Selling a house in autumn can be difficult with fewer buyers and less inventory, not to mention fast-approaching holidays, but it’s not impossible. There are some things you can do to improve your chances of a sale in the fall.
1. Price It Right
Analyze your local market to determine its condition in the fall. Most times the number of houses for sale dips, and there are fewer buyers, but they are eager to purchase. Rather than overprice, ask for less to encourage more showings.
Be aware that the longer a house sits on the market, the less likely it’ll sell, because buyers will think there’s something wrong with it.
2. Be Prepared to Move
A fast sale goes better with a fast closing. Holidays are coming up quick. If you manage to sell before school starts, you’ll want to move into your new place before it does. So be ready to move out of your old house when the closing papers are signed.
3. Check the HVAC
Your HVAC is one of the most important components of your house. When the weather turns colder in autumn, it needs to be in working order. Get it inspected and perform necessary maintenance so that it keeps your house comfortable when buyers visit.
4. Perform Seasonal Maintenance
Be prepared for the buyer’s home inspector to give your house a thorough once-over. A house in working order sells faster, so you’ll want to perform seasonal maintenance, as necessary. Here are some essential fall house maintenance items:
- Clean gutters and downspouts
- Check heating system, fireplace and chimney
- Prepare plumbing and drainage systems for cold weather
- Inspect insulation and ventilation
Additional items include inspecting the windows and doors, weatherstripping and trim, and protecting the house against pests.
5. Clean Up the Exterior
Fall foliage falls. You need to maintain your curb appeal by raking leaves, removing sticks, weeding flower beds, and trimming shrubbery. You can also enhance it by using autumn accents, like pumpkins and potted mums.
6. Improve Lighting
Shorter, darker days after the time change make a house look less inviting. Open the blinds, turn on lights inside the house, and consider replacing your outdoor lights. The more warm light you offer, the more appealing your property appears.
7. Keep It Cozy
Autumn tends to get colder, and buyers are easily distracted in a cold house. Keep the thermostat at a comfortable temperature, and consider lighting the fireplace, if you have one. Turn on the lights, and add accents, like pillows and a nice, fall-colored throw to staged rooms.
Sell to an Investor
Fall is a busy season. School starts, and the holidays are around the corner. If you want to sell fast and move into your new house sooner rather than later, consider selling to a real estate investor.
Most investors pay cash for a property “as-is,” and they save you time by forgoing mortgage approval, traditional sale warranties and inspections. They also let you pick the closing date, which can be in a month, 15 days or less. You can enjoy a quick closing and be in your new house in time for autumn (and later winter) happenings.