Should I Sell My Home In The Fall Or Winter?

Kyle Hiscock
Published on September 27, 2016

Should I Sell My Home In The Fall Or Winter?

Tips For Selling A Home In The Fall Or Winter Months

Should I Sell My Home In The Fall Or Winter

Should I Sell My Home In The Fall Or Winter

Now that fall is officially here, there are many potential home sellers who will be asking themselves if they should sell their home during the fall or winter seasons.  Many potential home sellers believe that homes don’t sell during the fall or winter seasons.  This is actually a pretty common real estate myth.

The truth is that homes sell all year long!  There are certainly some differences between selling a home during the spring months and selling a home during the winter months, however, it can be done.  Home sellers who follow the proper steps and tips in the fall or winter months will enjoy a successful home sale.

In this article you’ll find out the answer to a common question that is asked this time of year, “should I sell my home in the fall or winter?”  Read on to find out what the best tips are for selling a home during the fall or winter and also why it’s potentially a great time to sell your home.  After reading this article, if you decide to sell your home during the fall or winter months, you’ll be dancing all the way to the bank to cash that hefty proceeds check from your home sale!

Inventory Levels Historically Are Lower

One of most common reasons why selling a home during the fall or winter months is a great idea is because the number of homes that are for sale during these months is much less than their counterparts, spring or summer.  There are a number of reasons why real estate markets are different and inventory levels are one big reason.

For example, someone selling a home in Penfield NY during the fall or winter months will face less competition because many sellers don’t want people walking through their home with snow covered boots during the winter so they will wait until spring to list their home.  On the other hand, a seller in San Diego, CA will potentially face the same competition during the fall or winter months than they would during the spring or summer because they don’t deal with poor weather conditions.

It’s important when determining whether to sell your home during the fall or winter months that you understand what happens to the inventory levels in your local market.  If you’re looking for that information and not sure where to find it, you should consult with a local real estate expert who has experience selling homes all year long in your market.  They’ll be able to provide you with the data and statistics to help you determine if your market experiences lower inventory levels during the fall or winter months.

Great Opportunity To Target A Buyers Emotions

Selling A Home During Fall & Winter Months Provide A Great Opportunity To Target Home Buyers Emotions!

Selling A Home During Fall & Winter Months Provide A Great Opportunity To Target Home Buyers Emotions!

Both the fall and winter months are filled with some of the most popular holidays.  One of the best tips for selling a home during the fall that is suggested is to embrace the season and it’s no different for winter home selling.

As you decide whether you should sell your home during the fall or winter months, remember, that these months give you a prime opportunity to target a buyers emotions.  Since selling and buying a home is often emotional, decorating a home for Halloween or the Holidays is a great way to help a buyer envision themselves spending their next holiday in your home.

There are many tips for staging a home during the winter and fall months.  Below are some of the most popular ways to improve the chances a buyer becomes emotionally attached to your home if you decide to sell your home during the fall or winter months.

  • Decorate your home with “warm” colors
  • Emphasize comfort during the cooler months
  • Use seasonal scents such as cinnamon, apple, and pumpkin
  • Turn up the heat/Turn on the fireplace
  • Don’t forget fall or winter curb appeal

 

As the last bullet above indicates, do not forgot about the curb appeal of your home if you decide to sell during the fall or winter months.  There are tons of great resources available that provide fall and winter curb appeal tips.  When selling your home, you only have one opportunity to make a first impression and often times, the curb appeal of your home is how a buyer will decide what their impression is.

Accurate Pricing Is Vital

Pricing a home right is important no matter the season.  If you’re trying to decide whether to sell your home during the fall or winter months, you need to understand that pricing your home not only accurate but aggressive is vital.

Aggressive real estate pricing is when a home is priced to attract tons of activity the first few days or week a home is listed for sale.  The goal is to end up with multiple offers on your home which should mean at least one offer at asking price or over.  Aggressive real estate pricing is one of the ways to generate multiple offers when selling a home.

As mentioned above, inventory levels are lower during the fall or winter months but it’s also important to understand that the number of buyers shopping for homes typically is lower during these months too.  Since there are fewer buyers in the marketplace, pricing a home higher to leave room for negotiations will not work because a buyer will just elect to not look at a home they feel is overpriced.  Leaving room for negotiations is a very common real estate pricing mistake that home sellers make and must be avoided if you’re selling a home during the fall or winter months.

