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mums

Boost the curb appeal of your home with new porch decor, such as colorful mums and asters. Or, pumpkins, cornstalks and gourds.

Whether you're greeting guests or buyers, your front porch creates a first impression, either good or bad.

Give your door a fresh coat of paint, update house numbers and lighting fixtures and hang a fall wreath on the door.

If your home has a covered porch or entry area, add a bench or other seating and dress them up with outdoor pillows, a basket of faux apples or a big jar of pine cones.

Place a couple of pumpkins on either side of the entry and include a stylish welcome mat to show buyers and guests that they are entering a warm, cared-for space.

These gestures are easily the most important to your overall curb appeal and can make all the difference.

• Exterior yard: Rake leaves, trim bushes, clean gutters and apply fall mulch.

• Exterior house:  Power wash the exterior to clean up the vinyl or wood siding, repair any loose shingles, replace roofing that is leaking or damaged, clean gutters and downspouts, repair or replace old windows, and seal cracks with caulking.

Clean the inside and outside of your windows until they shine.

• Interior paint: A fresh coat of paint is a very cost-effective way to freshen the interior of your home. Select rich shades of brown or cream that provide a cozy and neutral backdrop. Use accessories such as pillows and throws in complementary colors.

• Smells of fall: Find opportunities to use fall scents including pumpkin, cinnamon, and apple in your home. Candles can be effective.

• Light it up: As days get shorter, the importance of well-lighted rooms becomes paramount. Before any house showings, make sure to turn on ALL your lights, open the blinds, open the shutters, and push back the drapes on every window. If there are any rooms without windows, make sure to accessorize with lamps.

If your home has an electric fireplace, turn that on as well to invite guests to relax and imagine themselves living in the house.

• Add space: De-cluttering and organizing is crucial if you want to make your rooms look more spacious. Eliminating a lot of personal items also allows would-be buyers to more esily envision themselves in your space.

• Do a deep cleaning of the entire home. You’d be surprised at how closely prospective buyers look at baseboards, cabinets and sinks.

• If you have a fireplace, make it a focal point. This is the time of year that potential buyers can most see themselves cuddled up on the couch with a fire. Consider staging a small sitting area around it.

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