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Change of Seasons

What will fall bring to the market? By Jillian Chandler

Sandpoint Idaho Real Estate

As summer comes to an end, and fall makes its way to North Idaho, what does this change of seasons mean for the local real estate market?

Local expert Jackie Suarez, real estate broker for Century 21 RiverStone, has this to say. “This fall will be interesting. Our strong seller’s market has shifted in favor of buyers. Many sellers are adjusting prices downward, and buyers have been waiting for interest rates to stabilize. Also, some people are waiting for the midterm election results before making any large financial decisions.”

As things heat up during the spring and summer months, making it a prime time to put your home on the market, with more options for buyers, once the fall season begins, the market begins to cool.

According to Nedra Kanavel, associate broker with Kelly Right Real Estate, “With interest rates stabilizing over summer, I expect to see a continuation of high buyer demand, right up until the traditional slowdown of the holidays.

“Fall is a great time to sell, for those who want to move on to that next chapter in their life, before winter sets in. Buyers most certainly will still be searching for their piece of North Idaho and hoping to find something before winter as well. For buyers, they may see some homes decrease to their most competitive price this fall, if the home is being sold by an owner who wants to move before winter.”

“Many sellers who had high expectations for their pricing earlier in the year adjust their pricing to try to sell before winter,” adds Jackie. “Some owners decide not to sell late in the fall season and stay put when the snow flies. Interest rates are still relatively low historically, offering opportunities for savvy buyers.”

For those with homes on the market and eager to sell before the snow falls, both Nedra and Jackie recommend some simple ways to draw more attention to your home.

“Autumn is a fantastic time to highlight the exterior of your home,” encourages Nedra. For any seller listing this fall, she encourages them to ask specific questions about their upcoming listing photography. Make sure quality drone photos will be done. “The gorgeous colors we see all around us can really make a home stand out.”

Jackie suggests having the HVAC systems and fireplaces and chimneys serviced this time of year, and be sure to tidy up your garden spaces and yards for more attractive curb appeal.

As Nedra points out, the past two years have taught us that things in real estate can change very quickly—and often in unpredictable ways. “If a buyer finds their potential home or investment this fall, I would encourage them to buy now,” she says. “They are most certainly getting it for less than this time last year. Interest rates may go up again next year. Inventory might go down even further, giving buyers less options. We just don’t know.”

So, when is the right time to buy? “Each buyer should feel confident financially before making their purchase,” affirms Jackie. “Typically, end-of-season bargains can be found. Spring usually brings more choices to the market, but sometimes with higher prices. This year’s shift to a buyer’s market brings great opportunities.”

As always, those in the market to buy should do their research, engage the help of local experts, and stay aware of current inventory.

“Buying a home is exciting and a big step,” Jackie says. “Enjoy the process!”

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