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Why is autumn the best time to sell?

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Nila Sweeney

Spring is traditionally a busy period for the real estate industry - but did you know you're actually more likely to sell your property in autumn?

It’s popular opinion that spring is the best time to sell your home, explains Luke Woollard, director of Pilot Estate Agents in Mornington, and for good reason.

“After the doldrums of winter, it's believed that there are plenty of home buyers out there, which will result in lots of competition for your home,” he says.

The reality, however, is that spring doesn’t always bring with it a fresh supply of willing and eager homebuyers.

While it’s true that people become more active when the weather warms up, and you may therefore be able to tap into a greater pool of buyers, you have to factor in that thousands of other vendors may have the same idea – and therefore, the market can be flooded with listings. 

It’s also important to realise that every real estate market is impacted by dozens of other factors, such as the state of the economy, mortgage interest rates and local supply and demand.

“In a steady market like the one we are facing for 2011, the [spring] buying frenzy probably won't happen,” Woollard says.

“In fact, waiting until spring to sell your home might turn out to be very disappointing, as you could be facing a buyers market if an oversupply of homes hits the market. This tended to happen almost every year when I had my real estate agency the Gold Coast.”

In actual fact, real estate agents are often more successful at converting a listing into a sale in autumn than in spring, and it all comes down to quality over quantity, Woollard explains.

“Many people take extended holidays from their busy schedules during the Christmas holidays and early January. This gives them lots of time to research the market and feel confident about their buying decisions,” he says. “They become buyers who are more prepared and ready to go.”

Keep in mind families often go away during the Easter holidays, so the ideal time to list your home for sale is in the first three months of the year.

“I think it's a good idea to prepare your sales run and property advertising in the summer lead up to autumn,” Woollard advises.

And to those vendors with a garden or courtyard, he recommends that you play up your outdoor assets during your sales campaign.

“Autumn is a special time with wonderful changing colours and fragrances in the garden, which presents a unique opportunity for attractive garden presentation,” he says. “Just think – how many people do you know who fell in love with a home because of its beautiful garden?”


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