for its features – aka “the home with stainless steel appliances and a great porch for entertaining” and not “the house with papier-mâché pumpkins in every room!” And remember, over-decorating can also get expensive. Don’t break the bank!