Unpredictable Mortgage Interest Rates

Mortgage interest rates are unpredictable and no one can predict what they will do over the next few weeks or months.  Currently the interest rates are at historic lows which is great for home sellers and buyers alike.

An increase in mortgage interest rates can make a huge impact on how much a buyer is able to afford.  If interest rates increase 1% between now and the spring market, it could drastically change the number of buyers who are able to purchase your home.

As potential home buyers are deciding which type of mortgage is the best fit for their situation, one of the biggest factor are the interest rates.  A 1% increase in interest rates reduces a buyers potential purchase price by 11%.  This means a buyer who is qualifying for a mortgage up to $200,000 right at current rates will only qualify for $178,000 if the interest rates rise 1% over the fall and winter months.

Not only does an increase in interest rates decrease the number of potential buyers of your home, it also can decrease your purchasing power.  If you’re buying and selling a home at the same time and interest rates increase over the fall and winter months while you wait to list your home, you may not be able to afford the home you desire in the spring or summer.

Fewer Window Shoppers

Selling A Home During The Fall Or Winter Months Typically Equals Fewer Window Shoppers

Selling A Home During The Fall Or Winter Months Typically Equals Fewer Window Shoppers

As you decide whether you want to sell your home during the fall or winter months, something to keep in mind is that buyers who buy homes during these months tend to be more serious.  A buyer who is willing to trudge through snow or view homes while it’s pouring rain is truly serious about buying a home, that is a guarantee.

During the spring and summer months there are more buyers looking at homes, but many of them are not seriously looking to buy.  Some of the type of people you’ll find attending open houses during the spring and summer months include “Larry the Lookie Lou” and “Nosy Ned The Neighbor.”

Both of these buyers are truly not interested in purchasing your home but have nothing better to do than window shop.  The fall and winter months often weeds these type of people out because they aren’t willing to trudge through snow or get rained on just to look at homes.

The potential buyers who are looking to buy a home during the fall or winter months buy quicker than those looking in the spring and summer months.  One reason for this is because these buyers want to be done with shopping for homes, especially in climates that experience harsh winters.  Another reason is because buyers in the spring and summer months often have more homes to choose from and feel they can be more selective when looking at homes and will want to view more properties.

Potential Job Relocation

There are fewer window shoppers during the fall and winter months, which is a great thing for a home seller.  The possibility of people being relocated to a new city for the upcoming years first quarter is a great reason to sell during the fall and winter months.

If you’re selling a home in an area that is experiencing growth in the number of job opportunities, selling a home during the fall or winter months is a good idea because these companies will want their employees settled before the first quarter begins.

For example, a local company in Rochester NY, Paychex, is currently looking to fill several hundred positions.  People who are relocating to Rochester NY to fill these positions are in the market to buy a home now, during the fall or winter.  This is great news for local Rochester home sellers as it increases the number of prospective buyers for their homes.

If you happen to live close to a large company that is hiring, a top real estate agent in your area will know how to target these prospective buyers.  A top listing agent will know the proper marketing strategies to sell a home and how to target these people relocating to your area.

Quicker Real Estate Transactions

During the fall and winter months in most real estate markets, there are fewer transactions.  This means mortgage lenders, appraisers, home inspectors, and other parties involved in a transaction have more time to devote to your home sale.  If there are fewer transactions occurring this can often result in a quicker home sale for you.

It’s important to understand that there is no set amount of time it takes to sell a home, however, a good estimate is generally 60 days.  During the busy spring and summer months, since there are more transactions occurring, the number of days for a real estate transaction typically is higher than the fall or winter months.

The Verdict

As you can see above, there are many great reasons to sell a home during the fall or winter months.  If you’ve decided that you’re going to sell your home in the next several months, waiting can actually be a bad decision.

If you’re unsure whether now is the right time to sell your home, there are many ways to know it’s the right time to sell your home.  Consulting with your friends, family, and a top listing agent is a great way to analyze whether you should sell your home during the fall or winter months.

Other Resources For Selling A Home In The Fall Or Winter


Are you thinking about selling a home in Rochester this fall or winter?  If so, being aware of the above information should help you make an educated decision.  If you haven’t hired a top Rochester real estate agent yet to sell your home, contact me and I’d love to setup an appointment to discuss your home sale!

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About the authors: The above article “Should I Sell My Home In The Fall Or Winter?” was provided by the Keith Hiscock Sold Team (Keith & Kyle Hiscock). With over 30 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.

We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.

© 2016, Kyle Hiscock. All rights reserved.

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