It’s common knowledge that spring is the peak real estate season and 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.
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.
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.
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 buyers don’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.
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 to prepare your home for listing.
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.
Savvy home buyers notice the small details, and certain flaws show up more in the colder fall months. Consider tackling the following to-do list before your first showing:
Insulate around windows and doors — drafts are more noticeable in the fall.
Dust and remove cobwebs, which tend to accumulate this time of year.
Address any eyesores. Potential buyers are going to spend more time indoors during a showing in the fall, so things like touched-up paint and fresh caulking in the bathrooms and kitchen can make a big difference.
Replace air filters. As you start cranking up the heat in the fall, new furnace filters will ensure you don’t push stale smells or excessive dust throughout the house.
Improve fall curb appeal
Even though your flowers might not be in bloom, curb appeal is still important in the fall. Cross these yard maintenance items off your list:
Do some basic yard cleanup — mow the lawn, rake up the leaves, cut back branches, and add mulch for a fresh look.
Clean the gutters.
Add some fall flowers, like chrysanthemums or marigolds.
Sweep or blow walkways before every tour.
Add a clean doormat for wet shoes.
With some extra care and attention to detail- selling in fall can be just as simple as selling any other time of year!