Real Estate Matters by John Baer, SRES
As We Enter the Autumn Months, It’s Still a Seller’s Market
Did you know that home selling in autumn is the second best time of the year to sell your home? It’s not just sweater weather that creates static electricity in autumn, but during these months people are generally happy and relaxed as the temperature begins to drop. In the fall there tend to be fewer buyers, but usually those who are still in the market are serious buyers. They can work to your advantage as a home seller.
Not only do you typically have less competition and serious buyers in the fall, but September and October are often the best months, weather-wise. Homes with mature trees show extremely well in late September and October. In general, late summer days, with the sun, blue skies and mild temperatures are great times to market a home.
Once more, there have been more buyers looking for homes and a lack of inventory of homes in Westchester this past summer and as a result listing your home for sale this fall may well be a very wise decision particularly since mortgage rates remain at or near historic lows. Further, no one knows what the market will be like in six months.
So, here are several important tips for attracting autumn home buyers:
· A home shopper’s first impression is everything. The moment a shopper pulls up to the curb, the homebuyer makes an instant judgment. You will want to make sure it’s positive. You can begin by making sure your leaves are raked, and your shrubs and bushes are pruned. Make sure that your gardens aren’t filled with dead vegetation, and that your windows are sparkling. Windows may be smudged by wind during the spring and summer. Even if you don’t notice, buyers will. Make sure your walkway is free of leaves and debris. Display autumn flowers in the front of the house such as marigolds or chrysanthemums which bloom for a long time. Make sure gutters are free from debris and are draining properly.
· You want to make sure that the air inside your home smells fresh. When was the last time you changed your furnace filter? You can buy 90 day furnace filters. Have the HVAC system checked before you need to turn on the heat. Besides, the buyer will ask a home inspector to look at your HVAC. If you discover problems with your furnace, it’s better to fix them before your home goes on the market. Add a little more autumn scent to your home with a few candles. Most people adore a good smelling candle, one that infiltrates your home with its aroma and lingers for a couple days. In fact, you may even wish to have apple cider on hand or strategically place flowers with full colors in rooms. After all, selling a home is really merchandising it.
· One excellent investment is to make sure that the paint on your walls are not cracked or chipped. Before you list your home for sale, touchup the paint on your walls and keep the colors neutral and light. A light yellow or beige will make the room feel cooler than brick red or dark taupe. And speaking of light, let the light in. Open blinds and curtains so plenty of light illuminates the home’s interior.
The bottom line is, this fall, buyers are still looking for a good selection of homes from which they can make an offer. And since the inventory of Westchester homes remains low, you may as well list your home this fall if you are seriously planning to sell and to receive a good price for your home.
John E. Baer, SRES, DPA is a NYS licensed real estate salesperson associated with Prudential Centennial Realty of Scarsdale and Larchmont. He can be reached for questions at 914/600-6086 or at 914/844-2059. His website is www.WestchesterHomes.info.