After Labor Day we get excited about the sights and scents of fall. People go apple picking, to pumpkin farms and corn mazes. Others seek out their favorite pumpkin spice lattes, warm apple cider and caramel apples. This transition, from summer to fall, also happens in the world of real estate. As home values have been rising over the past couple years, home sellers didn't need to do much staging to get their homes sold. Now, as the market is balancing out, home staging is becoming more and more important.

Curb Appeal and Your Exterior Decor

Curb appeal cannot be stressed enough. As we transition from summer to fall, it's important to be sure your home's exterior and landscaping looking pristine after the summer months. Start at the top and soft power wash your roof and siding. Wash your windows, inside and out as well. Clean your exterior lights, as they are sure to be dusty and dirty. Wash or put a fresh coat of paint on your front door. Hang a fall wreath on your front door and put down a new fall welcome mat. Mow your lawn and be sure to get rid of any weeds. Trim your bushes and trees and remove weeds from your landscaping beds. Add a fresh coat of landscaping cover such as mulch or stone.

Dig out your summer annuals and replace them with fall flowers for pops of color in your landscaping beds. Change the flowers in your pots and hanging baskets from summer flowers to fall flowers. Consider using fall colors such as oranges, yellows, purples and browns. You can find these colors is chrysanthemums, asters, cabbages, black-eyed Susans, marigolds, coral bells, goldenrod and sunflowers. Place a couple chairs on your front porch with blanket and pillows on them. Set up your back patio or deck with a fire pit with chairs around it and a table next to it with the makings for s'mores. Set up your outside furniture with cozy cushions, blankets and fall-looking place settings. Creating a fall-like paradise outside will be sure to welcome buyers to your home.

Add Fall Decor to Your Interior

If you have any summer, Fourth of July or Labor Day decorations in your home, it is time to switch them to fall decorations. Fall flowers in vases placed on tables will add beauty. Fall-colored throw pillows and blankets on your chairs and sofas will make your home look cozy. A fall kitchen towel and a bowl of apples on your counter will make your kitchen look ready for fall. Arrange some colorful corn cobs with flowers and small pumpkins to make a table centerpiece. Some people change out their bath towels to fall-colored or fall-themed ones. With any other decorations, keep it simple. Less is better. Think pumpkins, apples, leaves and the like.

Scents Really Matter When Staging Your Home

Scents really do make a difference when staging your home. You want to present your home to buyers with pleasing scents. First and foremost, be sure your home is clean and free of any musty, mold or mildew odors. Pet smells can also turn off buyers. Avoid cooking with strong spices before you show your home to buyers. Strong cooking smells can turn buyers off. In the fall, avoid any floral or summer scents. Instead, use warm and inviting scents such as cinnamon, pumpkin, vanilla or apples. The article on, Scents that Attract Home Buyers During an Open House in the Fall & Winter Months has a lot of good ideas regarding scents in your home that are pleasing to buyers. Place a bowl of cinnamon sticks or fall potpourri on countertops in your home. Bake an apple pie or cinnamon rolls right before showings or open houses. Use cinnamon, vanilla, apple or pumpkin candles or plug-in air fresheners. You want your home to smell warm and inviting.

Staging your home for fall will really help your home sale process. Now that home sales prices are not rising at the rates they were, anything you can do to help retain your home's value and presentation is key.