Monday, November 1, 2010

Selling your home during the fall season requires patience

Sprucing up your home’s exterior and curb appeal will go a long way toward welcoming a buyer

Buyers and sellers should not be deterred just because fall and early winter are considered slower for real estate sales. People do buy homes now and astute buyers know this is the time to purchase very special deals. Fall home sellers can make a favorable impression by enhancing curb appeal and making appealing to the buyer’s senses. Fall selling tips include:

Keeping your lawn in shape. Summer may be recent history, but buyers want to see your lawn’s potential. Re-seed bare spots, rake fallen leaves and replace faded summer flowers with colorful fall plantings, such as mums and pansies that have been hybridized for fall and early winter blooms.

Exterior street appearance is vital. We are a bit past the brilliant autumn foliage so your home becomes more exposed and the exterior appearance is extremely important. Cleaning gutters and downspouts shows potential buyers that you are serious about home maintenance. Chipped exterior paint and discolored siding will be more apparent; a good power washing is in order with some paint touch up. Also, make sure outdoor lighting is bright and shiny–you may be showing your home in the dark and the potential buyer should feel safe.

Pictures say it all. If your home was originally put on the market in the spring or summer, take new fall shots for your real estate agent’s website. You don’t to seem dated or indifferent to a sale.

Bring the natural light in. Buyers want a sense of openness, cleanliness and space. Wash all your windows and open the drapes for maximum exposure to the outdoors. A gloomy inside just doesn’t make the buyer feel inspired. Add a few fall decorations too, but hold back on those fake plants and leaves.

Understand the buyer’s mindset. You may encounter homebuyers who will come in with an unacceptably low bid because they think fall sellers are eager to sell. Depending on what you need, deal with these potential buyers accordingly and work to find a mutually agreeable price if that is possible.

Flexibility is the key. Selling a home this time of the year means a certain amount of flexibility. Working with your buyers will help with a sale. Be prepared to show your home at any reasonable time and hold open houses. Also consider paying closing costs and pitching in with minor repairs.

While fall isn’t the easiest time of the year to sell, with some flexibility and negotiation, both the seller and buyer can experience a positive sale.

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