You hear it all the time... Spring and Summer are selling season in the real estate world. And the rumors are true. Much of this is due to the school calendar. But I'm going to let you in on a little secret here... selling your home in the Fall and Winter has it's advantages too! Yep, true story. Not only can you sell your Pelham, Alabaster, Helena or Chelsea home during the holidays but you can sell it FASTER. Check this out:
- Less Competition. When you're selling your house, competition sucks. There's really no such thing as a "little friendly competition" in real estate. More houses on the market means more choices for buyers and often means lower prices for buyers too. You have to really make your home sparkle and shine during this time to set it apart from the many others. You've got to offer incentives and keep your price competitive. But list your home during the off season and you can relax a little.
- Serious Buyers. The typical "we're in no rush but we may buy a new house" homebuyer will wait for the Spring and Summer. So will the "we're wasting your time coming to see your house because we're really not qualified for a mortgage but we do this every summer" homebuyer. However the really serious shoppers know no season! They know what they want and they know what they can afford and they're ready to close on it as soon as they find it. They have an agent and maybe a saved search that will alert them the second your home goes on the market if it meets their criteria. And when they see your home and decide it's the one, no cool weather or holiday get together is going to slow them down. Another great Fall and Winter buyer is the "I need a house quick because I'm being relocated" guy. These shoppers are also serious and ready to buy. They have a short time frame to relocate for work and their main concern is that they find a home that meet their needs and is move-in ready. You've gotta love a season when you know the people walking through your house are actually seriously considering buying your house.
- Holiday Decor. Especially in the South, we LOVE our holiday decor. We decorate for Thanksgiving and Christmas and most of us take it pretty seriously. Listing your home for sale during this time period means you get to show off all those holiday decorations and the buyers get to see your home in it's most festive and inviting state. You've certainly got an edge when they open the door and see that you not only have a fireplace but it actually works and it's just beautiful with stockings hanging from the mantle. Or maybe they see that staircase looking extra special with garland and lights wrapped around the railing. This is truly my favorite time of the year to show houses. It gets dark earlier and often times the potential buyers get to see the entire neighborhood lit up for Christmas.
- The Numbers. Numbers don't lie. And the numbers tell us that when Pelham, Alabaster, Helena and Chelsea homes were listed during the Fall and Winter time, the days on market averaged LESS than when they were listed during the Spring and Summer. According to Greater Alabama MLS, the average days on market for homes listed in March 2014 through August 2014 was 118. Meanwhile the average days on market for homes listed in September 2014 through February 2015 was 80. That means the homes listed during the Fall and Winter months sold over an entire month faster!