Buyers populate real estate markets all year round. However, fall is usually a slow season because families are starting the school year and many people have an aversion to winter home projects. On the bright side, fall buyers tend to have stronger motivations to purchase fast. Here are seven tips to sell your home in autumn.
Once you’ve decided to sell, do your best to get your home listed and sold before winter. Unless you live somewhere warm, you may find it harder to find a serious buyer the deeper you get into the season because of the cold. Fixing your property’s structural and aesthetic issues, jazzing it up for open houses and hiring the right people for the job take time, so make every day count.
Get a Seasoned Agent
Selling your home yourself allows you to skip paying a third party a commission, but doing it yourself will likely result in less profit and cause your house to stay on the market longer. Instead, work with a real estate agent who has been around the block. This professional knows fall home sales are usually slow and uses tried-and-true tricks to move product during an off-peak season.
Experienced real estate brokers understand the magic of professional photography, staging and virtual tours to put homes in a good light, so entrust these tasks to your agent. Provide photos taken in other seasons — preferably spring — to highlight your outdoor space and give buyers an idea of how your home looks year-round.
Winterize Your Home
Prioritize energy efficiency-boosting projects. You want your home to feel as cozy as possible, so ensure your exterior doors and windows are airtight to keep drafts from seeping in. Caulking gaps around these openings will do wonders.
Moreover, have your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system professionally inspected. Well-maintained HVAC equipment gives interested buyers one less thing to worry about in the colder months. The same thing goes with your roofing system and gutters. A sturdy-looking roof and clean gutters will win you brownie points with your prospects.
Mind Curb Appeal
Autumnal foliage will lend a distinct character to your home exterior, but fallen leaves may scatter across your yard. Declutter your green space, prune branches and manicure your lawn. Putting a clean doormat for wet footwear is a nice touch.
Light Up the Interior
Illuminate your rooms as much as possible to negate the darkening fall days and make your home inviting from the street. Placing more lamps and installing brilliant bulbs will make a noticeable difference. Spotless uncovered window and patio door glass will also naturally brighten your indoors.
Regarding interior paint, a light neutral color — like eggshell — can give your rooms a refreshing look that will appeal to most homebuyers. Light-colored paints can reflect more illumination, too.
Target Specific Buyers
Market to a subset of buyers to increase the chances of your home grabbing the interest of those likely to make an offer. Play to your locale’s strengths, and determine which people would find them appealing. Determine what makes your property, neighborhood or community unique. If you live in a warm region, you may target snowbirds needing a winter home.
Price Your Property Right
Pricing your home too high in an off-peak season will make your listing invisible to most buyers. Do a competitive market analysis (CMA) to know the ideal price range for your home and formulate a sensible pricing strategy.
Set your listing price based on the comps’ purchase prices or appraisals. Make price adjustments accordingly. If a comp has better features, decrease your home’s price relative to it, and vice versa. Your real estate agent can help you with this task or even do it for you.
Be a Smart Fall Home Seller
It’s possible to sell real estate in any season. If you employ the right strategy, you can get your home sold before autumn ends and walk away with a reasonable sum.
Evelyn Long is the founder of home living magazine Renovated where she writes about the current housing market and real estate. She has also written for publications like National Association of Realtors, Building Enclosure, and McKissock. You can see more of Evelyn's work by following her on X.