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The brisk air and turning colors are here, and with it your autumnal responsibilities. It’s time to put on a jacket, grab your rake and get rid of the leaves.

While the raking tradition may not be up there with apple picking, the World Series or Halloween, it’s an essential part of autumn. Wet leaves left on a lawn can suffocate grass and create dead spots. And if you’re selling your home, raking is especially important, not only for aesthetic reasons, but also for safety.

Here are some raking tips to keep your home looking its best.

Rake often: A typical homeowner may rake once a week during the height of leaf season, but if your home is on the market, you’re going to need to rake more often—perhaps even every day. A scattering of leaves may add a pleasant autumnal look, but they soon lose their color and come across as dirty. An unraked home tells buyers that the yardwork will be time consuming. Another factor is safety as visitors could slip on unraked leaves, especially if they’re wet.

Mow the lawn: Grass growth slows down during the fall but it doesn’t completely stop. If your lawn has a few leaves on it, mowing will clean everything up. This won’t be effective if there’s a thick cover, but it can take less time than raking in the right conditions.

Rake more than the lawn: Leaves can make their way into your gardens, shrubs, and onto driveways and walkways. Take the extra step to get rid of all leave by raking around bushes, by the sides of the house, around the pool and the curb in front of your house. If you have a porch, keep it clean and make sure you don’t trail any leaves into the house.

Rake on the right day: In some neighborhoods, leaves are bagged and collected on trash day. Other towns have days devoted to leaf collection. Find out your town’s schedule and clear your lawn in preparation of pickup day, but don’t leave bags or piles of leaves in front of the house. Store the bags away in your garage until they are picked up.

Use your leaves effectively: Leaves have benefits. If used correctly, they show prospective buyers that you’re taking good care of your home. Mulched leaves can work as fertilizer for garden beds and can also protect tree roots. Placing leaves around plants and shrubs can protect them in the winter.