Should I List My House in the Fall?

It’s the middle of October in Greater Hartford. The leaves are turning. It’s getting dark outside earlier. We’ve turned our heat on (much to the chagrin of my better half). To me, this signals the seasonal slowing of the real estate market. But I’m still getting phone calls from folks that want to sell their homes. Should they list their house now? Or should they wait until the spring?

The Real Estate Yard SignThere are a few things to consider when selling your home in the not-Spring market.

1. Does your house show well when the landscape isn’t in bloom?

2. Are you willing to keep your heat at a reasonable level to be warm and inviting for showings and turn on numerous lights for your showings?

3. Are you willing to have your home sit on the market a little longer than it would if it were Spring?

4. Are you willing to have fewer showings of your home than it would if it were Spring?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, it should be fine for you to list your house in the late fall and winter months. Realize that there will be fewer buyers (so fewer showings) in November through February. Typically only serious buyers are looking during these months. They are not preoccupied with holidays and need to focus on finding a home for one reason or another. That can be a good thing for sellers.

Many homes come off the market in the late fall that didn’t sell during the Spring and Summer market. This means less competition for sellers that are newly entering the market. Another good thing.

I always advise my fall and winter sellers that they need to be a little more patient with the market. Most are fine with this because they’re making the conscious decision to list now, rather than wait for the Spring. Fall selling isn’t for everyone, but if you’re not the nervous type, it may be a great time to put your home up for sale.