Conventionally speaking, the first 6-9 months of the year is the “go-time” for home selling. However, the fall season is still considered a buyers market. Though there tend to be fewer homes for sale, the buyers are more patient and are looking for more value for their home buying dollars.
How can sellers succeed in the fall market? A few tips to consider:
It’s all about proper pricing. Sellers would do well to take as much emotion out of their pricing as possible. Avoid the temptation to think about “what we could sell this for in the spring” and employ a pricing strategy for RIGHT NOW. Buyers in the fall are looking for value and if the right house is priced fairly they will likely bid and see where the negotiations take them.
Take away the summer stuff and truly transition to the fall. Remove the window air conditioning units. Replant those wilting spring accent flowers with fresh mums or other seasonal plantings. Cut back overgrown bushes from the summer months. Stash the inflatable pool, change the yard furniture cushions, clean the garage, and decorate the exterior with lots of pumpkins!
For you hardcore Halloween fans, tone down the scary stuff. If that sounds boring, remember your objective is selling your house, not staging a horror show. You want to charm potential buyers with the cheerful atmosphere of your home, not traumatize their children with the motion-sensitive ghoul on the front porch. Leave the spooky gimmicks in storage. You can go back to having all the creepy fun you want after the house is sold.
Bring in the light! Clean the windows and pull back the curtains as much as possible. With the change of seasons and time change – there are fewer hours of sun-filled rooms for buyers to admire so take whatever natural light you can get.
Even though there are buyers out and about making offers in the fall, do not be surprised if they request a January closing. Transactions during the 4th quarter tend to be “pushed” into the new year. Be flexible and be prepared to work on a closing date that is amenable to both parties.