Just because days get cooler does not mean the home selling market cools.

Summer may be over, but please don't assume as a home seller that real estate sales take a nosedive. In fact, fall is one of the best times of the year to sell your house.

Buyers tend to be more serious than people who were house hunting during the summer.

The weather is friendlier than in summer or winter, making home tours more comfortable.

And, crisp, dry autumnal air and colorful landscaping result in better photographs.

With cooler weather on the horizon,  potential homebuyers are looking for a place to hunker down for the winter. You can cash in on autumn's appeal with the right staging!

Here are six tips you can use to make your home look like the perfect place for homebuyers to snuggle up this fall.

1. Use autumn colors

According to Michael Plant, Sherwin-Williams Director of Color Marketing, color trends for 2019 are both jewel tones, and sun-washed oranges and tans. Coincidentally, these are also autumn accent colors.

Of course, you're not going to paint your walls deep burgundy, chocolate brown, or royal blue for staging purposes, but you can count of these colors when choosing decorating accessories like your pillows, artwork, throws, wreaths, and vases.

So, replace your spring-like, pastel-colored candles on silver candlesticks with chunky, purple pillars on wooden pedestals. Recover your grey and white pillows with a remnant of deep teal velvet. You might even splurge on a new paisley duvet cover like the one below from Pottery Barn.

Autumn colors are soothing and homey. Warm wood
tones and rich reds and olives are balanced here
by plenty of whites. When staging,
layer on those interesting textures. 

2. Add seasonal touches

Produce of the harvest season, like gpourds, pumpkins, and winter squashes are iconic of autumn. Any of these will add a touch of fall-feeling to your home even if you don't change anything else.

Arranged in a glass bowl or rustic basket, or on a generously-sized tray, they'll create a seasonal centerpiece for your entry table, coffee table, or kitchen island. If these hard-shelled vegetables don't jive with your home's color palette, change their colors with craft paint or spray paint.

No one says your pumpkins and gourds have to be real. Stores are jammed with adorable replicas to suit any taste or staging need. You can make pumpkins from fabric. Other seasonal props are feathers, baskets, dried autumn leaves, branches of dried berries, apples, pine cones, corn husks, terra cotta pots, logs, dried flowers, and shafts of wheat.

Keep your color palette geared to warm, seasonal
tones and you can't go wrong. Feathers and
faux flowers are from Dollar Tree, 
$1 pumpkins are from Home Goods,
nd the agate-inspired tray is
 from Ollie's Bargain Outlet at $7.  

3. Check your water heater 

Anyone shopping for a new home loves the idea that he doesn't have to tackle any home maintenance projects right from the get-go. Before listing is a good time to give your water heater some TLC. Having a plumber drain your water heater and remove sediment is something a Realtor can let a prospective buyer know about. It indicates that you have maintained your home well. Experts recommend doing this once a year and pre-listing is a good time to do it.

A plumber's visit can also include a check of things like dripping faucets, leaking joints, or outdated pipes. Buyers will hire a home inspector, so you might as well fix these minor issues now. An inspector wants to find problems because it assures the buyers he's earning the money they pay him.

If you have a tankless water heater, a water conditioning system, or an irrigation system, make sure your MLS listing includes these amenities. If you have a septic system, buyers will want to know about its location and if it's had problems. The same goes for a private well that is used for drinking water or irrigation.

4. Inspect your roof

Another area that a home inspector will look at carefully is your roof. Savvy home buyers will walk around the outside of a home and look up at the condition of a roof. To avoid surprises, have your roof inspected yearly and earn some more bragging rights for taking good care of your home.

In most areas of the U.S, when your home is on the market in the fall it's likely to be a landing place for falling leaves, pine needles, and twigs. Don't let this junk litter your roof and drift into gutters and downspouts. A clean roof boosts your curb appeal.

Silk hydrangeas on your front door can
handle the elements and stay looking fantastic
 through the year-end holidays. I love this
chocolate door! Photo: House Beautiful

5. Revisit your door color

A front door is the smile on your curb appeal. You'll make a memorable impression if your door sports a bold color, so don't be shy. 

If your door color isn't one of the popular autumn colors, and you don't want to paint it, just clean it and dress it up a bit. Adding an autumn wreath and some seasonal touches near your entrance make your home look loved and shows you're in tune with the times. I have a Pinterest Board for wreaths to give you inspiration and ideas. And also a board for autumn decor ideas that are perfect for home staging.

6. Clean up the yard

A few leaves won't hurt your home's curb appeal, but piles of blown-in debris will ... well... contribute to that haunted house appeal!

Enjoy some outdoor exercise by raking any yard you own and clearing any pathways. Trimming overgrown vegetation will make a big difference. Small projects like these can determine whether people request a tour of your home or else decide to keep looking. First impressions count!

If you have a painted fence, it's a good idea to check it for damage. If it has signs of flaking or thinning paint or stain, a fresh application will do wonders for even an older fence. When the fence is constructed of pressure-treated lumber, it might need a pressure washing to make it look new again.

A fence like this is usually a selling feature
that charms buyers. A poorly-
maintained one looks like work
to them. Photo: The Fence Authority

Get the look, get the book

October in the U.S. seems to be the month for spooky and scary sights. But it's also the season for slowing down and getting comfortable, that sweet time between busy summer schedules and hectic winter holidays. Make it easy for homebuyers to visualize themselves in your clean and cozy world! My three eBooks on home staging show you how. They help you prepare your property for a quick and profitable sale. Trust me. I've staged and sold homes in all seasons!

Top photo: Country Living