It’s a unique time of the year for the real estate market right now. Fall is just days away and you might be considering selling your home.
With COVID-19 causing adjustments to the market, it’s not the same as a typical year. Usually, the fall and winter wouldn’t be the best time of year to sell, compared to the spring and summer. However, this year is a bit different.
The lower interest rates and slower spring market has caused more buyers to seek out homes over the past few months. This means you might be entering into a strong seller’s market during the fall and/or winter.
If you know you will be listing your home for sale soon, it’s important to know if you should list now (in the fall) or wait until the winter. Let’s compare the two options.
Fall vs. Winter: Inventory Levels
Usually, the inventory of homes available is lower in the winter than in the fall. Both seasons typically offer fewer homes for sale compare to the spring and summer, however.
This year, it might be a bit different as some sellers have been waiting to list their homes. However, the fall and the winter season are still expected to have lower inventory numbers, especially compared to spring 2021 and summer 2021.
If things start to go back to normal in early 2021, the real estate market could see many sellers listing their homes in the spring. Now might be the best time to sell, when it comes to lower inventory numbers.
Listing your home for sale in the fall might help you take full advantage of the lower inventory. It’s possible some sellers that have been waiting could decide to list their home in the winter, especially once the election is over.
Fall vs. Winter: Buyer’s Emotions
Both the fall and the winter offer sellers an opportunity to target buyer’s emotions. The fall offers a great time to decorate your home to connect with the changing season. Of course, the right scented candle could bring pleasant memories of hayrides, pumpkin carving, or that delicious pumpkin spice latte so many people love.
The winter offers an opportunity to enjoy a cozy decor for staging your home. If you have a fireplace, this is a good time to use it to your advantage. Of course, you’ll want to remember to create amazing curb appeal, whether you sell in the fall or winter, as well.
Fall vs. Winter: Timing
There isn’t one right answer to the question, should you sell your home in the fall or the winter? The right answer depends on your specific situation. You want to choose the right timing for you.
Many sellers try to “time” the market, but don’t consider the right timing for them. It’s not as important to time the market perfectly, right now, than to decide if selling your home in the fall makes sense for you.
It’s important to look at your finances, your employment situation, and your future plans before you choose to sell. If it’s the right time to sell in the fall, find a good real estate agent and list your home. If not, wait and see if the winter offers better timing for you.
Fall vs. Winter: Interest Rates
More buyers are looking currently due to lower interest rates. However, the interest rates may not stay at historic lows for much longer as they are unpredictable.
While it’s not difficult to predict what the interest rates will do over the next few weeks to a month, it’s hard to know where they will sit in the winter. If you like the low interest rates now and you think it will bring more buyers to your listing, then the fall is the right time to sell.
An increase in the interest rates before or during the winter could cause an adjustment in the real estate market. If the rates go up, fewer buyers may continue looking.
Fall vs. Winter: Serious Buyers
The spring and summer are huge seasons for home sales. However, they are also the top seasons for lookie-loos.
Fall and winter bring more serious buyers and fewer window shoppers to the market. This can be a big advantage for sellers. Typically, the winter will have even fewer window shoppers compared to the fall.
With the combination of normal fall and winter market conditions and COVID-19 adjustments, listing your home for sale now could mean you only deal with serious buyers. Many not so serious buyers are not out looking at homes. Maybe they are still looking online, but they aren’t scheduling appointments to see homes in person.
If you like the idea of dealing with only serious buyers, it might be a great time to list your home for sale.
It’s not an easy decision when it’s time to sell your home. There’s no “right” time to list your home for sale and the current state of the market should only be one of the factors you consider.
Whether you’re relocating to a different area or need a smaller or larger home, listing your home for sale in the fall or winter, depends on your specific situation. If you’re not sure, speak to a professional real estate agent for sound advice.