Has the spring and summer peak real estate market passed you by? It’s not too late to buy or sell your home! Even if the peak season is behind you, Realtor® Elizabeth Faulkner says selling a home is possible any time of the year! Check out Elizabeth’s valuable pointers and get ready to make exciting changes!
Thank you to Elizabeth Faulkner for sponsoring this article.
Here we are in August. The kids are returning to school, summer travels have come to an end and cooler temps are in our not-so-distant future. Another thing that typically cools off in fall is the real estate market. In a typical year, April through June are the busiest months for real estate. More homes hit the market during these months than any other time of year. April – June is also when the highest number of home buyers are actively house hunting. Why is this? This is mostly due to families preferring to move after one school year ends and before the next one begins. For this reason, sellers often put their home on the market in spring, regardless of whether or not they have kids in school.
Does that mean houses won’t sell during the other 9 months of the year? Absolutely not! Homes can and will sell during each and every single month of the year. Here are some things home sellers need to consider if they plan to put their house on the market during the off-peak real estate market.
Tip #1: Declutter, Organize and Neutralize
Whether it’s during or after the peak season, this is the first step of selling any home. And, it may be the most important step when selling after peak season! With the possibility of fewer buyers searching for a home, presenting your home in the best possible light is more critical than ever. Before you have those professional real estate photos taken, remember the basics of staging your home:
- Remove personal photos from walls and surfaces.
- Get rid of any outdated features like popcorn ceilings and old carpet.
- Paint the interior of the home a neutral color.
- Remove excess furniture from rooms so they appear larger.
- Remove half of the items from each closet so storage space isn’t in question.
Tip #2: Skip the Seasonal Décor (for photos!)
I see it all the time. I’ll be searching for a home for a client and see photos with a beautiful Christmas tree in the family room. Great! Except I’m looking at photos in February. My point? Keep your photos season-neutral, no matter when they are taken.
Yes, your “It’s Fall Y’all” front entry sign is adorable but not in a real estate photo in being viewed in December. Be sure to remove any and all holiday décor before the real estate photographer shows up. Nothing screams “this house is taking a long time to sell” like a photo with snow on the ground in May!
Tip #3: Don’t Forget the Virtual Tour
When your real estate agent is hiring the professional photographer, be sure they also provide a virtual tour of your home. Preferably a virtual tour, like Matterport, that allows home shoppers to virtually walk through the home, step by step, in order to get a feel for the flow of the home.
A Matterport tour will allow a potential buyer to tour your home without ever stepping foot into the property. Which is especially important during the colder months when buyers may prefer to tour properties from the warmth of their own home. Make sure you have the best virtual tour option available for home shoppers to see!
Tip #4: Show Off Your Holiday Home
Yes, I just finished saying you shouldn’t have professional real estate photos taken with seasonal items in view. That said, if your home is on the market during a specific season, you absolutely should charm it up during the season!
Be careful to show off your home’s seasonal side in a tasteful way. Maybe your home has a banister that looks amazing with Christmas garland wrapped around it. Go for it! Perhaps your home’s entry looks super charming in the fall with pumpkins and mums on the front steps. Yep, do that too. Just don’t go crazy on this. Keep it tasteful, simple and, most importantly, do not let your seasonal décor outshine the beauty of your home. Decorate just enough to allow buyers to envision what their holidays could look like in the home!
Tip #5: Offer House Hunters a Respite from less-than-ideal Weather Conditions
When house hunters are touring homes during colder and wetter months, try to make the environment as inviting as possible. During the winter months, light a fire, bake fresh cookies or leave a thermos of hot cocoa for them to enjoy while touring your home.
Encourage home shoppers to sit and enjoy the fire or a warm drink while they take in the best features of your home. Also, be sure to offer a place to put a wet umbrella or shoes when entering your home. Focus on making less-than-perfect weather conditions work in your favor when selling your home during fall or winter.
Tip #6: Remember Who is House Hunting
Home shoppers touring properties in the fall and winter months are often very motivated buyers. Whatever brings a buyer into the real estate market during the winter or holiday season, they are likely to need to quickly get into a home. This is great for sellers!
You know what else benefits home sellers during off peak real estate months? Fewer homes for buyers to choose from. Many sellers take their unsold home off the market at the end of the summer. Which means your home has a great opportunity to stand out and really shine when house hunters show up at your doorstep! Embrace the opportunity!
You’ve Got This
Selling a home can be a stressful and often challenging situation. We all know that the spring and summer months are the busiest months in real estate. However, that certainly doesn’t mean selling a home in fall or winter doesn’t come with its own set of perks!
Focus on the positives of selling a home during the off-peak months of the year and show house hunters why your house should be their house. You may be surprised to find that your home sells just as quickly in December as it would have in May!