Just in case you haven’t noticed all the pumpkin spice around in the stores and the changing leaves on the trees, fall is here. If you were thinking about selling your home this year, the arrival of autumn can make you second-guess your plans.
Is it too late in the year to bother with a home sale, given that the holiday season is about to get into full swing? Halloween is right around the corner, and that doesn’t leave a lot of time before all the planning for the winter holidays gets started. After all, you know that spring and summer are usually the prime seasons for home sales since the good weather generally makes it easier to hunt for a home and go through the relocation process.
While all of this is true enough, it doesn’t mean a late-year home sale is the wrong thing to do, especially given that the 2020 real estate market remains hot. Experts anticipate the demand for home sales to continue to be strong for the rest of the year.
Still not convinced? Here’s what you should consider as you try to decide if this is (or isn’t) the right time for you to sell:
Internet Shopping Is Easy All Year Long
Did you know that about 93% of buyers do a significant portion of their home search online these days? Most of your potential buyers aren’t going to come for a viewing (especially during a pandemic) until they’ve checked out the property online.
Thanks to the magic of modern technology, potential buyers can browse through the rooms in your home while propped up in bed at night during the week and even check out what your home looks like in the spring and summer through your pictures. The weather really isn’t a hindrance, anymore, when it comes to house-hunting.
There Is Less Competition Among Sellers
It’s definitely a seller’s market right now in real estate, but you can use every boost you can get if you want the best price on your home. Putting your house up for sale just as other owners take their houses back off the market for the holiday season gives you less competition.
This may bring two different positive effects to your home sale. First, the lack of competition may lead to a very fast sale, which is always nice. Second, buyers may be willing to pay you a little extra to move out quickly (before the holidays) or offer you more than you’re asking to secure their bid. More money in your pocket is definitely a bonus.
The Fall and Winter Buyers Are More Motivated
One trouble every home seller faces in the spring and summer is the number of looky-loos who wander through open houses and ask a lot of questions just to alleviate their boredom or fulfill a streak of curiosity. You may also encounter folks who are just dreaming about the future but haven’t emotionally committed to buying just yet.
During the winter, your potential buyers usually mean business. The weather is too cold and the season is too busy to look around at homes for sale when someone’s not serious about buying. More than likely, the potential buyers you see at this time of the year are facing some kind of deadline that makes moving right now important, whether that’s a contract pending on their current home, a job change that requires relocation or a baby that’s on the way.
Buyers May Have Strong Financial Incentives to Act Now
One of the big things that holds people back from buying a home is the need for money. While they can afford the downpayment and mortgage (or they wouldn’t be able to get pre-approved for a loan), coming up with that extra chunk of change that goes toward moving expenses and new home furnishings can be rough.
End-of-the-year bonuses and the second “third pay” month of the year (which generally falls between October and December for folks who get paid biweekly) can give people the money they need to make relocation feasible.
Plus, there’s another big financial reason to buy before Dec. 31, 2020, rolls around: The real estate taxes, the interest on the mortgage and even private mortgage insurance (PMI) payments can usually be written off the taxes right away. Some new buyers may also be eligible to write off their moving expenses and take advantage of other tax breaks.
You Get to Showcase Your Home’s Comfort
When the weather starts to change, it’s normal for people to seek out warmth and comfort in their surroundings. If you’re trying to sell a house during the fall or winter, you have a fantastic opportunity to show your potential buyers just how warm and wonderful your home can be.
You can capitalize on the season by staging your home with that idea in mind. Put some logs on the fire, toss some cozy blankets over the chairs and add a few tasteful seasonal decorations so that buyers can easily see themselves comfortably hunkering down in your home until the spring thaws.
The conventional wisdom says that the end of summer means that selling your home is too time-consuming or difficult, and you’ll face a narrow market of buyers who may not give you the best offers, but the conventional wisdom is wrong. Any home that’s priced right and staged properly can sell, no matter what the season.