The house-buying market continues to move rapidly. Fall is a great time to sell your home, but for the best results, take a few steps to make sure it’s attractive and will fetch the best price.

Here are six ways to prep your house for a sale in the fall.

1. Keep up with your yard

Leaves are starting to fall quickly now. Rake and bag them on a daily basis; you never know when a potential buyer will show. Clean your gutters; potential buyers will take note of leaking gutters or clogged downspouts.

2. Check your furnace

Hire an HVAC pro to check your heating unit or furnace. Would-be buyers will be taking a close look at this, and you want it to be in the best shape. A furnace that makes strange noises or is not working perfectly is a big turnoff. Make sure you stay on top of filter changes, too.

3. Focus on the fireplace

Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean your fireplace. Too much creosote can cause blockage, reduce airflow and potentially lead to chimney fires. And you never know if there’s debris up above or a bird’s nests on the exterior that will create blockage or back up smoke.

Inside, accessorize a fireplace with candles and garnishes.

4. Create a fall first impression

You want the first impression of your house to convey a look of fall. It’s fine to hang a fall wreath, but take care not to overdo Halloween decorations. Use lots of pumpkins, corn and gourds in different sizes near the front door to add pops of color. Avoid carving a jack-o’-lantern; those will quickly rot and attract flies.

Advertising

5. Appeal to all the senses

While you want the house looking warm, festive and fall-like, the finishing touch is smell. Bake up a batch of cookies or have an uncooked pie waiting in the refrigerator. When you know someone is coming, pop it into the oven and let the lovely scent fill the house.

For a quicker result, light a cinnamon or pumpkin spice candle.

6. Don’t overlook common home staging tips

Make sure you give your house a good cleaning before you start showings. Try to minimize excess furniture or clutter in the house. Arrange furniture so it doesn’t block windows.

Make sure your closets are clean and tidy; potential buyers pay a lot of attention to closets. And make sure your windows are clean and sparkly, shrubs trimmed and flowerbeds weeded. The buyer’s decision-making process begins at the curb, not the front door.