The Bay Area housing market has been strong this year. There have been stories of crowded open houses, multiple offers on some listings, and even bidding wars on specific properties that push prices skyward. Now that fall has arrived, some homeowners may believe that they have missed their window of opportunity to sell and that they should wait until next spring. Don’t be fooled; this may actually be a very good time to sell your home.
A combination of continued demand from serious buyers, a lack of available inventory in many of our markets, ongoing relocations into the Bay Area, and a warm, cozy feeling from homes over the holidays all add up as good reasons for why autumn may be a better time to list a home than most people realize. Consider all of the following:
- Continued demand from buyers. As anyone who’s followed the news this year knows, there have been more buyers than sellers for homes in the Bay Area. While the number of potential buyers at open houses may have dropped off in recent weeks—which is traditionally expected during the fall—there is still far more “traffic” than we usually see at this time of year.
- “Serious buyers” in the market now. During the fall months, there tend to be fewer “lookers” than in the spring and summer, and more serious buyers. These are often people who must buy for specific reasons, such as employment relocation. As a result, they are more likely to act quickly when they find the right property.
- A lack of available inventory. The number of listings has been relatively low all year compared to historical averages. The shortage of available inventory has helped to push prices higher in some areas. It is expected that this time of year there will be even fewer homes than the months preceding it, and that can mean less competition and more potential buyer attention for your listing.
- Great natural “staging” this time of year. There’s a certain warm feeling that comes with being in a home during the holidays. Homes just feel friendlier and cozier with holiday decorations, the fireplace glowing in the living room, and special cookies baking in the oven. These holiday touches can help “stage” a home, giving it the very best possible look and feel to sell. Buyers who walk into a home during the holidays may have an easier time envisioning their family at happy gatherings there, too.
If you’re thinking about selling your home in the fall, there are a few things you should be doing. Start with improving your “curb appeal.” Clean up flowerbeds and rake any leaves on the lawn. Make sure weeds are pulled and shrubs are pruned. In the backyard, put away any summer items like pool toys. In general, keep things clean and neat.
Embrace the holiday season and use appropriate decor. Keep decorations in tune with the holiday that’s approaching. Doing so can help potential buyers see themselves and their families enjoying the same holidays in your home. But be careful not to overdo it.
It’s also important to price your home properly. Your REALTOR® can help you determine the appropriate price – based upon recent comparable home sales in your area and the anticipated inventory of available homes. Pricing your home correctly can increase the chances of getting a good offer faster.
Finally, it’s more important than ever to work with an experienced real estate professional. Look for an agent that has a solid track record in your community and can provide you with good advice on how best to prepare and market your home during the fall season.
While fall is not traditionally seen as the best time to sell a home, as explained above, there are a lot of advantages to listing your home now – especially at a time when others might shy away from selling. With a few simple steps, you just may find that selling your home this fall may be the best move you’ll ever make.