Myth: You missed the selling season if you list in the fall

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512 N. Overlook Drive in Beverley Hills will be for sale in the 2018 fall season. This was the sellers' forever home when they bought it six years ago, but a new job more than half-way across the country changed their plans (Courtesy photo)
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By Michelle Zelsman

Michelle Zelsman (Courtesy photo)

In the real estate business, we hear a lot of theories on the best time to buy and sell homes. Some folks swear spring brings the highest prices. Others say summer is the best time because the kids are out of school. Some folks say selling in the winter attracts only serious buyers. The truth is each season has its advantages.

As the days begin to get cooler and the kids go back to school, I’ve gathered a few of the biggest myths about buying or selling a home in the fall.

Myth 1: Competition for houses drops off in the fall 

Lots of buyers prefer shopping in the fall where they don’t have to worry about how they will out-bid a dozen other buyers. And if the past few weeks offer any indication as to how the market will close out this year, I don’t see September, October or November slowing down. Homeowners continue to make life changes that are keeping us just as busy as we were in the traditional buying season. The benefit for sellers is that buyers looking in the fall want to close quickly so they can be in their new home for the holidays.

Myth 2: My house won’t look as great as it does in the spring and summer

Buyers will drive by your home a little slower when they see the “Coming Soon” sign in the yard or when they see your home for sale online. They consider your home’s curb appeal as they decide whether to come inside. Autumn can be an awesome time show off the vibrant colors in your yard. You will need to keep up with the falling leaves. But it’s no different than keeping up with mowing in the spring and summer. And once they come inside, you’ll have lots of opportunities to show off how cozy their new home will be.

Myth 3: I’ll get a better price for my home if I wait for the spring market

By the time the fall season arrives, we can thank the spring rush for the new comps set by buyers who escalated their offer prices and waived appraisal contingencies in an effort to
get that gem home everyone wanted.

Myth 4: Homes on the market in the fall are summer leftovers 

Sure, there are a few who were over-confident on the value of their homes.
These leftover homes might be good options for buyers interested in making a low-ball offer. But there are plenty of new properties coming to the market because a job is taking the seller away from the area. Or they’ve retired and have been planning to leave the area for warmer winters. Or maybe they spent the summer building or renovating their new home and finally they are ready to move. There are tons of reasons why people decide to sell. Not all of those reasons are tied to a specific season.

Michelle Zelsman is the principle member of the Zelsman Powers Group at Coldwell Banker along with her counterpart, Jimmie Powers. Zelsman draws on her impressive background of 25-plus years in marketing, advertising and sales as a business owner, consultant, executive and realtor. She specializes in Alexandria, where she has resided for more than three decades. She is licensed in both Virginia and D.C.

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