It’s common knowledge that spring is thepeak real estate seasonand the best time of year to sell a house. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t sell (and make a profit) during other times of the year, including the fall.
What is the market like for fall real estate?
While it’s true that housing inventory (the number of homes on the market) is lower in the fall than in the spring and summer, it’s also true that buyers who are shopping in the fall are likely to be serious about buying. Fall buyers may be moving because of a job relocation or change in family situation, so they’re often eager to close a deal. And, the hotter your local real estate market, the less significant a role seasonality plays.
What months are in the fall?
To clarify the part of the year we’re talking about, fall includes dates between September 1 and November 30. In most of the country, this time of year is marked by cooler weather, shorter days, and falling leaves — think picking apples, carving pumpkins, and enjoying turkey dinners. Holidays that fall within this period include Labor Day, Columbus Day, Halloween, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving.
Pros and cons of selling in the fall
Advantages of selling a house in the fall
Serious buyers are motivated to purchase quickly, before the busy holiday season and bad weather set in.
The seasonal atmosphere makes your home feel warm and welcoming.
It’s a misconception that the vast majority of buyers are shopping to fit their kids’ school year schedules. In fact,more than half of buyersdon’t have kids under 18 at home, so the fall is as good a time as any.
In early fall, it’s typically light enough to do weeknight showings, in addition to weekend open houses.
Challenges of selling a house in the fall
Since it’s an off-peak season, there are simply fewer buyers than there are in spring.
Worsening weather can make showings difficult, and falling leaves make it hard to keep up with autumn curb appeal.
The44 percent of buyerswho do have kids generally prefer to be settled in a new home before the school year starts.
Busy work and school schedules and holiday plans can make it hard to schedule showings.
Selling a house: Tips for selling in the fall real estate market
Overcome the challenges of selling your house in autumn with these tips.
It’s much easier to sell in the fall than in December and January, when bad weather, holiday schedules, and travel plans limit the availability of buyers, agents, lenders, and real estate attorneys. So, once you’ve decided to sell, work as quickly as possible toprepare your home for listing.
Photograph the property ASAP
Have your professional real estate pictures taken as soon as possible. The earlier in the fall they’re taken, the better the natural light will be and the nicer your outdoor space will look. Even better, if you know you’ll be selling next fall, take your pictures ahead of time, in picture-perfect spring.
Hire a professional agent
When you’re selling in a slower market, it’s important to hire a real estate agent who knows what they’re doing. When youinterview agents, ask for their strategies for selling in an off-peak season.
What makes your home, your neighborhood, or your area unique? For example, if you live in a location that attracts winter residents, market to those snowbirds just before winter weather arrives.
Price your property to sell
Use neighborhood comps (also called CMAs) and your agent’s expertise to find the right list price for your home, keeping in mind that your pricing strategy may vary in the fall versus the spring.
You shouldn’t expect a multiple-offer situation that drives the price up above the asking, so make sure you’re comfortable with the list price. And, don’t feel obligated to accept low-ball offers, but do try and negotiate with them until it is clear the buyer is unreasonable, not serious, or both.
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