Historically, many sellers avoid putting their home on the market during the fall. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the slowest months for real estate are from October to February. Of course, the years of the pandemic changed all that. Still, it seems the real estate market is normalizing so the seasonality of selling homes may be contributing to the slowing down of home sales and spikes in home prices. From a homeowner’s perspective, the fact that inventory is so low should help to ease their worries. Still, here are 5 tips to help ensure your home sells quickly this Fall.
Most experts agree that we have entered some form of “housing recession”. This is defined as having six straight months of home sales. This was reported in July 2022. According to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, “We’re witnessing a housing recession in terms of declining home sales and home building … However, it’s not a recession in home prices. Inventory remains tight, and prices continue to rise nationally, with nearly 40% of homes [on the market] still commanding the full list price.”
Why is this Happening?
“Two main forces are driving the housing market recession: increasing interest rates (thanks to recent rate hikes from the Federal Reserve) and increasing construction costs. In an environment with higher interest rates than we’ve seen in decades, many new buyers are reluctant to purchase a home”. This is according to this recent Forbes article. There are also buyers who no longer qualify for a mortgage since rates increased. Still, the number of homes currently for sale are still less than there is a demand and this is a reassurance for anyone thinking of home selling in the fall.
Here are 5 tips to consider:
- Home Repairs
With homes staying on the market longer, buyers are starting to realize they have more power. With this newfound bargaining capability, buyers are requesting repairs. This means that as a Seller, home repairs before going on the market are not a bad idea. Major repairs and problems may be a deal breaker. A pre-home inspection is one suggestion to find out if your home has any major issues that should be addressed. An experienced agent can assist in getting this done and pointing out what will be most worrisome for buyers.
- Create Festive Curb Appeal
Though we are still in a seller’s market (due to low inventory), it’s important that your house look its best. Be sure that your yard, walkways, and gutters are free of leaves and debris. Consider landscaping, if needed, and take advantage of this season of bounty. Add a seasonal style with a festive-door wreath, planters filled with autumn-colored flowers, and a front porch lined with pumpkins. Limit decor inside the home to just a few tastefully placed items such as flowers and centerpieces. There is such a thing as “too much” fall decor.
- Keep the Lights On
Gone are the days that it stays light well past dinnertime. Since the days are already getting shorter, be sure that your house is illuminated both on the inside and outside. Brighten rooms by pulling up the blinds and pushing back the window dressings. Keep the front porch and walkway lights on so visitors have a better chance to experience the exterior of your home. Home selling in the Fall does require these considerations.
- Showcase Your Home through Staging
What better way to show off your home than through home staging. Staging is the process of designing and filling a space with aesthetically pleasing furniture, accessories, and décor. It’s sometimes the extra step needed so buyers can envision themselves living in your home. While costly, research has shown it increases home sale price between 6 and 10%. While not every home needs a complete décor overall, stages often have a few tried and true tips like removing personal items, sticking with neutral colors, and decluttering.
- Hire the Right Real Estate Professional
In an environment of less enthusiastic buyers, it’s important to choose a real estate agent who will present and market your home effectively to the widest audience. Agents will guide you through the process of becoming “sale ready”; take care of arranging for professional photography; and prepare you for showings and open houses. Do your research and find an agent skilled in promoting properties on several different platforms such as social media, brokerage resources, through video and print production. This ensures your home is showcased to a wide group of potential buyers.
Home selling in the Fall does not have to be worrisome. In a shifting market, when buyers are no longer highly motivated by low mortgage interest rates, it’s important for homeowners to go back to the basics. By showcasing your home’s assets and having a welcoming feel and attitude, you are sure to do well this season.
Check out this article for more tips: 5 Tips to Stage Your Home on a Budget
As always, please reach out with questions and concerns.