With autumn now on the calendar, many people who are getting ready to put their homes up for sale are asking themselves if, at this point, they should just wait until the springtime. The “spring market” – everyone knows that’s the best time to sell, right? True, it is the peak season, but to think that’s the only good time to sell is nothing more than a common real estate myth.
The truth is that homes sell all year long. The strategies differ by season, but sellers that are mindful to the differences in the fall and winter months will also realize a successful home sale.
Less Houses on the Market Means Less Competition
During the fall and winter, inventory levels are lower. Why? Because as we stated, many sellers believe in the myth to hold off until the spring. There are also some common sense reasons why sellers prefer to wait out the winter. For one, sellers don’t want people walking through their home with snow covered shoes. Also, the days are shorter and it gets darker earlier; making evening showings more of a hassle for both seller and buyer alike.
Play Off the Emotions of the Holidays
Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, New Year’s… these months give you a prime opportunity to target the buyers’ emotions. Buyers see the holiday decorations and start to remember how it was in their homes when they were growing up and envision themselves and their families enjoying next year’s holidays in their new home (your current home). Keep your home inviting during these colder months. Decorate with “warm” colors. Fill the air with cinnamon, apple, and pumpkin scents. Turn up the heat, emphasize the fireplace. And don’t forget curb appeal, which goes directly to first impressions…mums are a great autumn flower, and don’t forget to keep the snow shoveled.
Accurate Pricing Is Vital
As mentioned, inventory levels are lower during the fall and winter months and typically the number of buyers decrease as well - especially if the weather gets bad. However, if the last few years are any indication, if a house is priced right, the buyers will come – regardless of season. Mortgage interest rates remain low, although may be more unpredictable after the November presidential election. Overall, interest rates remain at historic lows which is great for home sellers and buyers alike.
Fewer Window Shoppers
We all know those people who just like to see how you’ve decorated your home, or dream about the house that they really can’t afford. Typically, we don’t mind these people because even they have friends and family who are looking to move to the neighborhood and you never know where your buyer is coming from. However, during the colder snowy months, these “buyers” don’t show up as often. If it’s snowing out and there is a showing, you can bet that it’s a serious buyer. In the spring, as the market picks up, many buyers will first start the process of looking, but aren’t ready to pull the trigger until they’ve seen every possible opportunity out there – if at all.
Those That Have Been Relocated Because of A Job
In today’s economy, if someone has a job offer in a different area, they are more likely to take it, then wait for the next opportunity to roll around. They want to be moved in quickly, and potentially get their kids enrolled in school. They do not have the luxury of “shopping”. Many large employers, in fact, tend to hire and fill positions towards the end of the year and the start of the new year. While this can be true in ANY season, it’s just another reason not to discount selling your home in the fall and winter months.
Quicker Real Estate Transactions
Since the late fall and early winter months tend to have fewer transactions, those involved are not as busy. Mortgage Reps, Home Inspectors, Appraiser, Attorneys, Movers, etc. are all more readily available and can devote the necessary time to make your transaction move along quickly and smoothly.
Unsure What to Do?
Give us a call. Every situation is different and we’ll discuss and walk you through the options and possible strategies.