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It’s hard to believe that Fall is pretty much here but that certainly is the case. And if your home is on the market for sale that means that it’s time to pull out those staging stops to ‘redress’ your home for the season. Often this season is, for many looking for a home, the last buying ‘hurrah’ before winter sets in, and a major part of your new season strategy should be to stage your home effectively to suit it.

So, with this goal in mind, here are five essential home staging tips for fall planning:

  1. Creating Fall Curb Appeal

Whatever the season, curb appeal is always something that should be kept in mind at all times. Keeping a great looking yard is harder in the fall though. Your pretty summer blooms will have already come and gone, so make sure you dress up your home’s entrance and deck or patio with pots of in season colored mums, and maybe even a few pumpkins as soon as they’re available.

You also need to make sure your yard does not become overrun with falling leaves. This can be a chore, but raking is no job for a perfectionist, and a few leaves here and there are just fine. Overall, however, you need to be sure that potential buyers see your yard and home, not vague shapes covered up by three inches of leaves.

Finally you need to realize that as your lawn plants, shrubs, and trees start to go dormant for the winter, paint chips and dirty siding will become even more noticeable. You don’t want these little issues to become big problems, and you definitely don’t want to do outdoor repairs in the colder months. So it’s a good idea to pressure wash your home before it gets too cold.

  1. Don’t Go Overboard.

Do remember the importance of moderation. As crucial as home staging is, the key to real success is to keep yourself in check and know when to stop. You don’t want to over-decorate your home. Between the weather, fall sports, and the upcoming holidays – Halloween especially – fall is full of tempting reasons to decorate too much.

It’s easy to go overboard, and plenty of people will make this mistake. Don’t be one of them. Put a simple wreath on the door, grab a few potted mums for inside, and leave it at that. Remember, you want your buyers to remember the house, not your Halloween decorations. You just want some accents that make potential buyers realize what they could do if they owned your home.

  1. Focus on Comfort.

As the nights draw in we all want to be in a cozy home. Once you’ve drawn potential buyers in, make them realize how comfortable they’d be during fall–and year-round.

Highlight the coziness of your home. Stack firewood in the fireplace so it’s “ready to go,” at least in your buyers’ minds. Add some comfy touches like laying out your favorite blanket (e.g. drape lush afghans over the side of the couch). Put out a few decorative candles, but don’t light them.

  1. Brighten up Your House.

Make sure you have warm light bulbs in all of your lamps and light fixtures. If it’s even a little dark outside or getting slightly dim in a room, turn on your lamps. If you have a room that gets strong afternoon sun or has a great angle at sunset, make sure the shades are wide open at the right time. No matter what time it is, your home should look bright, clean, and open.

  1. Change Your Bedding.

Don’t let the warm and cozy theme stop on the main floor of your home. Your home shoppers will be upstairs checking out the bedroom, so make sure it’s just as cozy as every other room – if not more.

If your quilt is old and battered, change it for a new one. You can still sleep under your favorite quilt, but show off with a thick and luxurious one, even if it’s just temporary. The bed is the focal point of the room, and the comforter sets the tone and establishes how the room will feel. It’s crucial for you to make it warm, relaxing, and inviting.