selling your home in the fall

| Selling | By Anslie Stokes

Temperatures may still be sweltering outside, but if you are considering selling your home in the fall then now is the time to get things moving.

In Washington, DC, the fall market starts like clockwork the weekend after Labor Day and runs until just before Thanksgiving. The fall market is shorter than the spring market but is no less intense – especially in the strong seller’s market that DC is currently experiencing.

Utilize these tips and you will be well positioned to sell your home in the fall:

Getting Started

  • Meet and interview several real estate agents NOW and find the one best suited for your sale by booking a meeting with us.
  • Select a listing date that is as early in the fall market as possible given your desired timeline.
  • Be prepared to navigate multiple offers if you are selling in a highly desirable neighborhood with low inventory.
  • If you are selling in a more balanced market or a buyers market like Alexandria or Montgomery County, price your home with consideration given to the length of the fall market and have a plan for re-listing in the early spring if you can’t get it sold. (Pro Tip: The MLS ‘resets’ the days on market counter after 60 days of a listing being off the market. This should inform a decision about when to take a listing off the market in the late fall and when to relist in the spring, if necessary).

Around The House

  • Have your agent photograph the exterior of your home now before the leaves are gone or snow is on the ground.
  • Curb appeal is always critical when a house is for sale, and even more so in the fall when your grass is not as lush as in the summer. Pay critical attention to how your landscaping looks, power wash as necessary, and touch up any paint that doesn’t look fresh.
  • Rake leaves several times a week while your house is on the market to ensure your property looks clean and inviting.
  • Assess each room in your home at dusk to ensure that you have sufficient lighting. Nightfall comes earlier each day throughout the fall, which increases the likelihood of buyers seeing your home at dusk or when it is dark out. You should also consider adding landscape lighting to brighten up the outside of your home to ensure it can’t be missed.
  • Tune up your heating system before the first cold day.

Moving Forward

  • Be prepared to be more flexible when setting a settlement date. Buyers often have more specific needs around timing during the busy fall months and leading into the holiday season.
  • Whenever you decide to sell, it makes sense to have a professional guiding you through the process.

If you have real estate goals set for this fall, we’ll help you accomplish them. Give us a call at 202-270-1081, email us at, or send us a message to get started.

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