Ah, Fall. Who doesn’t love fall? It comes with pumpkin spiced lattes, cozy sweaters, brilliance in the changing colors of the leaves and a sense of family togetherness. Fall is great — but real estate investors would do well to prep their investment properties for the season. We’re not just talking curb appeal, either (although that is one of the steps for you to consider)— whether you're selling a property or looking for new tenants, there’s plenty you can do to stand out this season.
A little work can go a long way to preventing vacancies or long listings on the MLS. Here are 3 steps for you to consider this Fall if you have a property for rent or sale.
3 Steps Real Estate Investors Should Take This Fall
Freshen The Look Of Your Property And Address Winter Issues
Curb appeal is still part of things. When you’re trying to grab the attention of a buyer or stand out in the mind of a prospective tenant, a fresh look and inviting appearance is key. With Fall comes a lot of leaves and debris that can make any property look unkept and unattractive. Make sure leaves are being raked and disposed of. A few leaves on the yard are no big deal, but be sure they remain clear of gutters, patios, driveways, decks and walkways.
Gutters are a big concern for homeowners and landlords should also keep an eye out. Make sure the gutters are clean and clear of debris so water flows smoothly. Since gutters are above the eye line, when someone is viewing a property they will eventually look up and they will notice peeling paint and early signs of rotting (since i know that none of our readers wold actually leave wood that has rotted through!). At the first sign of rotting, make sure fascia and soffit wood is replaced and Fall is a great time to seal cracks and repaint.
Want to do a quick, low-cost spruce up? (Of course you do! We all want quick and low-cost) Replace or paint the mailbox. Replace or paint the house numbers. Repaint the shutters or remove screens and thoroughly clean windows. Hire a power-wash company (or do it yourself) and power wash the brick and/or siding of your property. These are simple steps that will make a property look great from the curb.
Since grass begins to go dormant right now, walk a property with a bottle of weed killer and treat the sidewalks, gutters and driveway to get rid of unwanted grass and weeds in the cracks. Edge the grass at all walkways, drive and gutters so the property has a nice edge to it and will present well. Now is a great time to bring in fresh mulch to your front beds and can often be done for very few bucks.
For your flower beds, spruce them up with fall-blooming flowers such as:
- Russian Sage
- Fall Crocus
As the evenings wane, it’s also a great time to fix or install inexpensive outdoor lighting, particularly for late open house events. Install new lighting fixtures that will make the property inviting. Home Depot carries several low-cost options for lighting, but Stay away from the cheap looking alternatives. At the same time, a simple spotlight on a corner of a house lighting up a parking area or driveway as well as clean lighting on the front porch can go a long way for the appearance of a property.
Push Your Marketing
Fall is a great time to make a new marketing push for your investment property. Once leaves have begun to turn, have new photos taken off the property for advertising. It’s difficult to capture attractive photos in the middle of winter, but the colorful display of changing Autumn leaves will add visual interest and great contrast to your photographs. Make sure you take pictures during sunny days as well and do your best to avoid overcast and gloomy looking days. They simply do not help with your pictures.
Update your existing online listings with these photos to keep them fresh. If you start now, you can have photos that look like they’re from three different seasons — summer, fall and winter. That helps to attract buyers and renters alike!
Now is also the time to revisit listings and add emphasis to attractive fall amenities, such as patios, maple trees and fireplaces. Retool how you describe your property to increase its coziness to appeal to the mindset of buyers and would-be tenants. Be careful not to go over-board with your descriptive language, but if you are having properties sit for a period of time, it might be a good idea to visit how you describe the properties and make sure you are accurate but also detailed.
Pay Attention to Holidays
The holidays are a great time to make a push for your investment property. Get in the spirit of the season with a few thoughtful touches. Adding pumpkins and gourds as part of your front porch decor throughout Fall and a few tasteful Halloween decorations can add a personal touch of whimsy that can make people feel at home. When holding open houses, use holiday themes to make it less of a showing and more of a party. Embrace the season!
Don’t let this season pass you by — take proactive steps to make your investment property stand out during Fall.
Do you have your own steps you take during the Fall season to move properties quicker? Let us know in the comments.