Spring and summer seasons always dominate the home selling market, but with our area being one that is so transient, it would be a mistake to overlook the fall.
The economic driving force of the area consists mainly of government employees and contractors, which means there are always people moving in and out of the area. And those who are looking at houses during the fall season may have children, but there is a huge population of young professionals and empty nesters without children, meaning they don’t fall under the school schedule. It also means they have the time to look for the home they want instead of being tied to a specific area to get into a specific school district. It is a time that Long and Foster agent Jessica Garcia says people get really focused on their needs.
So what are these buyers looking for? Garcia says it is the features of a home.
“When a family is looking for a home, it really is about space, bedrooms and the yard. Some of the other design features and intricate details get lost; it’s not something that matters as much,” she says. For young couples with no kids and empty-nesters, it’s more of a casual, slow process, more about the finer details.
When staging a home to sell, instead of showing every room as a bedroom, Garcia suggests turning one into an office, library or hobby room. “If they don’t need as much space, they might want to see ideas of how they can make it their own space instead of just extra bedrooms.”
Another piece of the puzzle that changes with the fall selling season: timing. Since the buyer’s impetus isn’t necessarily on getting in a home before the school session starts, they have the time to look.
“Let’s say when you have an open house or someone comes to look at the home, you want them to stay longer and really look around and take it all in because they are more interested in the details because they’re thinking ‘Do we see ourselves here?’ as opposed to ‘I need something immediately in the next few months; I’m moving my family,’” Garcia says. The goal as a seller is to get the potential buyer to stay longer and look around, to really picture themselves in the home. “They might not have much of a driving force that they have to buy something tomorrow. A lot of buyers that time of year are looking in different places, it’s not in a very small radius, and it might be more the actual home than the area that drives them,” says Garcia.
Embrace the season: Light scented candles and turn the fireplace on. Bring in the colors of the season through plants. “Little things like that trigger in the brain, and buyers are going to spend more time and really see the home and the details and the finer points,” says Garcia. “And that is what will drive them, especially if they aren’t specifically driven to one area.”