While I am hanging onto the last bit of summer as hard as I can, those cooler temperatures have already started to roll in, stores have lined their shelves with fall décor, and Starbucks has already released their pumpkin spice latte for the season. While August just ended, fall is basically here. And with fall comes a different real estate market, but one that has its own specific set of advantages for selling your property. If you think you ‘missed’ the prime spring market and have to wait until next year, this just may change your mind! Here are some reasons why I believe fall could be one of the best times to sell your home in the Waterloo and Wellington Regions.
It’s no secret that the spring season is the busiest time in the real estate market in KW, Cambridge, and Guelph. By waiting until the fall, there are significantly less houses on the market to compete with. In fact, by the time fall rolls around, most sellers have already sold their place – leaving buyers with fewer options and potentially driving the amount of yours up.
More Serious Buyers
With the change in season comes a change in the buyers as well. During the summer months, a lot of buyers are more focused on weekends at the cottage and family vacations. While this isn’t true for all buyers, a lot are less committed in the heart of summer. Once fall hits, the buyers who are out looking are more dedicated now and hoping to get into something before the snow and holidays start, making them much more eager and willing to get a deal in place.
You’ll also get the buyers who have been looking since the spring – the ones that have toured, offered, and lost. These buyers know what they want and are willing to pay a pretty penny for it.
Exterior Maintenance and Curb Appeal
Rather than listing in the spring with unfinished exterior work, use those warmer months to do the small projects on your honey-do-list, and put your house on the market in the fall once they have been completed. This will not only help to sell your house and get you more for it but adding to your overall curb appeal!
Small projects with a big impact include; upgrading your mailbox, painting the front door, staining your deck, and adding functional lighting to your outdoor spaces. Just because the cold weather is rolling in doesn’t mean you should neglect your lawn and gardens either – be sure to rake leaves, remove loose sticks, weed flower beds, and trim shrubs to help your house look its best.
Chances are that if you’re selling in the fall, you are also buying. Some of these properties will be the left over from the busy spring market, and are usually desperate to make a deal, giving you the upper hand on both your new home, and the ability to make more strategic decisions on the sale of your current one.
Staging – Inside and Out
I’m a firm believer in staging sells. Because, well, it does. Staging can not only get you more for your house, but it helps buyers visualize it as their home rather than yours. Staging in the fall months is best to play up coziness and comfort. Buyers coming in your home on a chilly fall morning want to feel comfortable upon entering – try arranging your furniture to make your fireplace the focal point of the room if you have one, add extra plush blankets and throw pillows to couches and beds, use seasonal scents like apple cider and cinnamon to give your house a wonderful fall aroma, and let in as much light as possible.
Typically, autumn buyers are millennials or empty-nesters, as they don’t have the stress of being in a new home before the first week of school. Staging a bedroom as a home office or tv space helps to appeal to this demographic who doesn’t necessarily need that 3rd or 4th bedroom by giving them a visual of what else it can be. It’s important to note that staging isn’t just for the interior of a home either. Adding outdoor lights to your patio and making the front porch warm and inviting with a welcome mat, planters, and statement arrangements really makes a difference. Most people invest in front porch planters for the spring and summer but empty them come fall. Instead, try adding evergreen branches and suitable colours for the season to help liven up the space.
There is no season quite like Fall – it’s the perfect weather to get outside and go for a hike, take your dog for a walk, enjoy activities the city has to offer, and even list your property. Instead of sitting across the street in your parked car when those fall buyers come knocking for their private showing, you can take advantage of one of the many fall activities that the season is always jampacked with around the region, including; the 5-acre corn maze at Snyder’s Family Farm, picking apples at Chudleigh’s, or finding the perfect pumpkin from Strom’s Farm and Bakery (and grabbing a dozen butter tarts for the road).
Fall not only offers seasonal activities and festivals, but some of the most beautiful and picturesque times of the year. Nothing says ‘home’ more to buyers than a warm and inviting autumn setting, helping them to fall in love with your house – plus the vibrant colour of leaves help with exterior photos!