There is always a bit of a lull in the real estate market at the beginning of September. With back-to-school shopping, enrolling kids in various activities, and the last chance at family camping weekends before the snow, attention is diverted from house shopping. By October, things have settled down, and buyers resume their search for a new home.
4 Reasons Fall Is a Good Time To List
1) The bulk of inventory from the spring market has been sold, so your property will not only have less competition, your home will be something new for the buyers to view.
2) If someone is out viewing homes in the fall, they are clearly motivated. The weather is getting cooler and, thanks to daylight savings, it gets dark early. It is rare for a buyer to look for homes in the dark if they aren’t serious about buying.
3) Many businesses like to relocate employees for the new year, so this group of buyers will be looking for homes in the fall. Because of the small inventory, if you are listed, they will be looking at your home.
4) If you have a sad excuse for a green thumb, the barren, brown landscape of bare trees and leafless bushes evens out the competition for curb appeal. Your yard will look just as bland as your competitors.
Setting Yourself Up For Success
Attracting buyers is not just your Agent’s job. Great photos and video of a neglected home can only go so far. Consider the following tips to make your house show its very best!
Fall Yard Clean Up - Do you have that one neighbour each fall who is the first to have his plants trimmed, lights and decor put away, and every leaf picked up and recycled? If you are selling your home, that better be your yard too!
General Exterior Maintenance - First impressions are really that important. Clean out your gutters, power wash the entrance and clean all exterior light fixtures. If a buyer gets to your front door without a complaint, you have just set them up for a great showing.
Clean Those Windows - With the sun setting in the early evening, the last rays streaming sideways through you windows expose every smudge, cobweb, and layer of dust, creating an atmosphere of neglect. Get the family together and clean those windows inside and out!
Replace Furnace Filters - Have you ever noticed the nasty smell your furnace creates when you first start running it in the fall? Replacing your filters will eliminate that musty smell. While your thinking about warming up your home, take a minute to run gas fireplace for an hour or two. This will get rid of the chemical smell you fireplace gives off when it hasn’t been used for a few months.
Let Your Light Shine - This one is easy. The sun is setting sooner, so your home must feel light and bright! Check the bulbs you are using. Bright whites may seem like a good idea for darker rooms but can create a clinical, florescent feeling. By changing your bulbs to soft whites or warm whites, you will create a warm glow. Consider adding an additional lamp or motion light to brighten up dark corners.
Check Your Heat - Just because you like to keep the temperature at a glacial setting doesn’t mean potential buyers feel the same way. A warm, cozy atmosphere will make buyers feel at home.
Add Some Colour Inside and Out - In Alberta, our beautiful fall colours last about 3 days. Adding a pop of colour will make your house stand out both online and in person. A few pots of fall plants, some bright exterior cushions on a chair on the front porch, or a bright accent colour on your door can make a first impression bright and warm, not drab and depressing.
Don’t Over Do The Fall Scents - There is nothing worse than entering a home and walking right into a wall of artificial smells. Strong candles or air fresheners in a closed house are not conducive to a relaxed showing. You may love a fresh scent, but many people have issues with perfume and other scents; even the “nice” ones. If a buyer has allergies, you could be sending them running for the door. A bowl of scented pinecones or an unlit candle will give enough scent without being overwhelming.
Don’t Hide Your Yard - If you haven’t listed your home yet, get outside and take some pictures before the snow falls. A buyer will have no idea if you have beautiful landscaping or a bed of weeds if your yard is covered with a blanket of snow. Pictures of beautiful landscaping will add value both online and displayed on a table during showings.
Yes, it is possible to see a SOLD sign on your lawn in the fall. We would love to market you home this fall and help you move onto bigger and better things!
Christina Henker-Gaboury, REALTOR®, CLHMS®
RE/MAX Real Estate