Welcome to Fall! In many parts of the country the weather is cooler, leaves begin to change, and the real estate market shifts. Where summer is a frenzy of buying and selling, hoping to relocate before school starts, fall has a slower pace. And that pace is welcome.
At the same time, fall weather provides an ideal backdrop for walking through neighborhoods admiring homes for sale. You also get some of your most beautiful real estate listing photos in fall. With these post-Labor Day changes in mind, here are three ways to take advantage of fall 2016 in real estate.
Focus on Buyers
Many Realtors® find they can negotiate a better price for buyers during the fall. There’s less competition for listed homes, and less of a rush to move before school starts. As a result, fall can be something of a buyer’s market, even when inventory is lower than average. In addition, sellers who haven’t sold by fall are likely to reduce their prices, leading to better deals for buyers.
In addition, you’ll want to encourage your buyers to choose a home before interest rates begin to rise. Right now we’re still seeing historically low interest rates, and you want to remind your buyers not to take this for granted. The Mortgage Bankers Association is forecasting the rate to creep consistently upward through the end of 2017. As a result, this fall is the perfect time to buy.
Work with Vacation Home Transactions
Savvy buyers know that the best time to buy a vacation home is in the fall. That way, fix-ups and furnishing can be done by spring, which is when vacationers start to use their property. While some people buy vacation homes in the spring and summer, those looking for a good deal know that starting in the off-season is the way to go. As a Realtor®, encourage vacation home buyers and sellers to take advantage of the fall season.
Fall isn’t the off-season in every vacation market. If you’re in Colorado or the Rocky Mountains, vacation activity is just starting to heat up. Buyers can look at resort properties for their own enjoyment, or as a chance to make good money from renters who are visiting the area for skiing, snowboarding, and more. When you approach buyers and sellers with these ideas, you can encourage them to hire you to handle the transaction.
Encourage Renters to Buy and Introduce Alternative Financing
Depending on your market, fall can be a great time to start cultivating renters who want to move. If they aren’t ready to look at homes right away, build your relationship during the holidays and ask again in the spring. With a 12-month lease cycle, either fall or spring will be the perfect time to start looking. Rents have climbed and continue to do so in most parts of the country, meaning that renters are feeling the strain. You can talk to them about how buying may actually save them money each month.
The rise in rents is fueled by very high demand for rental properties because many Americans simply don’t have the creditworthiness or down payment available to buy a home. As a result, a big part of marketing to renters is knowing what alternative financing is available. Can you help first-time home-buyers who don’t have a down payment? Do you know of rent-to-own options? If so, you can quickly become a go-to Realtor® and dramatically increase your business this fall.
Post-Labor-Day real estate markets are more relaxed than spring and summer. Take advantage of fall 2016 by focusing on buyers, working with vacation home transactions, and helping renters into the housing market. As you do, make sure your Just Listed and Just Sold postcards are ready. Need help? Take a look at our selection today!