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Autumn is here and that means leaves are falling from their trees and onto the ground. And while the leaves are colorful and beautiful, anyone selling a home needs to keep leaves off the ground.

Most potential buyers want to see a neat and well-kept lawn. While leaves have their charms, a raked lawn just looks nicer. There’s also a safety factor as wet leaves can lead to slips and falls. Here’s how to keep your leaves in check throughout autumn.

Rake often. Typically, people rake their leaves on weekends, but you may have to do it more often once your house is on the market. Keep an eye on your home’s grounds and get out there whenever there is a build-up.

Be thorough. Be sure to rake leaves that make their way along fencing and under bushes and shrubbery. Leaves don’t fall only on grass—raking driveways and walkways is especially important because that’s where people walk, and clearing leaves from those spaces creates a safer environment.

Bag your leaves. Some municipalities collect leaves that are piled up at the curb, but this isn’t a great look, and those leaves can stay there for days before they’re cleared away. Place leaves in environmentally-friendly bags. If your town does collect leaves at the curb, have your agent share that information with potential buyers because it is a selling point.

Make the job easy. Raking leaves can be hard work but there are ways to streamline the process. Wear gardening gloves so that you don’t develop blisters. Another option is mowing your leaves, especially early on in the season when leaf cover is fairly light. Leaf blowers also make the task easier.

Get the family involved. Raking leaves is good exercise and can get everyone in your family outdoors on a nice, brisk day. And the more people who contribute to this chore, the quicker it will get done. Give each member of the family an area to rake and clear out. Give younger children toy rakes so that they feel like they’re contributing. Then reward the kids with a treat like ice cream or pizza.

The right approach to raking leaves is a big step to making your home ready for autumn tours.

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