Selling a house is a lot more complex than it sounds. The different seasons present different challenges, and you can’t always wait for the perfect time to sell when you need to leave for work, family, or financial reasons. There are certainly pros and cons to selling in fall, so let’s dive into whether or not now is the right time to sell your house.
Pro 1: Competition
Competition in the housing market can cause a house to stay on much longer than the owner had hoped. However, due to the saying that spring is the best time to sell, many people delay listing their house until next year. Plus, many people want to make it through the holidays and the kids’ school year before uprooting, leaving you with a wide open market. Sure, buyers may not be looking as much for many of the same reasons, but there will still be hopeful people ready to move now, and your home could be the best one on the market.
Pro 2: Staging for the Holiday Season
Although many people are not looking to move during the holiday season, it is an emotional time for many. It’s also the perfect time of the year for staging, because decorations do all of the work for you. Just make sure not to put up anything too religious or too gaudy and you’ll be sure to attract any buyer who has the nostalgic holiday spirit. Imagining living in your house will be easy when it’s decorated to the nines, so pull out a wreath and put some trinkets on the shelves and let the holiday season work to your advantage.
Con 1: The Outdoors
If the weather is bad in your area, you may have trouble attracting buyers. It makes sense for two reasons: your property will look less pleasing from the outside and buyers may not want to move (or tour) in bad weather conditions. You’ll have to get creative to make your property stand out, especially when the cloudy sky makes everything look gray.
Con 2: Seasonal Mishaps Will Stand Out
If your heating system malfunctions, watch out. You will need to make every indoor maintenance system is in the best shape possible. Nothing is more embarrassing than hosting an open house and finding that the thermostat won’t heat above 50 degrees or you have no hot water. Also be on the lookout for any external issues that may crop up during bad weather, such as a leaky roof or paneling peeling off. You may also run into landscaping problems (such as broken tree branches) if you live in a harsh climate. Keep a checklist of all seasonal issues to watch out for and run through them at least once before each showing, and multiple times while your home is listed.
Early-to-mid fall is one of the best times of the year to buy a home, but as we transition from fall to winter, it will be more important for sellers to be cognizant of the pros and cons of selling during this time. However, the pros vastly outweigh the cons if you’re able to keep your home in tip-top shape. Just take my advice and don’t let the quality of your home slip during this time. It is easy to get sidetracked by the hectic holiday season, but for those who need to sell, now is time to put on your game face and use your home’s perks to your advantage.