Selling Your House This Fall: Staging and Negotiation Tips

Posted in General Blog | 03/10/2012

Windsor Property

Windsor Property

A recent unofficial survey asked people what their favorite season of the year was.  The majority of those chose fall.  With 36% of the vote, those responding said they preferred the cooler and shorter days and for many, children were back in school!

For homeowners putting their property on the market this fall, this can be a perfect time to take advantage of everything that appeals to those who embrace the fall season.  This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your home with seasonal staging, pricing and, once the offer is made, negotiating tips so that your buyer will settle in before the holidays.

Curb Appeal

This was recently discussed on this site a few days ago, but it should be repeated that curb appeal is what will get your buyers in the door.  Stay away from cutesy ornaments, but have pots full of colorful mums, a few pumpkins if necessary and maybe a fall themed wreath on the door to give your home an inviting look.  Just be sure that leaves are routinely raked and repair any brown patches in the grass.  Finally, remember that as the leaves fall, your home is more and more exposed.  If necessary, repair chipped paint, dirty siding and clean gutters and downspout.

Autumn Scents

Fall means all kinds of good things, including wonderful aromas of apples and cinnamon.  Without going overboard, make sure that when a buyer walks into your home, that it is warm and welcoming.  Perhaps before a showing, burn a cinnamon-scented candle.  Remember to open the blinds to let in as much sun as possible.  While keeping your house as clutter free as possible, replace summer accessories with soft blankets and plush towels.

Fireplace

Buyers love a fireplace so by all means, now is the time to flaunt it!  Make this be the focal point of your room as this is a huge selling point, especially as the weather gets colder.  Make sure there are tasteful accessories that accent your fireplace and mantle, by placing a mirror, artwork and/or candles that gives this a seasonal punch.  Many sellers ask if they should leave a fire going in the fireplace when buyers walk through.  It’s never a good idea to leave a home with a fire going.  As long as the fireplace is properly staged, buyers get the idea.

Change Your Listing Photos 

Now that summer is over, make sure you take new, fall shots of your property.  Do you live on a lot that has amazing fall foliage?  Do you have a fireplace that is the envy of your neighbourbors?  Then take pictures, and update your Facebook, Twitter, website and sales materials so buyers can see!

Beware Of Buyers Looking For Bargains

Many buyers this time of the year are under the false impression that homeowners are desperate to sell their property because they couldn’t sell it during the popular spring and summer months.  So be prepared for some low-ball offers and not so serious buyers.  If you need to sell, then be prepared to negotiate.  This is the time of year when a seller needs to manage their expectations.

Hire A Professional Real Estate Agent

Imagine trying to prepare for the holidays, working, easing children into the school year, all while trying to sell your home.  If you want to sell your home during this hectic time, then increase your odds by hiring a real estate agent that will take the pressure off you, while widening your buyer base.  Chose an agent that is full-time and has a state of the art media campaign to highlight your home.  There are plenty of buyers that want to settle into a home by the holidays.  Make sure your home is one of them.

Price It Correctly

Yes, buyers are looking for bargains, so if you want to grab the attention of those that want to celebrate the holidays in a new home, then price your home accordingly.  Want to start a bidding war?  This can happen if your home is priced a little lower than comparable homes in your neighbourhood, which can lead to a higher sales price.  Ask your agent on how to price your home correctly for a quicker sale.

Timing Is Everything

Chances are, if you are moving, you have your eye on another home.  Unless you can afford it, don’t place an offer on your next home until your current property has sold.  In this day and age, making two mortgage payments is the last thing you want to do.  Take our word for it.  We have seen incredible stress many sellers go through when confronted with the fact that they will be stretched to their financial limits for an untold period of time.

Privacy Is Good

There’s no reason to share why you are moving, as buyers will think you are desperate.  You don’t owe the buyer any personal information about yourself so if you have a job transfer, its best not to offer that information.  The best answer when asked why you are moving is to simply say you are ready to trade up.

Compromise

While it’s often easier to sell a home in the spring and summer seasons, fall isn’t the worst time, but it has certain challenges.  If you need to make a quick sale, offer incentives to your buyers, such as helping to pay for closing costs or repairs.  Be flexible when showing your home, even those last-minute surprise visits can lead to a home sale.  Many buyers lead busy lives as well, so it’s necessary to open your home on weeknights.

Selling a home in the fall has many advantages and the key is to highlight what makes your house a home during this time of the year when everyone is settling in for the winter.  So why many think this is not a great time to sell a Windsor property, I say otherwise.

 

 

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