This year, the first day of fall — or the autumnal equinox — is Sept. 22. However, as we all know, fall unofficially begins with Labor Day and the reopening of school. This means that the fall real estate market is approaching quickly.
It’s wise to put the summer market, which was a recovering market, and the spring market, which was almost nonexistent, behind us and look ahead. While the fall market differs from other seasons in many ways, there’s one aspect that’s often overlooked — staging for the season.
There’s no denying that staging a home adds a fresh look to it and helps buyers imagine their own furniture in the space. This is especially true for fall, which is always associated with coziness and warmth. Below, you’ll find four areas to focus on when it comes to staging for the season.
1. Up the curb appeal
Real estate listings and buyers’ first impressions begin before they even leave the car. The yard and entry are the buyers’ introduction to the property, and no matter what’s behind the front door, curb appeal is the first opportunity to capture their attention.
Autumn provides so many opportunities to enhance the yard and front door with brilliant pots of chrysanthemums in jewel-like hues before the foliage turns into a blaze of color. Of course, remove excess leaves from walkways and yards to prevent a messy appearance. Don’t forget to add a new clean doormat, and polish the hardware and door knocker, if appropriate.
2. Remove anything that says ‘summer’
Now’s the time to remove summer decor or equipment from the exterior as well as the interior of your listing. Nothing looks more out of place than surfboards, inflated inner tubes, beach chairs and umbrellas and seashells once summer fades. A pile of summer sports equipment at the entry — whether it’s croquet or volleyball — does not set an appropriate autumnal tone.
3. Add touches of coziness
Autumn also marks the return to indoor activities and family gatherings that center around the home. Fireplaces and hearth-like settings, where family and friends spend time and nest become the focus at this time of year, which is why they should be prominently featured in furniture placement and groupings.
Don’t forget the “electronic hearth,” or the television, which creates an environment of its own. Do feature the placement of the screen in your listings. Football season, holiday movies and this autumn, online learning will play a large role in our lives. Don’t ignore this opportunity to send a message that your listing is great for home-viewing in more than one location.
The dining room, where holidays and family events are celebrated, may become even more important this year, even if it’s only symbolically. The truth is — we’re all eager to return to normal life. Despite what might be happening now, it’s comforting to present an image of healthier times ahead.
4. Bring in the seasonal decor
Coffee tables, sideboards and fireplace mantles all provide opportunities for harvest tableaus and fall foliage. Employ realistic, high-quality autumn leaves, plants, pumpkins and gourds. Even better? Visit the farmer’s market for the real thing. Nothing says autumn like a harvest bounty.
Casual groupings are best, so don’t attempt anything forced or over-styled. A fall-themed door hanging, whether it’s a grapevine wreath or colorful fall spray, will send a positive message about the new season.
In short, don’t ignore the seasonality of real estate. The transition from one season to another is a very important thing to mark in real estate and sales. To minimize — or worse, completely ignore — the seasonality of our business is self-defeating.
Buyers are returning to the market, which we need to move forward and out of the lackluster and quiet period it has just endured. At this time, every aspect of our approach to sales, staging included, should emphasize how we’re looking ahead into the future with positivity and confidence.
If you’re looking for more information on staging, here are a few tips from other Inman authors:
- 10 common staging mistakes that could hurt your listing
- Home staging can be done virtually — here’s how
- 8 tips for virtually prepping a home for sale
- 5 critical steps to maximize your listing’s sales potential
- 5 holiday home-staging ideas for your sellers
- Staging a new listing? Explore the latest fall design trends
- Light it up! 6 tips to make your home staging shine
- How the right lighting can get buyers in the mood (for a home)
- The ultimate checklist for staging on a budget
- 10 tips for making small rooms look bigger