What to Know About Selling a Home in the Cooler Months
Historically, the busiest time of year for home sales is the spring. Homeowners who have decided to sell their home typically wait until the winter months are over, so springtime often brings with it an influx of homes onto the market.
Buyers react accordingly, and those who have been looking for a home flock to visit new listings. Spring is the time of the year when real estate supply and demand come together to create sales volume.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t sell your home during other times of the year. Even after summer winds down and fall begins, there are plenty of opportunities to sell a home. Based on current market conditions it will continue to be a seller’s market even in the Fall and Winter months. Here’s what you should know about selling a home in the cooler months of the year.
Not every homebuyer has children
A common perception is that homebuyers want to move into homes before the school year starts so that their kids don’t have to switch schools during the academic year. But, according to recent housing trends reports from Zillow, only about 44 percent of homebuyers have children.
With more than half of homebuyers without kids, getting your home on the market before school kicks off isn’t as important as you might have previously thought. About 4 of 10 homebuyers are also first-timers, and a little more than 30 percent are single. It’s not just growing families who buy homes.
There will still be eager buyers
Not everyone has children, but those who do have kids definitely want to be moved in before school starts. The good news is that after that, the buyers who still looking might be more eager.
Somebody looking for a home in the fall is likely going to want to move into it before the winter holidays. It’s a pain to move in poor weather, and people like to host family gatherings in their new digs. There are motivated buyers in the fall.
There are motivated buyers in the winter months, too. It’s the time of year when job relocations are more common, and people are forced to shop for new homes.
Embrace the seasons
One of the advantages of selling a home in the cooler months is that you can lean into the seasonal changes. Decorating in fall colors and using fall scents in the home can make it feel warm and inviting.
Keep in mind, though, that you don’t want to go overboard. A home or yard full of creepy Halloween decorations, or a house lit up like Clark Griswold’s from the “Christmas Vacation” movie, will result in distracted buyers.
Get pictures early
While decorating for the fall can be appealing, it’s a good idea to get photos of the home taken before the weather changes too much.
Exterior photos or videos that are brightly lit by the sun and show lush landscaping are more appealing than shots that include downed leaves or snow and ice. Even interior photos tend to come out better when the sun is shining. Buyers like brightly lit homes.
Price it correctly from the start
Putting a home up for sale during the “offseason” makes pricing even more important than usual. Foot traffic is generally lighter than during the spring and summer, which means each buyer candidate is more valuable. You can’t afford to turn any them off by overpricing.
With busy holiday schedules and travel plans, it’s also best to get offers early in the fall. You don’t have the luxury of time that price drops in the spring and early summer do. Of course, an experienced real estate agent will help you price your home to sell from the start.
The bottom line
Selling a home in the cooler months presents some challenges, but it’s very doable. You just have to keep a few things in mind and be willing to make a few adjustments.
Summer House Realty Can Help You Navigate the Market
If you are in the market to sell your home during the fall or winter months give Summer House Realty a call. As one of the fastest-growing and most successful Fernandina Beach real estate agencies, we can help you market and sell your home no matter what time of year. If you would like to speak with one of our experienced real estate agents, call us at 904.557.3020.