When they’re trying to forecast the future housing market, most experts will look at pending home sales. If they’re consistently trending upward, we can look forward to a robust near-future.
But for most of this year, the pending home sale stats have looked like a rollercoaster, with three consecutive months of decline until June, when they began to increase again.
What will happen this fall? With ever-shrinking inventories of available homes and the corresponding rise in prices, it’s anyone’s guess at this point. But right now, with expanding job growth and continued low interest rates, it looks like the fall selling market will be somewhat robust.
So, if you’re among those who hope to tell their Southern Maryland homes this fall, here are some tips to get started. The best time to start? Now!
Choose your Southern Maryland real estate agent now
Think about how the exterior of your home looks in the fall. Leaves change color and fall, the lawn goes dormant, and if temperatures dip, your pretty summer flowers lose their charm.
When Southern Maryland homebuyers browse the MLS for homes they want to see in person, they look at the home’s photos first. If what they see doesn’t impress then, they’ll click to the next home on the list. If you wait until fall to choose your real estate agent, you risk your home looking like all the others: With leaf-covered or brown lawns, no color in the garden bends, and twiggy trees.
But, if you hire your agent now, you can ask that exterior photos be taken right away, when your home’s curb appeal is at its most attractive. Then in the fall, when you put the home on the market, the pictures will stand out from the others, impressing buyers enough to want to see it in person.
Get maintenance out of the way
Consider having your HVAC system services. A Southern Maryland summer is rough on your system, and dust and dirt can accumulate around outdoor components. This restricts air flow during fall and winter. This lack of fresh air circulating in the home during showings can become a deal killer.
Clean out the gutters now to avoid problems during a rainy day showing. While you’re cleaning, look for holes and check the connections. Get these small repairs out of the way now so that you can avoid having to do them during messy weather.
Autumn is all about getting cozy, and nothing helps you get cozier than a fire in the fireplace! You won’t want to leave one roaring while you’re away for a showing, but you can make the fireplace a focal point. Clean the glass doors, clear out accumulated ashes, and – if it’s been a while – consider hiring a chimney sweep.
Stage your home now for autumn buyers
Bringing in as much light is possible is one of the most important things you can do when you’re staging your Southern Maryland home in any season. It’s even more important in the fall and winter as the days get shorter and home interiors become darker earlier in the day. Leaving the curtains open will help, but you may also want to consider beefing up your interior lighting, too.
Put lamps in dark corners and add brighter bulbs to fixtures that could use them. Leave the lights on (yes, all of them!) before leaving for work on the days you expect showings.
As you look for ways to stage your home, remember the fireplace-as-a-focal-point idea. Arrange the furniture so that it faces the fireplace, and dress the mantel in a subtle autumn theme. Cozy throws on the sofa or chairs will further promote your idea of warmth and comfort.
Curb appeal still matters
The most challenging part of a fall home sale might be keeping the yard free of plant debris. As you get closer to putting the home on the market, rake the landscaping as needed, and keep it up consistently during the showing period.
Plant some fall color as well, like rust-colored and yellow mums. If they’re in pots that line the walkway or clustered attractively on the porch, the pop of color will catch buyers’ eyes.
Consider leaving your grilling equipment and patio furniture out just a little longer than usual so that you can stage the deck or patio to appeal to buyers. Give your outdoor furniture a good cleaning and arrange it tastefully so that buyers can see themselves entertaining there.
Last, organize the garage. You don’t read much about staging the garage, but it’s just as important (if not more so to some) as staging the other areas of your home. If you use your garage for storage, declutter it first, purging items you no longer use or need and then organizing what’s left.
If you’ve been collecting information on summer home sales, you can toss it out the window because selling in the fall is a somewhat different process. Luckily, we’re still experiencing a seller’s market in Southern Maryland, so along with the advantages inherent in this type of market, you’ll have even less competition from other sellers than you would have had you decided to sell in summer.
If you’re thinking about selling this fall – or anytime, for that matter! – contact me, and I’ll give you my recommendations on how to price your home based on current conditions, and we’ll get those all-important exterior photos taken now!
Hughesville MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309
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