Preparing your Chicago home to sell this fall!

As Chicago home sellers begin considering putting their homes on the market this fall, they will come to find that now is an excellent time to start making those home improvements before the cold winter season arrives. September and October in Chicago tend to have comparatively mild temperatures, which makes it easier when you go outside to spruce things up a bit. Even those who own Chicago homes that they aren't considering selling can still maximize their use of this season by winterizing their homes and adding safeguards against damage this fall. These tips will get your home fixed up and ready for the cold and snow that is certain to come during the Chicagoland winter.

Clean Those Gutters

For Chicago homes that have gutters, fall is the time to clean them out. Leaving leaves and debris in the gutters allows ice dams to form once the snow starts to fall, then melts, then re-freezes. Ice dams allow water to pool on your roof, which can create serious problems, including leaks and permanent damage.

It's much easier, and more affordable, to get up there and clean out those gutters now, or hire someone to do it for you, rather than waiting for problems to start. Also, don't wait until the last possible leaf has fallen. This may not be until November, and you don't want those first snows to hit before you've cleaned out your gutters. Yes, you may need to do it twice, but do it now, and again later if more leaves fall.

Trim Those Trees

Chicago home sellers that end up with a branch on their roof after a heavy snow or ice storm are going to end up with costly repairs before they can sell. You can't control the weather, but you can cut down some branches to help lower this risk. If you notice limbs hanging over your home or driveway, trim them back so that you are not left with a problem if the area gets a strong storm.

Inspect the HVAC System

You don't want to end up with a heater that isn't working when the temperatures dip below freezing. In the fall when the temperatures are still comfortable and you aren't relying on your HVAC system too heavily, have a technician come to your home and inspect your unit. You can take care of any efficiency issues that may be impacting your heating bills while also ensuring that the system works as it should. Consider having your ducts cleaned at this time as well, so you aren't stuck inside your closed-up house with dirty air all winter long.

Whether you are joining the ranks of Chicago home sellers soon or not, you can benefit from a little bit of winterizing this fall. Those who take the best care of their Chicago homes in the fall will have the most comfortable winter season and the best chance of selling in the spring, if that's their goal. With these three tips, you can keep your home safe and comfortable through the snowy Chicago area winter.

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