Fall may have officially started on September 23rd, but that doesn’t mean that now isn’t a good time to sell your home. Contrary to conventional thinking, the months of October, November and December can actually be great months to sell.
For a long time, many real estate experts believed that once the spring selling season had passed, the rest of the year was ‘dead’. Summer, with its hectic vacation season, followed by the start of school, was often thought to be a terrible time to list a house for sale. Further, experts used to teach that the holidays, followed by winter’s coldest months, were undesirable times to sell a home.
Times Have Changed
Today’s buyers are not timing their home purchases around seasons as much as they used to. That’s because people tend to live longer and are settling down later in life. There are more first-time and single buyers these days, and most of these buyers are doing their initial property searches online and via smart phones. Cold weather is no longer a deterrent for buyers who are narrowing down their property searches in the comfort of their own warm living rooms.
Because the internet is a such an important tool in today’s real estate market, the fall months are no longer a black hole for sellers. It is true that spring still tends to be the busiest time of year in real estate, but the rest of the year still has plenty of market movement.
One of the best reasons for listing a home during the fall and winter months is that, overall, there is less market competition. Many sellers still fall into the old school thinking that spring is the only time of year to list a home. Their misconception can be your advantage. Buyers are out there looking right now…list your house during the fall months and they are more likely to see your listing when browsing online real estate sites.
What About the Holidays?
If being disrupted during the busy holiday months sounds like a lot of work, consider listing your home for sale in January. More buyers begin searching for new homes after the chaos of the holidays are over, and with less competition than during the busy spring months, the perfect buyer might just find your home sooner. Additionally, buyers who start preparing their taxes early might realize they will need a bigger tax deduction for the current year, or are looking ahead to the next tax year. Listing your home in January might also catch buyers who have decided that one of their goals for the new year is to buy a new home.
During the busy spring months a lot of buyers are looking at homes. But how many of them are serious? In the fall and winter months buyers tend to be more motivated. It’s great to have fifty people show up to an open house in May, for instance, but if only two or three of them are serious buyers what are the odds that you will get an offer? However, buyers in fall and winter months, while fewer in number, tend to be more motivated to buy because of job transfers or family changes. You might only get twenty people through an open house in November, but if all twenty are serious buyers the odds for a seller are much better.
There really isn’t a bad time of year to put your property on the market. The best thing a seller can do is find a good seller’s agent and follow their advice to get their property in tip-top shape. For tips on finding a great real estate agent check out this article.