Why Listing Your Home in Fall is Such a Great Idea

Like any industry, there are a range of popular misconceptions in real estate. Perhaps the most common one is the notion that it's better to wait until spring arrives before listing your home, if you've missed the peak summer selling season.

It's difficult to know where this complete myth started, but each year it's necessary for us to remind sellers that right now is such a great time to be listing.

There are plenty of excellent reasons for this, but perhaps the most convincing argument arises when we consider the typical profile of a buyer at this time of the year.

Fall buyers are easily among the most focused and motivated groups that we see throughout the entire annual real estate cycle. These aren't people using the excuse of a trip out to view homes in the summer sunshine with a vague notion of a possible move. Almost invariably, current buyers will be very seriously looking for a home for a wide range of very specific, and often time sensitive, reasons.

Common motivations include a desire to move home and be settled in before the holidays start. While this is already getting to be a tight timescale, it's still extremely feasible to identify the right home, have an offer accepted and ensure the deal is fully closed and to move in enough time to be comfortable and ready to welcome Thanksgiving/Christmas guests into lovely new surroundings.

And this year there's also another significant reason for high fall foot traffic, due to the shortages of available homes for sale across most sectors of the market. It's highly unlikely that all summer buyers who started looking for a home that ticked all their boxes have found somewhere. I think this at least partially explains why we've seen a dilution in the traditional peak selling months in recent years, in favor of a more even spread of buyers into fall/winter.

The continuation of very low mortgage rates should once more positively inform the market over the coming weeks, as buyers won't want to wait until next year to see if rates manage to stay low.

Fall also sees another couple of unique reasons for making a quick purchase that we don't get to see for the rest of the year, namely the tradition for relocation due to new jobs commencing at the start of the New Year and also motivations related to personal taxation. There will certainly be a good number of current buyers out there with at least one of these goals in mind.

It's clear that fall buyers already have a positive mindset, but things get even better as the holidays get nearer and the resulting tendency for buyers to be in a more emotional state. This means they are more likely to buy and agree to your terms. And it's also true to say that your home will arguably get to look the best it does all year, with plenty of fall color accents and, later on, tasteful festive decorations - again another unique selling point at this time. Also don't forget that the holidays provide more time for buyers to look for homes, and in a more relaxed and considered frame of mind.

From your own perspective, despite the best efforts of many agents to advise otherwise, some sellers will still temporarily withdraw from the market until 2018. You therefore are likely to benefit from even less competition and there's arguably an even greater likelihood of attracting multiple offers, maybe even above asking price, as buyer sentiment and the need for an immediate move outweighs the present levels of supply in most areas of the market. Wait until spring and you'll suddenly have a lot more sellers competing with you.

I'm sure that another underlying reason for market withdrawal at this time is because sellers are worried about being disturbed in the holiday periods. This needn't be a problem, as it's perfectly possible to arrange for limited, or no, viewing at specific times. It could certainly be said that this is not the ideal strategy, but it's a lot better than just putting everything off for a few months, and completely missing the unique market opportunities that will arise between now and January 1st.

We're very excited about prospects for the market as we move nearer to the end of 2017. Why not contact us today and discover how we will be devoting the same highly focused and concentrated effort that we deploy all year and how this can positively impact on your property sale.

Dominic Nicoli