While much is made about the spring selling season, allow me to argue that fall is actually the best time to list your home. I’ll admit it’s a neck in neck fight but here’s why I think Fall pulls ahead as the winner. In the Spring, buyer’s are anticipating Summer; vacations, moves, activities, kids out of school. In the Fall, Summer events and moves are over and you are where you are for at least the school year. So buyer’s can relax a bit to focus on house hunting in the Fall. The weather turns spectacularly lovely and inviting and the slight chill in the air makes us all want to find a warm hearth at home to snuggle around.
I am working with a couple to list their home very soon.
This couple, like most, hasn’t looked at their home through the lens of selling in a very long time. Small items they may have meant to get to or they have worked around for a while suddenly become something they have to be aware of, repair, or be ready to answer for to potential buyers. The last statement being the key to this process not needing to be overwhelming, terrifying or too expensive.
In this case my sellers have been renting their home for the last year. We were able to talk to the renter about how the house lives. The quirks, safety issues, needed repairs that she has noticed. We also, as I usually do, had a pre-listing home inspection done. I highly recommend a pre-listing inspection so there aren’t any surprises.
Once you have the full picture of the condition of the house you have the option to
- Not repair and disclose.
I always recommend repairing safety items without question. I also recommend repairing any big ticket items that are beyond the scope of wear and tear. For instance, in this case they located a leak in the galvanized line between the house and street. The home owner’s replaced that line at the cost of about $3000.00. If the budget isn’t there to do many repairs providing all of the information that you have collected to your potential buyers will set their minds at ease.
Knowing and disclosing are powerful tools to keep a sale in play.
Smaller things aren’t as important to fix but one area to pay attention to are the windows and doors. Drafts are more noticeable in the Fall so make sure you fix any cracks.
Another thing to keep in mind is pictures. Try to take your photos before the leaves fall and the trees are bare. And if you missed that opportunity, then at least make sure you rake them up—it helps with curb appeal.
Don’t panic if you don’t get a lot of showings. Home showings are typically fewer in the Fall, but the good news for you is that the buyers that are looking tend to be more serious and in need of a home quickly.
So go ahead, light the fireplace, toss a comfy blanket over your couch and list your home. It’s not nearly as scary listing your house in the Fall as the little ghosts and goblins that will be hitting your doorstep on Halloween.