Selling your house in autumn? Don't fall down on the job!

Get it? "Fall" down on the job? We love a good - okay, decent - pun, and we wanted to make you smile before you heard the harsh truth. Selling a home when the leaves are falling, the rain is coming down, and the temperature is unpredictable can be tough. Here are a few tips and dire warnings to get you started.

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Rake the leaves

Then, rake them again. Fall color is beautiful, but only on the trees, at least to potential home buyers. It may be worth it to pay a neighborhood teen to rake once a day. Or maybe you could host a morning exercise crew and trick your neighbors into doing it for you. What do you care? You're moving anyway!

Clean the gutters

 Nobody wants to think about how much work they'll have to do in their new home. If you keep gutters and other hard to reach areas clean, they won't notice. But they'll notice if you don't. Not fair, is it?

Remove any reminders of summer

Take off your sherbert colored rocking chair cushions and replace them with a shade from the seventies: harvest gold, avocado green, or that deep orange color that really stylish people preferred. 

Go easy on the candles

 You aren't fooling anybody. Not only do we know you didn't just whip up a pumpkin spice latte from scratch, some people don't even like pumpkin spice. Strange, but true! 

If you have a fireplace, make sure it's clean

 Though you might be tempted to light it, don't. A natural fire brings soot into the house. As for gas logs, go ahead and enjoy. Make sure the pilot light is on, in case someone viewing your home wants to see if they work.

Make it easy to deal with rain gear

 This time of year, rain can be a real downer. Make sure you have clean, attractive mats by the door for people to wipe their shoes, and umbrella stands in obvious locations. If you have an attached garage, consider parking elsewhere and letting agents know they're welcome to use the covered entrance with clients.

Mind your holiday decor

Still have cobwebs on the door and a witch on a broomstick flying into a tree? Time to take them down. Most Thanksgiving decor is pretty neutral, so you should be safe. (Just skip the big blow-up turkey on the front lawn this year, okay?) And if you like to decorate for Christmas early, consider dialing it back this year. When you do move on to winter holidays, keep it tasteful. (Yes, you need to skip the blow-up Santa this year, too.)

Rake the leaves

 Yes, it bears mentioning twice. Nobody rakes the yard every day. Except you, when you're trying to sell your house. Potential buyers will just assume the neighborhood offers automatic leaf removal. If buyers see leaves, they'll just think about how much work it'll be to own your house. Rake the leaves.

You don't always get to decide when to move, and when to sell your house. The good news? Potential buyers often don't have a choice about when to buy. Besides, selling your house in the "off-season" may mean there are fewer homes on the market, so yours has a chance to really shine! As long as you rake the leaves, that is.