It goes without saying that spring and summer are great times to sell a house. The weather is warm, and many home hunters are in the mood to shop around. That said, there are also some very real advantages that come with listing in the fall.
As September approaches, I encourage sellers to think carefully about what the fall real estate market has to offer. Here are five reasons why you should consider selling sooner rather than later.
1) There’s less competition
It’s not always the best decision to list your home during the most popular selling seasons. Choosing a time when there are fewer new properties on the market means you’ll have less competition—which can pay off big time.
Think about it. In the spring, there’s no shortage of new listings available. It’s easy for home hunters to miss out on seeing a house that could have been a great fit. But it’s a different story in the fall. The market is less crowded, which means your home has a very real opportunity to stand out.
2) Buyers are in decision-making mode
I’ve worked with many buyers who’ve opted to ease into the market in the summer. Often, they’ll spend the warmer months looking around to see what’s available. They’ll take their time getting mentally prepared to buy a home—and use the house hunt as an opportunity to see what kind of features and amenities will work best for them.
Of course, there comes a time when cautious buyers have to take the plunge. Fall is often the season when they finally decide to make that big purchase. If you list your home in September or October, there’s a good chance that it will be seen by a larger number of buyers who are ready to make a decision soon.
3) Your most likely buyers might not be families
Sometimes, parents who are looking to buy a home choose not to do so at the beginning of the school year. While I’ve found that there are many exceptions to this rule, I understand why some sellers who are targeting families choose not to list in the fall. But what if your most likely buyers aren’t families?
Many houses that work for family living can work just as well for young professionals, couples who don’t have children, or empty-nesters. These home hunters are usually more willing to jump into the fall real estate market.
Your most likely buyer may not be who you think, so it’s a good idea to consult with a trustworthy real estate agent before deciding when and how to market your home.
4) Fall is a great time to create curb appeal
I’ve said it a million times: never underestimate the value of curb appeal. When your home’s exterior stands out for the right reasons, potential buyers are more eager to step inside. Unfortunately, some sellers believe that curb appeal is just for the spring and summer. That’s simply not true.
I suggest starting with the basics. Make sure that your lawn is raked and your gutters are clear. If there’s any chipped, faded, or peeling paint on the outside of your home, think about adding a fresh coat. Next, consider the details. You might want to buy a new welcome mat, a decorative wreath, or some fall flowers for your garden. You can add to your home’s charm and give it a cozy feel by using a fall colour palette when you decorate.
5) You can enjoy what’s left of summer (instead of preparing)
I’ve seen many sellers rush to put their homes on the market before fall starts. In some cases, there’s good reason to try and make that summer sale. That said, it simply doesn’t make sense to try and sell a home before its been thoroughly prepared. You could wind up spending the warmest months of the year feeling stressed out—without getting the return you were hoping for.
Think of it this way. If you put your home on the market in the fall, you can enjoy your summer. Depending on when you decide to list it, there’s also a very good chance that you’ll be enjoying Christmas in your brand new home. So do yourself a favour—consider starting the process in September.
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