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Prepping to Sell in the Fall: Experts Weigh-In

Thank you to Mike Cahill at Redfin for reaching out to us for collaboration on this article. You can find more informative articles written by Mike at redfin.com

While the spring is typically known as peak real estate season, that doesn’t mean that you can’t sell your home (at a profit) during other times of the year - including Fall. As colder weather approaches, the fall is a perfect time for homeowners who are trying to sell to consider taking steps to prepare their homes for potential buyers. Unfortunately, sometimes homeowners overlook minor issues causing buyers to walk away due to a small flaw that could have been resolved had the seller known what to look for. That’s why we consulted the experts in home inspection/maintenance from New York to Sacramento to provide our audience with some tips for preparing a home for sale in the fall.



Get a pre-listing inspection

Pre-listing inspections help reduce stress by identifying issues upfront. Having your own professional home inspection report reduces your liability as a seller if issues come up during the buyer’s inspection. When waiting for the buyer’s inspection, you have much less time for negotiations, leaving you with limited options for having repairs done. Pre-listing gives you more time to make repairs or updates, which you can include as a selling point in the listing. Also, buyers can feel more comfortable knowing you already had an inspection, potentially leading them to make an offer more quickly. - Cornerstone Inspection Services


Consult with a professional home inspection prior to listing the home for sale. Why not have a home expert inform the seller the things the buyer's inspector is going to find. Many real estate transactions are terminated post buyer inspection as the seller typically has no idea the overall general condition of the home and are often shocked by the findings. It would make the whole home buying process much easier and take the anxiety out of the often-dreaded buyers’ inspection. - Gate City Home Inspections


At High Point Home Inspection we go up over and underneath the property with a fine-tooth comb, looking for problems, bearing the safety of your family first and your bank account second. Then we talk about possible solutions to any repairs or necessary replacements we may encounter. We do not want you walking away from your dream house over a water heater, but we don't want you buying a money pit either. We want you to ask as many questions as you need to so that you can make an informed decision. - High Point Home Inspections


Common deal breakers

The 3 biggest 'deal killers' are mice, mold, and moisture. Before listing your home, take a good close look around - or consider having an inspector take a look. Mice and other pest issues deter new buyers. Look in the back of cabinets, the top of foundation walls near service penetrations to the outside, and in the attic insulation (tunnels & trails). Mold, and the moisture issues that feed it, should also be identified, corrected, and cleaned away before it scares away potential buyers. - Insight Property Services


Conducive conditions

We often see bushes and shrubs too close to the exterior of the building as well as tree branches overhanging and in contact with the roof. We also recommend making sure that trees and other plants aren't too close to the block fence around the house and that they are not being over-watered to prevent footing and fence damage due to root intrusion or moisture degraded blocks in the fence. - The Inspection People


Foundation drainage is key to avoiding water intrusion

A very important and usually overlooked easy maintenance tip, extend all of the roof drainage leaders away from the foundation as well as in-ground sprinklers to be aimed away to reduce water infiltration into the basement or crawl space, we, as inspectors always look for these items to help protect our clients and make it easier for the seller to remedy these situations so that we do not have to report on them at the time of the home inspection. - Long Island Expert Home Inspections


One of the most important and easiest tasks is to make sure that your downspouts are draining five feet away from the house and that you have a positive slope away from the foundation. This will prevent water intrusion in the basement or crawlspace which most likely will lead to mold. - Mejaro Inspection Services


One of the most important maintenance tips I would recommend would be to clean the gutters annually or even twice a year if needed. Make sure all downspout extensions are a minimal of 4 to 6 feet from the home to prevent water intrusions and water damage. - Reliable Solutions Home Inspection


Depending on your area, homeowners should all make sure their gutters are cleaned out and free-flowing. It's also vital they extend the downspouts several feet away from the foundation. This does a couple of things. First, it helps to ensure you don't have leaks around the foundation, and second It helps prevent foundation movement that can occur if the soil around the house stays soupy/wet from the roof water draining next to the foundation. - ABI Home Services


When prepping your home to sell during the fall, it is vital to ensure proper drainage around foundations. As monsoon season winds down at the end of summer, heavy rainfall can saturate the ground, causing possible structural damage and water intrusion into your basement. Make sure to avoid plants or grass next to the foundation that need watering. Instead, consider covering the area with concrete pavers and use pots for plants. Also, check downspouts and gutter systems to divert water away from the structure, and cover egress windows to protect from water intrusion and damage to the basement. A wet basement is a perfect environment for mold growth and water damage, which can create serious health issues caused by breathing poor-quality air. - Envirocore


When preparing to sell your home in the fall we suggest cleaning out all of your gutters for proper drainage in the coming months. Make sure you clean off driveways with a blower or pressure washer to ensure it is welcoming to potential buyers. - Advanced Home Inspections