It might seem obscene to talk about Christmas at the beginning of September. The sun is still shining, the weather warm and the last remnants of summer all make talk of winter festivities seem slightly absurd.
But if you are looking to sell your house, autumn can be a great time to do it. House hunters generally have one thing on their mind at this time of year: Can I get into a new home before Christmas?
With just under 15 weeks to go until December 25, buyers are facing a race against time to meet that objective. Rightmove's monthly house price index at the end of August reports a 13-week average for buyers to get from 'sale agreed' to completion day.
All of which puts sellers in a strong position.
Yes, in a word. With the kids back at school and holidays at a minimum after the summer break, buyers will often turn their attention back to the prospect of purchasing a new home.
Those who may not have found their dream home in the traditionally strong spring search will be revitalised and ready to begin hunting once again. They'll also have Christmas firmly in their sights meaning a quick sale is very much possible in the early autumn months of September and October.
But sellers, as always, will need to ensure their properties stand out from the crowd. Here are seven reasons why autumn is the best time to sell and some great tips on getting potential buyers though your door.
1. AUTUMN IS ABOUT 'COSINESS'
Which means you can really make your property feel like a 'home'.
While summer is all about barbecues and relaxing in the sun, autumn takes on a different feel and that should be reflected in how your present your home to buyers.
Take advantage of being able to appeal to buyers' senses during September and October. While the weather is still reasonably warm for this time of year, temperatures will fall at some point during the next few months.
Ensure your property is welcoming and creates a feeling of warmth.
2. TEMPERATURE CONTROL IN AUTUMN
Autumn is a great time of year for families. Imagine a crackling fire and a hearty stew before snuggling in under a cosy throw to watch some evening TV with the kids before bed.
Creating that kind of feeling can get you a quick Autumn sale.
Put your heating on a timer prior to a viewing so your property feels inviting and warm as soon as a potential buyer walks through the door.
Autumn is a great time of year for controlling the heat in your home. Is there anything worse than walking into a property during the height of summer and it's as hot and stuffy inside as it is outside?
3. THE COLOURS OF AUTUMN
How did your lawn look this summer? Yellow, brown and beyond repair is probably likely given the truly extreme temperatures we experienced this year.
But the chances are your garden is now looking somewhere close to its best again. A little rain and a dip in temperatures should have brought your lawn back to life. The leaves on the trees, meanwhile, are slowly starting to turn to those lovely shades of autumnal orange and brown.
Take advantage of the season and ensure the outside of your property is looking its best.
Kerb appeal counts for a lot so clear away any fallen leaves and ensure your outside paintwork is clean and sharp to work alongside those delightful autumn shades.
Perhaps add a window box or hanging basket for a dash of extra colour.
4. STIMULATE THOSE SENSES
Autumn is all about the senses. Colours, smells and sounds.
Bring some of those stimulants inside when setting up your home for a viewing. While the smell of pumpkin or vanilla seed candles would never work during the warmer months, those kind of scents can add a real feeling of homeliness at this time of year.
Buyers really react to a sense of season. Place a few autumnal leaves among a bowl of fruit and dot some scented candles around the living areas.
5. SHOW OFF YOUR STORAGE
If you need to even think about coats and boots during June, July and August then you know the traditional English summer has returned. But in autumn, the sight of a pair of wellington boots and a stylish jacket can once again stimulate a buyer's senses and have them thinking of cosy autumn walks near to your property.