Is there a right time to sell your home? If you’ve missed the summer buying and selling spree, you may be wondering if fall can still be a good time to enter the real estate market.
Homebuying season tends to kick off in earnest in early spring and running through summer until school starts in September. There are regular new additions to the marketplace, and these listings tend to be priced higher than their later-season counterparts. But it is not inherently true that the fall is the wrong time to sell your home. It’s really more about the precipitating factors than the season itself.
Reading the real estate market isn’t a science; it’s an art. Because of the unpredictability of buying and selling real estate, there is no concrete way to know when the time is right to buy or sell. The trick to getting the best price for your home, however, is being able to read the signs and make an educated guess about what might be on the horizon. Today, we’re going to explore how and why it is possible to successfully sell your home during fall and winter.
The Seasonal Surprise
Sure, spring and summer is the time of year when most homeowners put their property up for sale. But just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean that you should, too. In fact, following the crowd in this instance can mean your house sells for less. The market is super-saturated with properties for sale, so you’ll have to price your home competitively to attract prospective buyers. By listing in the spring — April to June — you’re going toe-to-toe with other aspiring sellers, and you may come out on the losing side.
According to New Jersey-based realtor Cheyenne Banks, “Listing in the spring means you are positioning yourself to compete with several other homes.” You have to be in tip-top form if you’re trying to compete with the stiff spring market competition.
It’s the simple principle of supply and demand. When there are fewer homes on the market and people are looking to buy, you have a better chance of selling for a higher price. While the hot demand in the spring and summer may be great for homebuyers, it may not be so great for sellers. Granted, you’re casting a wide net, but you should value quality over quantity when it comes to selling your home.
A study by Redfin found some promising results. Sixty-six percent of homes listed in February of 2020 sold within 90 days and usually over asking. As stated in the paper, “Listing during [December, January, February, and March] has resulted in higher percentages of above-asking-price sales than listing during any months, other than April and May.”
While the cold seasons yield fewer buyers, on the whole, the ones looking are prime candidates to snap up your listing.
Casual Viewers, Serious Buyers
It will come as no surprise to many aspiring home sellers, but plenty of house hunters come to view a property with no real intention of making an offer. People are always looking for a good deal, and in the spring and summer, there is a lot more time and flexibility to explore the options. Maybe they’re first-time house shoppers looking around to get an idea of what they like and what they don’t. Or perhaps they’re window-shoppers – the ones who are just “checking out the goods,” hoping to get more information. These types of clients rarely bring in a sale.
Think of it like casual shoppers who come into a retail store to browse, versus the people who intend to buy. In fall and winter, the people exploring the real estate market are far more likely to make an offer. In fall and winter, window-shoppers are less common, making it easy to tell who is serious and who isn’t.
These serious viewers are the folks that know what they want and are determined to get it. If they see a house they love, they’re not going to wait around until spring or summer to buy – they want to make sure that they don’t miss out. During the fall and winter seasons, serious prospects will be more motivated to buy, especially because they’ll want to get sold and settled before the cold and damp weather sets in.
When it comes to selling a home, presentation goes a long way. Obviously, your home isn’t going to sell based solely on your skillful displays of seasonal accessories and gourds, but it sure can help. Fall is an ultra-photogenic season, and let’s face it, homes just look so much cozier when they’re decked out in autumn colors. Of course, you want to remind prospective buyers that yours is a home for all seasons, so keep it classic with an autumnal wreath, warm-toned throw pillows and blankets, and a crackling fireplace in the hearth.
As in any season, it’s essential to maximize your home’s curb appeal, and fall certainly offers a beautiful backdrop to optimize its presentation. You can even show that you have the neighborhood advantage. Homeowners tend to put less effort into landscaping and gardening in the fall, so take this as an opportunity to show up and show out with beautifully-maintained exteriors. It is also a chance for you to turn on the lights, show off your outdoor landscape, and allow potential buyers to get a glimpse of what’s inside. After all, windows are the eyes into your house’s soul.
Even though fall might not seem like the most obvious choice for selling your home, it can offer you unexpected benefits as a prospective seller. Ultimately, there are plenty of reasons to list in September and onwards; those listed here are only three of many. So don’t let seasonal misconceptions stop you from diving into the real estate pool. It’s not about the weather outside; it’s about what’s inside the home that matters.
When you’re ready to buy a new home or sell the one you’re in, consider working with Rex Homes. Our unique set fee advantage puts you in the driver’s seat and puts money back in your pocket where it belongs. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help.