Summer is often billed as the best time to sell a house. But there are advantages to waiting until autumn to put it on the market, says Elba I. Cox, principal broker and owner of EcoPro Realty Group in Lake Oswego.
Summer means visitors, vacations, and kids who are leaving messes everywhere. “”In the fall the kids are in school, so they’re not in the house all day long,” Cox says. “You can keep the house in better shape and ready to be shown on short notice.” Plus you’re more likely to be home and able to attend to any selling-related needs.
Abundant sunlight makes homes look great in the summer months, but don’t discount the beauty that autumn brings. “In the summertime most people keep their yards pristine,” Cox says. “In the fall a lot of them slack off, so if you keep your house looking nice, it’s automatically going to stand out and have curb appeal.” Flowers don’t need such frequent waterings, and changing leaves add an eye-catching touch.
Inside the house, Cox recommends decorating to match the season. “Those warming fall colors make a home even homier,” she says. “Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and other themed decorations can do the same thing as long as you’re not overly decorating.” When the days get shorter, people tend to use more light in décor, and that can be used to spotlight areas a seller wants to highlight.
Summer is a busy time for listing agents. Selling in the fall means you’ll have more of their attention. In may be possible to get better deals on other services too. Contractors have less work and are less likely to charge overtime. Movers may offer specials.
When the weather is nice, open houses attract more lookie-loos. “The really serious buyers are out in the early spring, when there’s still frost on the grass, or the beginning of the fall,” Cox says. “That could mean you sell your home faster because you get quality buyers coming through.” Getting cash in your pocket with less effort is definitely something worth waiting for.