Fall can be a great time to sell your house | Home & Garden

If you plan to sell your home this fall or winter, don’t let anyone tell you it’s the wrong season to sell.

According to Bonnie Chandler, broker at Windermere Real Estate, Kitsap County, transactions continue to take place, especially in the hot markets like here in Kitsap County.

“Last December, I closed five transactions,” Chandler said. “All these deals started in the fall through November.”

She has some hints for sellers that can make the difference in whether you get your home sold.

“I would suggest that the change of seasons requires some changes in your home’s atmosphere,” she said. “Fall flowers on your porch and patio, wreathes depicting fall and Christmas seasons, light candles for your showings.”

Decorate lightly for Thanksgiving and Christmas except for outdoor lights, she said.

“Also, it’s important to keep the home comfortable, so when there is a showing we want the heat on,” Chandler said. “If you’ve gone on a holiday and turned the heat down, it would be good to set the heat on a timer that will come on from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., to keep things comfortable.”

Another tip is to make sure there is plenty of outdoor lighting around home.

Chandler thinks a great advantage to selling your home after the kids go back to school, is that “it will be easier for home upkeep with them in the classroom.”

“Also, the kids can tell their friends and, who knows, they may bring you a buyer,” she said.

Buyers can come from anywhere.

“Many folks are traveling to our area to visit adult kids and grandkids,” she said. “They may want to buy to be closer to family in the Northwest.”

Getting your house ready may mean clearing out some items.

“This is a great time to pack away anything you won’t be needing before you move,” Chandler said. “We want the house to have a ‘vacation home’ look. Just lightly furnished with all personal items packed away.”

As an experienced broker, Chandler said to expect showings during the holidays.

“And leave your home well-lit in all rooms during showings,” she added.

As a Realtor for 27 years, Chandler continues to do open houses for her listings during the fall and winter months.

“If the Seahawks are playing I have the game going on mute,” she said. “I encourage homeowners to make cookies and have cider available for open houses.”

The housing market in Kitsap County is strong, she said.

“Our market continues to thrive and we are seeing Baby Boomers from all areas, especially Seattle, coming over to explore opportunities to get out of the congestion of Seattle, looking for a more peaceful environment,” Chandler said. “Millennials are taking advantage of low interest rates which make for some attractive home-buying options. Many folks are looking in our area because of the new fast foot ferries from Kingston and Bremerton to Seattle as they are being priced out of the King County market.”

Interest rates are holding at under 5 percent, she said, and the lack of inventory is causing buyers to be completely lender-qualified to compete in the market.

“So any offer we get will probably be a good one,” she added.

Chandler said sellers and buyers should enjoy the change of seasons and “you can bet that this listing agent will be working right up to Christmas Day!”

To contact Chandler, call 360-509-4949, email her at bchandler@windermere.com, or go online at www.bonniechandler.com.