It may not be "sweater weather" in your part of the country, but autumn usually means people are ready to get cozy and relax more indoors. When you are selling your home in the fall, you should be ready to cash in on people's nesting instincts.  No matter what style your home reflects, there are easy staging techniques that get people in an autumn frame of mind.

Colors and textures rule the day

When you're staging your home this fall, imitate the way you dress yourself for the season -- typically in soft, textured layers. Of course, you needn't replace major furniture pieces to achieve this look. Bedding, towels, accent pillows, countertop vignettes, baskets, mantle decor, books, table settings, and artwork all can help create that vibe.  

This previous post gives advice on seasonal colors and what maintenance issues are important in autumn. 

Autumn curb appeal is easy to create. There are plenty of natural materials like dried berries, autumn leaves, pumpkins (real or fake) and potted chrysanthemums available everywhere. Here's an 11-point checklist of what you can do outside to make your home look better in autumn.   

Reminder: fall's quintessential colors aren't necessarily dark or muddy. Warm pastels can definitely be part of your autumn color palette. Think of pale orange, soft ivory, and cafe au lait. 

Keep your colors on the warm side for fall. You probably
already own some decor that is perfect! Photo: Joss and Main

Cozy feels good 

Smaller homes might have an advantage over more spacious homes at this time of year. Sure, every home buyer has certain space requirements in mind, but if your home is more of a bungalow or cottage style, you can cash in on that appeal. 

Larger homes can still create areas that feel intimate such as a reading nook tucked on a staircase landing, a chaise lounge in the bedroom, a bar cart added to the living room, or layered rugs in a dining area.

If you're stumped about how to make your home feel cozy, ask yourself what makes you feel secure, calm, and relaxed in your house now. Determine what elements create that impression. Is it extra throw blankets? Soothing colors? Stacks of books? Plush pillows? Chairs pulled up close to each other? Natural wood surfaces? Luxurious fabrics? All of these things work well!  

Small touches here and there are all you need to make your
home look in step with the season. Photo: Country Living 

Lighting secrets 

With days getting shorter, some people who come to tour your home may be viewing it in artificial light rather than natural lighting. Check that you have sufficient overhead and accent lighting and make sure agents showing your property have easy access to lamps and wall switches. You might want to put some lamps on timers or leave lights on if you expect a showing. Use warm light bulbs rather than cool bulbs. 

Here are more tips from a previous post about staging for autumn, including both interior and exterior decor, and advice about outdoor lighting.

If you don't knit and want a throw to add a seasonal touch to
any chair, look to Etsy for handmade blankets. The Knitting Space

Appeal to all the senses

Scent plays a role in how your home is perceived. If you want your home to smell fresh, make sure it's deep-cleaned, and that all sources of strong smells are routinely removed -- whether pet aromas or cooking aromas, or indoor trash. 

Artificial scents can physically bother chemically sensitive people, so I encourage you to use essential oils that are derived from natural sources rather than laboratory duplicates. Essential oils can easily be used in a diffuser. You can create autumnal, natural, dry or simmering potpourris using ingredients such as citrus fruits, cloves, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, coffee, and herbs.     

If you want more inspiration and ideas for fall, visit my Pinterest Board for Autumn Decor. You'll find over 70 photos with links to DIY projects and more. 

Mixing real props from nature (like this wood slice with bark),
 combined with artificial props (like these decorative pumpkins)
makes a more interesting display. You can also mix old with
new decorations, or fancy with rustic.   

Get the look, get the book

For ways to improve the value of your home on the market, be sure to check out my three home staging eBooks. There's my basic primer that gives you all the formulas, schedules, and techniques to help you in every step of home staging from beginning to end. I've also written a 55-page pdf that gives you 15 different DIY no-sew window treatments specially designed for homes that are for sale, and an eBook on how to arrange furniture in a staged home.