Leaves

Keep your driveway and sidewalks clear of leaves, branches and debris.

Your front entryway speaks volumes about your home — make it warm and welcoming with a few simple tips.

Give your door a fresh coat of paint, update house numbers and lighting fixtures and hang a fall wreath on the door, says Rhianna Miller, a house/yard improvement and design expert for Rubber Mulch.

If your home has a covered porch or entry area, add a bench or other seating and dress them up with a cozy marshmallow or faux fur throw and outdoor pillows in warm fall leaf like hues with plaid or cooler weather designs.

Add some outdoor lanterns to give the space ambiance and a feeling of warmth. Accessories such as a box of logs, a basket of faux apples and a big jar of pine cones will complete the cozy look.

Place a couple of pumpkins on either side of the entry and include a stylish welcome mat in a fall theme to show buyers and guests that they are entering a warm and inviting space. These gestures are easily the most important to your overall curb appeal and can make all the difference.

Of course you want your home to shine for friends and family. But if you are thinking of selling, Miller adds these ideas:

Make a good first impression

A prospective buyer’s first impression of a home is the exterior. Make sure to rake any leaves, trim bushes, clean gutters and use seasonal flowers, such as mums, to keep the exterior looking fresh. Remember, curb appeal is as important as the interior. It’s the first thing that your potential buyers will see.

Fall mulching

Use mulch to beautify flowerbeds, shrubs or just about any outdoor area. It  will keep moisture where it needs, and prevent weeds from taking hold, while keeping soil temperature even for tender plants.

In addition, it won’t blow away and will look good even once fall storm season hits.

Plant evergreens and boxwoods

Plants that retain their green during winter add a freshness that’s hard to come by during the cold months. Plant hedges and bushes around your home and add pots to your front porch. And don’t forget to keep them neat and trimmed.

Paint away

A fresh coat of paint is a very cost-effective way to freshen the interior of your home. Select rich shades of brown or cream, that provide a cozy and neutral backdrop. Use accessories such as pillows and throws in warm fall tones to add pops of color.

The smells of fall

Find opportunities to use fall scents including pumpkin, cinnamon and apple in your home. Candles can be an effective ways to fill your home with a fall scent, just be sure to burn them for a while before buyers get there and blow them out before you leave.

Light it up

As days start to get shorter in fall, the importance of well-lit rooms becomes paramount. Before any house showings, make sure to turn on all your lights, open the blinds, open the shutters, and push back the drapes on every window.

If there are any rooms without windows, make sure to accessorize with lamps. If your home has an electric fireplace, turn that on as well to invite guests to relax and imagine themselves living in the house.

Add space

Natural or artificial light makes rooms look bright and big. Warm accents, such as decorative pillows, vases and house plants, tend to make people relax. De-cluttering and organizing is crucial if you want to make rooms look more spacious.

Do a deep cleaning of the entire home

You’d be surprised at how closely prospective buyers will look at baseboards, cabinets and sinks. Along these same lines, go through the house and declutter. Organize household items and keep them out of sight.

Make the fireplace a focal point

This is the time of year that potential buyers can most see themselves cuddled up on the couch with a good book. Consider staging a small sitting area around it.

Exterior maintenance

Attend to needed updates before the cold weather. Not only does it keep up the value of your home, but it can stop further damage from being done.

Power wash the exterior to clean up the vinyl and wood siding, repair any loose shingles, replace roofing that is leaking or damaged, clean gutters and downspouts, repair or replace old windows, and seal cracks with caulking. Remember that maintenance is important even if the updates are not visible by driving by your house.

Fix up windows and trim: Replace broken glass, fix the caulking, scrape and paint the trim, and clean the inside and outside of the windows until they shine. Brackets and decorative moldings can also really make your exterior pop and are easy to install. Add a couple of window boxes to offer a cottage-like, homey appeal.

Add outdoor lighting: Consider adding outdoor lighting that will add interest and warmth to your home during the colder, darker months when daylight is limited. The outside of your home may look dreary and dark, but updated wall mount lighting and hanging lanterns will give your home a much needed warm glow. Think about adding lighting to the landscaping and walkway, a hanging pendant light to the front doorway and additional lighting near the garage.

Don’t forget about your driveway and sidewalks: Keep the driveway and sidewalks clear of leaves, branches and debris. Make sure your driveway and sidewalks look tidy, even if they’re not in their summer prime. Rake up the leaves and make sure all your summer décor is put away for the winter months, along with dead summer or fall plants and discarded planters. Before the cold weather fully sets in, fill in any cracks in your driveway to prevent further damage from the weather.

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