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Selling Season Is NOT Over | Real Estate

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Selling Season Is NOT Over
Real Estate
Selling Season Is NOT Over

If you have been trying to buy or sell a home and the end of the spring-summer real estate season is stressing you out, The Castles By Chrissy Team says "relax!"

Even though real estate sales do fall off at the end of warm weather, there's still plenty of buying and selling coming this fall and winter.

Remember, sales volume is not your problem. The only house you care about is the one you're selling or hoping to buy.

Real estate isn't nearly as seasonal as it used to be. If a house is priced and marketed appropriately, no matter what time of year it is, there will be a buyer for it.

What's more, many home buyers and sellers are bucking the seasonal nature of residential real estate. They're finding that buying or selling houses in the fall and winter months has many advantages -- not the least of which are the gorgeous fall leaf colors and holiday decorations that showcase many homes to their fullest potential.

No matter which side of the transaction you're on, you can make the off-season work to your advantage. Here's why:

Sellers

  • Buyers are motivated. Many off-season buyers are more serious than some among the horde who descend like locusts on open houses in the spring. After all, there's a reason they didn't buy during the peak season. Perhaps they didn't have enough for a down payment or couldn't get financed. The fact that they've entered the market in a downtime might be very meaningful.
  • There is a second season. While sales definitely fall off in the early fall, they usually escalate again in October in many parts of the country.
  • Cyber sales. The expansion of the Internet and the numbers of people who use it have added a significant off-season dimension to real estate sales. Potential buyers can now find properties for sale in the comfort of their home through a vast array of Web sites. Virtual tours can take them into homes and they can preview neighborhoods, schools and city information before venturing out.
  • Hindsight. When you put up a home for sale in the fall or winter, you have the advantage of hindsight: You and your agent can review which homes sold quickly in your area during the warm-weather "peak season." This gives you the chance to adjust your price and terms accordingly and to make your home more marketable.
  • There's less competition. How many times did that darling house you had your eye on in May get bought out from under you while you and your spouse talked over making an offer the very next day?
  • Sellers are often pressured. Motivation is critical in any real estate situation. Find out how long the house has been on the market. If it's been hanging around awhile, there's a good chance the seller is getting antsy.
  • Interest rates. If you're ready to buy, waiting until next spring can spell disaster. Many experts think we've seen the end of record-low interest rates and that mortgage rates will only go up from here.
 

Helpful tips for selling or buying in the off season:

Sellers:

  • Make sure your home is priced right. Many real estate professionals think price, price, price is just as important as location, location, location.
  • Take advantage of the lack of competition and work with your real estate agent to make sure your home makes a great first impression.
  • Go the extra mile to make sure exterior landscapes are well maintained. Gardens tend to look a bit bare in the cooler months. Brighten up bare garden spots with seasonal plants. Rake leaves, prune back spent plants and shrubs and keep sidewalks and driveways clear of snow or ice.
  • Check your heating system as part of your pre-sale inspection. Does it make strange noises, emit odd smells or simply not work very well? If you can't afford to make repairs in advance, get written bids and share them with potential buyers. It takes away a lot of 'unknowns' about potential expenses.
  • Repair or reinstall storm windows, if you have them. A warm house is a definite asset during the fall and winter.
  • Don't skimp on holiday decorations. Autumn wreaths and holiday lights make homes look great at this time of year.
  • Bring in the light. Wash all windows, open drapes or blinds, and turn on lamps. Buyers are attracted to light-filled homes during the darker months.

Buyers:

  • Keep in mind that days run shorter during the fall and winter. Plan on allowing more time to tour homes during the day and on weekends, rather than in the evenings after work.
  • Take time to visit the local schools, once you find a home you like. It's much easier to get a sense of the schools and talk to administrators and teachers while school is in session.
  • Watch for signs of basement water damage or foundation drainage problems. Some areas have basement flooding in the spring, so you won't see actual water in the basement in fall or winter, but you'll see the effects of damage, such as discolorations on ceilings, walls or flooring.
  • Keep an eye out for good deals. Some buyers forget that it's easier to get a good look at a house, and feel less pressured to make a quick decision, during the off-season.
If you are interested in buying or selling- call us today to see if the timing is right for you!  404.925.5335  
Real Estate