The Fall Real Estate Market: Find the High Hanging Fruit
With Labor Day having come and gone this year, the prime time for buying and selling homes is largely considered over. If you know anything about the real estate industry, then you know that spring and summer are the times of year when the most houses are moved and the most sales are completed.
This makes sense when you consider the fact that the spring and summer have larger number of buyers, more demand from people who are looking to purchase a home, move, and get settled before the school year starts, and, in colder climates, the weather is far more cooperative.
But just because the frenzied buying may start to taper off once fall sets in doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities to buy and sell homes. There are ample opportunities to produce positive outcomes for your clients, as well as for your real estate business.
Real Estate Opportunities in “Off-Seasons”
I’ve written in the past about how there are clear advantages for sellers to list their homes in the winter. To name a few, selling homes in winter means:
- Less Competition – Because most sellers wait until the spring to list their homes, there are fewer homes on the market, which means less competition from other sellers. Additionally, the low inventory can create increase competition among buyers, which generally result in higher sale prices.
- Serious Buyers – Similar to why there is less competition in winter, this season draws out the serious buyers because most buyers think it is best to wait until spring to check out the market. The ones who do come out do so because they are serious and cannot wait until spring to purchase a home. These are not window shoppers, but motivated buyers who want to take advantage of the less competitive market and get their hands on their ideal home.
- You Can Highlight the Winter Side of Your Home – Show off your home’s winter-readiness. Have the fire going, showcase the hot tub, highlight the design and features that will make their life easier during winter, like an easy-to-shovel driveway, new roof and furnace, south-facing windows, and well-insulated pipes, among other things. These features, however simple, will show that your home can handle the harsh elements.
Just as there are advantages to the winter real estate market, there are also some clear advantages to the fall real estate market. What’s more is that this is true for every season. Although there are generally thought to be lulls in certain seasons, if you know your market, understand what your clients’ goals are, and understand the specific advantages of each time of year, there never has to be a lull in your sales.
Fall Real Estate Can Be a Buyer’s Market
The push to buy before Labor Day and before the kids are back in school is a driving force for many home buyers who have children. The first day of school is a hard date that can’t be changed or molded to your client’s schedule or home-buying process. But not all of your clients are going to have children. For those buyers who don’t have kids, it can actually be advantageous to conduct their home search after families are pretty much done looking.
Once families are pretty much settled in for the school year, your clients who are searching for homes and who don’t have children are facing less competition. Fewer people looking for houses means that you have an increased ability to negotiate better prices.
Real Estate Prices Fall
Many sellers list their homes in the spring and summer because that’s peak selling season and that’s when they feel they can get the best price for their home. However, once Labor Day rolls around and their house still hasn’t sold, chances are they may lower the price they are asking for. This means your buyers have more room for negotiation and have an opportunity to get more for their money.
The Holidays Can Create a New Deadline
The holiday season serving as a deadline to get into a new house can go both ways in the fall. This is where understanding your client’s motivation, plan, and goals comes in. For example, buyers who would like to buy and settle into their new home by Thanksgiving, but who are willing to adjust and be flexible based on other factors, can hold out for better deals and houses that better check all their boxes.
On the other hand, the holidays can create an advantageous situation for your seller clients. This is because, for some buyers, the start of the holiday season may be just as big of a deadline as the first day of school is for others. Those particular buyers are going to be highly motivated to get into a home before the end of November, giving your sellers the opportunity to receive over asking price.
You Create Your Real Estate Business
Both this article and our past one about selling homes in winter are just attempting to point out that there doesn’t have to be lulls in your real estate business. There are always people moving, and there are always people looking to buy and sell homes all year long. There might be more low hanging fruit during the “peak” times, but there is plenty of money to be made from the lucrative high hanging fruit that presents itself during other seasons.
The fall real estate market, like the winter real estate market, can offer unique opportunities for both your buyer and seller clients. The key is to know and understand their perspective, process, and desired outcome and understand the market you’re working in.