How To Take Advantage of The Fall Home Sale Slowdown

by Carson BuckAugust 26, 2016

How to Sell a Home in the Fall

Spring and summer are the two most popular seasons for buying and selling homes in the U.S. Fall, on the other hand, is when the market traditionally starts to drop off. The reason is because fewer people want to be burdened with moving while the new school year is starting, and families are starting to prepare for the holidays.

But, this doesn’t mean that the fall is a terrible time to sell. In fact, home buyers tend to be more driven in the fall and there’s much less competition on the market. Therefore, if you’re savvy enough, you can take advantage of fall’s market slowdown. Here are some tips to get you started.
how to sell a home in the fall

Target Millennials and Empty-Nesters

Fall home sales traditionally drop off among buyers with children. As a result, this is the time of year when you’ll want to focus your attention on those groups that don’t have children, such as millennials and empty-nesters. Because these groups typically aren’t worried about getting their kids in school or hosting the holidays, they are much more open to buying homes in the fall and winter. They are the buyers who usually drive the market during these times.

What Millennials Want in a Home

If you have a potential buyer who is a millennial, then supplement the listing document by showcasing those features and amenities in your home that millennials will appreciate most, like wireless broadband Internet capabilities, a whole house entertainment system, or smart home technology.

If a millennial is visiting your open house along with their parents, then pay as much attention to the parents as you do the millennial as there is a good possibility that the parents are subsidizing their child’s dream of homeownership, and they may have a larger say in which home they’re willing to buy.

Lastly, if a millennial is putting an offer in on your home, be sure to give them enough time for their loan to be approved. Most millennials have little credit or renting history and therefore, so a loan approval may take a little longer for them.
how to sell a home in the fall

What Empty-Nesters Want in a Home

If your open house is attracting empty-nesters, then you want to focus your attention of highlighting those amenities that benefit those with a child-free lifestyle. For instance, you should emphasize the multipurpose potential of your rooms by staging your rooms for different purposes, like a home office, craft or hobby room, exercise room, etc.

You should also provide some information about the amenities in close proximity to your home, like shopping and dining, business services, banks, and so on. If you have certain places within walking distance of your home, then definitely include them along with the walking distance.

If your home has certain elegant features, high end appliances, or exquisitely fine details, then these should also be highlighted as empty-nesters traditionally want more luxury in their lives now that they don’t have teenagers living at home.

Additional Tips to Make Your Home More Saleable in the Fall

  • Clean up the yard (rake leaves, trim away dead branches, remove dead flowers, etc.)
  • Enhance curb appeal by decorating your yard for the season
  • Clean your windows and dress them up (especially if you have pets)
  • Replace the air filter on your HVAC system
  • Accent your home’s interior with the colors of autumn
  • Allow as much light in the home as possible during the day and keep lights on since it gets darker earlier
  • Clean the fireplace before an open house (especially if it hasn’t been used in a while)
  • Light your fireplace (if it’s gas) for the open house
  • Leave a guestbook for comments as well as some parting treats

It’s challenging to sell a home in any season, but by taking the necessary steps, you can improve your odds of a fall sale thanks to the season’s low competitiveness and more driven buyers. It’s important to know your target buyer and adjust your strategy. Then, bring the warmth and coziness of the season into your home and you’ll find yourself entertaining offers sooner than you might have expected during the year’s annual market “slowdown.”


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About The Author
Carson Buck
Carson is a real estate agent based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Carson loves data and market research, and how readily available it is in today's world. He is passionate about interpreting these insights to help his clients find and buy their perfect home. Carson got into the real estate industry because he loves the feeling of handing over the keys to a new home to happy clients. In his free time, he works on his backyard bonsai garden and spends time with his wife, Julia.