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Why Fall is the Perfect Time to Sell Your House

Sponsored by FOCUS Real Estate

The spring real estate season gets a lot of love from buyers and sellers alike, but let’s not forget about its highly attractive counterpart. Just as some prefer fall foliage to springtime blossoms, some homebuyers will willingly forsake springtime madness in favor of finding their perfect home later in the year. For current homeowners looking to sell their houses, attracting these buyers means adjusting their selling strategy to suit the particulars of both the season and the circumstances of this category of buyer.

Here are five reasons to embrace the fall as a great time to sell your home.

The selling season is short. Are you inclined to extend your listing time for any longer than necessary? Probably not. Relative to the spring selling season, which kicks off in February and extends well into June, the fall selling season is condensed, starting shortly after Labor Day and lasting a couple of months, at most. As a result, fall offers sellers a reasonably finite time period during which they will be subject to scheduling open houses, keeping their houses in picture-perfect showing condition and carrying out negotiations in order to close the transaction. By Thanksgiving, many buyers consider the calendar year closed on their buying ambitions, which may impel fall house hunters to take action and make a viable offer sooner rather than later.

You can take beautiful exterior photos to accompany your listing. Curb appeal is important, and most potential buyers today peruse online home listings before allocating their house-hunting energies to visiting a particular property. Yet many a listing during the spring selling season is accompanied by photos taken during the preceding winter months, which in the Boston area often means a home’s finest exterior features are jockeying with — or even obscured by — mounting piles of snow, and lush landscaping must be left to the buyer’s imagination. Fall sellers have the advantage in this regard: They can schedule to take their listing photos during the late summer, when the grass is green, landscaping is on full display and the home’s facade can be appreciated in full. And in fact, autumn photos can be even more glorious — just be sure to photograph those crimson leaves while they’re still on the trees, not after they fallen in a messy heap on your front doorstep.

Randal Engelmann and Erik Gould

Buyers may be more motivated to strike a deal. The spring selling season tends to draw the most potential homebuyers — but given its popularity and the sheer number of listings that hit the market during this time, the spring can also attract a fair number of lookie-loo’s more interested in window-shopping than placing a legitimate offer. In the fall, however, sellers are more likely to see honest-to-goodness house hunters hitting their open houses — especially in the case of families, as fall is rarely the ideal time for a family to move given that children are usually in school. There are any number of reasons people may look to move in the fall, whether a job relocation, a growing family bursting the seams of their current home or fatigue from a madcap spring housing market leading them to seek somewhat less-competitive pastures. This decreased competition, combined with buyer determination, can provide sellers with leverage in negotiations around price, contingencies and closing dates. Moreover, fewer listings on the market during the fall may help yours rise to the top of their must-see lists.

You’ll be home for the holidays. Buyers will often be motivated to close on a sale before the holidays, which can mean increased negotiating power for sellers listing during the fall season. In a similar vein, sellers looking to settle into their own new digs can often coordinate the sale of their current home and the purchase of their new home in time for the holidays as well — and who doesn’t like showing off their new place to family and friends during festive holiday gatherings?

You won’t have to move in the snow. Let’s face it: Between the inevitable (yet unpredictable) snowstorms, frigid temperatures and diminishing daylight hours, it’s no fun to relocate during the winter — best to rev up those moving trucks before the worst of New England weather hits.

For a video on reasons to act quickly to sell your home during the fall season, check out this video from Focus Real Estate.