With cool nights upon us we know that autumn is quickly approaching, and while spring is traditionally the time to list your home for sale it does not mean that you must write off the opportunity to sell your home in the fall or even the winter. It is still possible to sell your property by the end of the year; however, you will need to be creative and realistic in your approach.
Many home sellers make the mistake of thinking the market becomes completely stagnant during the fall and especially during the holiday season. This is not completely true. Many markets actually experience a surge during fall as prospective buyers return from their vacations refreshed and invigorated. Even during the holiday season there are usually at least some home buyers out there looking for a good deal. In fact, some buyers are even more highly motivated during the holiday season than any other time of the year. The advantage of catering to these home buyers is that are usually not just lookers; they are serious buyers.
There is also another advantage to preparing your home for sale during the fall and winter. You will likely face less competition because quite simply the inventory of available homes tends to drop during this time of the year. If you have experienced a wealth of For Sale signs in your local market the rest of the year, the fall and winter could be an ideal time to sell your house.
When selling your home in the fall and winter; however, it is important to recognize that the value of your home does not depend on the season. Many home sellers make the mistake of adjusting the price of their home during what they consider to be an off season. The price of your home is completely separate from the current season. Factors which affect the value of your home include local employment trends as well as local supply and demand.
Sellers should also recognize that buyers today are far more savvy and sophisticated than in the past. Thanks to the Internet, buyers are now quite able to spend a month and even more surfing the net, investigating the local market, before they even speak to a real estate agent. It is a huge mistake to believe that you can land a buyer who is willing to pay a price that is above the prevailing market average.
To encourage showings of your home during the fall and winter make sure the path to your home is always cleared; particularly if you live in an area with frequent snowfall. Since there is usually less light during the fall and winter, take steps to let in as much light as possible. Pull up the blinds and pull back the drapes. Turn on all the lights in the home and consider placing spotlights behind the furniture.
While the holidays are the perfect time to set a mood in your home, make sure you do not overdo it. Decorate for the holidays if you would normally do so, but do not put out so many decorations that your home appears to be crowded. This rule is especially true when it comes to Christmas trees.
Take advantage of the opportunity to make your home appear warm, inviting and romantic. Tossing afghans across the back of a sofa, setting out fresh winter flowers, dressing your dining table for an intimate dinner and playing soft music are all great examples of ways in which you can set the perfect mood in your home for showings during the fall and winter.
Do remember; however, to exercise caution when using scents during the winter. While many home sellers try to invoke the spirit of the season by burning scented candles this could backfire if buyers are allergic to certain scents. Rather than linger in your home they will be more likely to look for the quickest exit.
Serving snacks during an open house is an excellent idea but do try to tailor the foods you serve to the season. Fall and winter is the perfect time to set out hot soups as well as cocoa and hot apple cider.
Above all else, make sure that your home is in excellent condition. Fall and winter is not the time to let maintenance issues slide. Make sure your home is well maintained as well as sparkling clean.
Finally, you can utilize technology to its full advantage when selling your home during the fall and winter. Indoor lamps can be put on a timer so that they automatically come on while buyers are viewing the home. You can also utilize motion sensor to light up your home during the darker months of fall and winter.