Fall is typically not the hottest season for real estate sales, as people get caught up with school commitments and prepping for the holidays. If you know that you want to sell your home eventually — perhaps in spring or summer when more buyers are on the prowl — fall can be a great time to get it in shape to attract people who are looking to buy a home. Take advantage of this quieter season, by addressing renovations that will pay off in the future. 

Ideally, you’ll go for upgrades that will be sure to give you a return on your investment, as outlined in the video below. This might be enhancing your curb appeal by planting or trimming trees and shrubs and making energy-efficient changes like weatherstripping.

Read on to learn more about fall upgrades that will help you get that “sold” sign up on your home. 

Replace or repair your roof

When you put your home on the market, the condition of your roof is important — buyers want to know that they don’t need to foot the bill for a new roof on their new home. Adding a new roof is also a step that can help you with improving home value.

In a survey by HomeLight, top agents across the United States said that the average roof replacement costs about $12,000, but in that same survey, agents estimated that you’ll recoup 94% of your roof investment at resale.

Professional roofers say that fall is an ideal time for a roof replacement as temperatures are typically warm enough for shingles to adhere, but not so hot that workers and materials get overheated. And if you aren’t sure what type of roof to choose, when in doubt, go with asphalt shingles. 

Plant or prune trees and shrubs

According to the same HomeLight survey, and the U.S. Forest Service, “each large front yard tree adds to a home’s sale price.” The Forest Service notes that healthy, mature trees, add, on average, 10% to a property’s value.

Trees can also reduce summertime electricity bills by providing shade, and a report issued by the Forest Service found that in Portland, Oregon, street trees growing in front of or near a house added an average $8,870 in value.

One of the best times of year to plant trees and shrubs is fall, after leaf drop. If you already have trees and shrubs in your front or backyard, fall is an ideal time to check on their health and trim back any overgrown branches. 

Clean gutters and downspouts

Fall is the season for cleaning gutters and downspouts before leaf drop is in full force. Cleaning your gutters is a critical part of home winterization as clogged, overflowing gutters will run off water into your home’s foundation, leading to major problems that could reduce the value of your home. 

Weatherstrip door and window frames

Reducing air leakage in your home is a cost-effective way to make it more energy-efficient. Caulking and weatherstripping are two simple and effective air-sealing techniques that offer quick returns on investment, with caulk generally used for cracks and openings around door and window frames, and weatherstripping used to seal doors and windows that open. Making this upgrade will save you money while you are getting ready to put your home on the market, and be an attractive feature to pitch to potential buyers. 

Check plumbing insulation

Pipe insulation is another fix that can help you save on energy costs and upgrade your home for future buyers. For cold water pipes, insulation helps them stay cool. For warm water pipes, insulation will keep the heat in between the water heater and the faucet. Whether you decide to go for all or one of these projects, with any fall improvement, your house will be one step closer to getting on the market.