While the real estate market tends to slow down as the weather cools, there are still plenty of golden opportunities for sellers. Here are some ways you can pique buyer interest and close at the right price before the winter is upon us.
- Hire an experienced agent. During the fall, serious buyers are usually very motivated to buy quickly before the bad weather and busy holiday season set in. Unfortunately, since autumn is an off-peak season, there are fewer buyers than there are during the spring. When selling in a slower market, it’s important to rely on a seasoned real estate agent who knows how to target motivated buyers. When interviewing agents, ask about their experience and have them give you their strategies for selling a home in an off-peak season.
- Price your home to sell. During the fall, you need to have a price that will raise eyebrows for all the right reasons. While you shouldn’t expect a multiple-offer situation that will drive up the price, don’t feel compelled to accept low-ball offers. Using your agent’s expertise and neighborhood comparisons, settle on a good listing price that reflects realistic expectations based on the fall versus the spring.
- Illuminate your home. When days start getting shorter, the sun will cast broader shadows as it sits lower on the horizon. To give your home a bright, warm feel, it’s important to prioritize lighting. Open the shutters, pull up the blinds and push aside the drapes on each window. Turn on almost every light and consider brightening darker, windowless rooms by placing spotlights on the floor behind furniture.
- Tackle major and minor repairs. When the real estate market slows during the fall, buyers enjoy more negotiating power. The last thing you want to do is give them additional leverage or excuses to lower their offer prices. Be sure to address any issues that could be viewed as red flags in an inspection. This includes roof repairs, old water stains or HVAC system problems.
- Get your HVAC system inspected. During the fall, it’s very common for buyers to ask a seller to have a home’s furnace cleaned and inspected before closing. Get out in front of this task, so you can show prospective buyers the receipt early on in the process. This will also allow you to handle any unexpected repairs that might be uncovered during an inspection.
- Focus on outdoor areas. Modern homeowners want nice outdoor spaces where they can imagine themselves entertaining and enjoying time with family. Just because the weather is cooling off, doesn’t mean you can neglect this important part of your home.
One of the greatest mistakes sellers make during the fall is ignoring their exteriors. In addition to framing outdoor living space in optimal light, you want to make sure you clean up your yard. Some of the most important autumn clean-up tasks include:
- Removing debris and loose sticks
- Raking up stray leaves
- Weeding flower beds and removing dead plants
- Trimming bushes, flowers and shrubs
- Aerating the lawn and fertilizing grass roots
It’s also very important to clean out your gutters during the fall. This will show buyers that you have taken good care of the property, since clogged gutters can allow water to drain abnormally and damage roofing or compromise the integrity of a home’s foundation.
- Perform thorough indoor maintenance. Savvy buyers notice even the smallest details, and certain flaws are more noticeable during the colder seasons.
Before you schedule a showing, be sure to:
- Insulate around doors and windows since drafts are much more noticeable in the fall.
- Remove cobwebs, which tend to accumulate during the fall.
- Address any eyesores; use touched-up paint and new caulking to freshen up bathrooms and the kitchen.
- Replace air filters to prevent excessive dust and stale smells throughout the house.
Are you thinking about putting your home on the market? The Wheaton Team can help. Our experienced team specializes in residential real estate throughout El Paso County, including the Tri-Lakes area and Colorado Springs. Let us guide you through the complex selling process, so you can get a timely sale at a price that will leave you smiling.